What is the Role of the Trust Protector in the International Asset Protection Trust?

The International Asset Protection Trust is a great Asset Protection and Estate Planning strategy that high net-worth individuals can utilize in their planning. A Trust is an agreement between a settlor (or grantor) and trustees for the benefit of certain beneficiaries. Trust property or Trust “Res” must be transferred to the Trust in order to allow the Trust to be effective. The Trust must also have a valid purpose, which is usually easily satisfied due to estate planning or other similar reasoning. A Trust can be domiciled or based in the United States or it can be domiciled in a jurisdiction outside of the United States. Such a Trust is referred to as the International Trust. The domicile of the Trust is important because those are the laws that the Trust will use to operate.

An International Asset Protection Trust is a Trust that is domiciled outside of the United States (or uses certain jurisdiction’s laws) and is created for both Estate Planning and Asset Protection purposes. The International Asset Protection Trust also allows for added privacy and an additional layer of protection on top of the domestic Asset Protection Plan. The International Asset Protection Trust also has a settlor (person who creates the Trust), trustee(s), beneficiaries and Trust Res. The Trust also has what is called a Trust protector. The Trust protector serves as a checks and balances system for the trust because they are required to authorize certain actions by the trustees. This could be transfers or distributions of property over a certain dollar figure or other complex administrative matters.

The Trust protector still must act as a fiduciary (in general), just as the trustees must. In other words, the protector must act in the best interests of the beneficiaries, however, the particular laws of the Trust domicile must be reviewed to definitively determine the extent of the fiduciary duty held by the Trust protector. This is why a knowledgeable Asset Protection Attorney should be utilized to prepare the International Asset Protection Trust and to choose the most beneficial jurisdiction for the Trust.

Contact the attorneys of The Presser Law Firm, P.A. regarding your Asset Protection and/or Estate Planning needs.