Including trust protector provisions under one's trust document grants wide flexibility over trust administration; understanding contemporary issues concerning estate planning highlights the benefit that trust protectors may provide and guide planning efforts. Read more.
In some circumstances, a trustee's fiduciary duty might oblige them to decant the trust; if the trust document does not clearly provide for decanting, the trustee must determine whether they have authority to decant the trust.
Income and estate tax implications vary for each estate depending on whether the decedent had a trust in place and, if so, the nature of the trust. Where the decedent transferred assets to a revocable living trust prior to death, one or more fiduciary income tax returns might be required to report income earned by assets in the estate and/or trust after death.
Alaska first enacted statutes for DAPTs in 1997. Other states have passed similar legislation since then. One fact has remained constant: No creditor has collected a judgment or settlement against a debtor.
An executor pressured by surviving family to distribute an estate early might be tempted to comply with these requests with the best of intentions. However, the executor might be required to personally pay estate debts if they distribute assets too soon. The personal risk of early distribution is often too great for an executor to oblige.
Since trust protector provisions are not included in the trust document by default, many individuals find themselves in a situation where they wish to add provisions to an existing trust. If you are considering adding such provisions, outlined below are a few questions that should be discussed during a consultation with a trust attorney.
Few asset protection options remain once a lawsuit or judgment is filed. While some jurisdictions and/or circumstances may allow for some efforts to shield assets in the early stages of a suit, oftentimes actions made after being served are illegal and/or void.
Trustees have a fiduciary duty to impartially administer the trust with care and loyalty. The guidelines discussed below can help to ensure that a trustee is not found in breach of their duty. The consequences of violating a fiduciary duty are broad, ranging from penalties and damages to possible felony charges.
While a trustee might attempt to navigate trust administration independently, a lack of professional guidance could contribute to mistakes. These blunders could eventually develop into court proceedings (and related court costs), fines, penalties, and/or removal.
Upon the death of the trust grantor, a successor trustee must manage several pressing matters. Our trust attorneys prepared a brief checklist below that can help successor trustees to navigate the initial stages of trust administration.