The role of a protector is to ensure that the terms of the trust are adhered to by the trustee. Unless stated otherwise, their powers are fiduciary and must be exercised in the best interests of the beneficiaries.
Whilst their inclusion can act as an important basis for the checks and balances necessary to create an effective structure, the role is a fiduciary one and can often present conflicts of interest where the protector is also a beneficiary. In addition, regulation has made the role of a protector more complex and previously traditional parties may be reluctant to assume the role today.
Using a professional protector ensures that clients and their structures benefit from complete independence, objectivity, continuity of service and the application of the highest standards in decision making.
Providing for a professional protector or enforcer for purpose trusts can also provide a useful alternative for families looking for a more robust solution to their planning needs.
Through the use of either individual or corporate protectors, Highvern is able to deploy its highly experienced team of qualified lawyers, trustees and administrators to provide client families with the comfort of knowing that their trustees will be appropriately held to account.
Powers provided to protectors can be positive (i.e. they are able to instruct) or negative (i.e. their consent is required). Typical powers include :
- Appointment and removal of trustees
- Addition and removal of beneficiaries
- Amendment of the terms of the trust
- Approval of distributions to beneficiaries
- Changes to the proper law of the trust
- Approval of the level of trustee remuneration