People in Ohio who want to pass certain assets to their beneficiaries outside of the probate process may choose to create trusts. A trust can also be used to manage a person’s finances while they are still alive should they become disabled. While the execution of a will is done in probate court and overseen by a judge, a trust is managed by one or more trustees who are chosen by the grantor.
Many people ask how they can be sure that a trust they create will be administered correctly. As there is no court involvement, the trustees will be “trusted” to correctly interpret and carry out the instructions in a trust. When a person is setting up a trust, it is crucial that they choose trustees who are capable of handling the responsibility of carrying out their wishes.
When a trust is going to be managed by more than one trustee, the granter may want to write a trust protector provision into the trust. With a trust protector provision, the granter can designate one person who is responsible for interpreting the trust should the trustees disagree on the meaning of instructions in the trust. A trust protector does not have to be a trustee or play any other role in the trust besides helping to interpret it and resolve disagreements between trustees.
An estate planning attorney may be able to help an individual create a trust, designate trustees and determine whether a trust protector provision is necessary. If a person decides to name a trust protector, an attorney may also help the person decide how much power to give the trust protector. Some trust protectors can only resolve disputes over the interpretation of trusts while others are capable of modifying trusts.