Trust Protectors in Estate Planning: Benefits and Legal Risks

Evaluating the Use, Selection, and Powers of Trust Protectors in States With and Without Trust Protector Statutes

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will provide estate planning practitioners with a review of the benefits and risks of incorporating trust protectors and directing parties into estate plans. The panel will discuss how counsel can use trust protectors, drafting considerations, powers and duties, and jurisdictional differences.


Trust protectors—once limited to off-shore trusts—are gaining popularity as an estate planning tool, but their use carries some risk. In an oversight role, trust protectors can be appointed to exercise powers regarding modifying trusts, making distribution or investment decisions, and directing, removing or replacing the trustee.

Counsel must use caution in drafting trust agreements and in identifying the powers and fiduciary duties of trust protectors. Counsel must also understand state statutory differences and how to use trust protectors in estate plans in states that have trust protector statutes, states that recognize both trust protectors and "directing parties," and states without statutory or common law guidance on any such roles.

Listen as our panel of trust and estate planning attorneys discusses the reasons for and mechanics of including a trust protector or directing party in estate planning, jurisdictional distinctions, and how to utilize the trust protector in jurisdictions with neither trust protector statutes nor common law rules regarding trust protectors. The panel will also discuss powers of trust protectors and succession, replacement, and removal of trust protectors.



  1. Role of trust protector
  2. Benefits and risks
  3. Whom to appoint
  4. Powers and duties
  5. Jurisdictional differences
  6. Drafting issues


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the tax risks in including trust protectors in trust and estate planning?
  • What powers and duties of the protector should be included in the trust agreement?
  • How and when should counsel consider using a “springing protector” and decide whether it's the “best of both worlds”?
  • How do the roles of directing parties and trust protectors differ?


Mary A. Akkerman
Mary A. Akkerman

Lindquist & Vennum

Ms. Akkerman practices in the areas of estate planning, wills and trusts, estate and trust litigation, guardianship and...  |  Read More

Gregory F. Monday
Gregory F. Monday

Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren

Mr. Monday is a shareholder in the firm’s Business Law and Trusts and Estates practice areas. His primary...  |  Read More

Edward L. Perkins
Edward L. Perkins

Gibson & Perkins

Mr. Perkins is a principal shareholder in the firm and also a member of the faculty of the Graduate Tax Program of the...  |  Read More

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