Continuing Legal Education

TELESEMINAR: Role of “Trust Protectors” in Trust Planning – A National Perspective

May 15, 2014
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
1.00 MCLE hours


The use of “trust protectors” is new and still developing in estate planning. A trust protector stands in the shoes of the settlor, potentially wielding broad powers, ensuring that the settlor’s intent, even after death, is accomplished. Trust protectors may control investment and distribution decisions, hold the power to reform a trust, and to appoint and dismiss trustees.  Trust protectors may be the beneficiary or settlor of a trust or someone else. The law in this area is murky at best, with very little case law and statutes that have not been tested. Notwithstanding the ambiguity, many sensitive tax, creditor and financial outcomes depend on the identity, power and actions of the trust protector. In some instances, if you choose the wrong protector, most of the trust’s tax benefits will be lost. This program will provide you with a practical guide to the role, uses and misuses, powers and risks of trust protectors in trust and estate planning. 


  • Practical uses (and misuses) of trust protectors in estate planning – why use one at all?
  • Powers and source of powers of trust protectors – statute, common law, trust documents
  • Fiduciary duties, if any, of protectors and real-world tax, creditor and financial consequences if they are fiduciaries
  • Choosing the right trust protector and establishing standards of care
  • Relationship of trust protector to trustees – and the substantial risk of overbroad powers
  • Important drafting considerations when there is little statutory or common law
  • Can and should an attorney be a trust protector?


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Program Speaker:
William Kalish,
Akerman Senterfitt, LLP, Florida


William Kalish is a partner in the Tampa office of Akerman Senterfitt, LLP.  His practice focuses on advising individual clients and their families on their estate and trust plans, including wills, revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts, charitable trusts, private foundations, and limited partnerships. He also practices in probate administration, asset preservation, business succession planning for family-owned entities, and the division of business interests in the context of divorce.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, formerly served as chair of ABA Tax Section, and has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Stetson Law School teaching estate planning.  Mr. Kalish received his B.A. from the University of Pittsburg and his J.D. with honors from George Washington University Law School.