Carol Peters as a Trust Protector
Consider asking your Attorney to name a Trust Protector in your estate planning documents, if public benefits issues become foreseeable. Would oversight by a knowledgeable third party be to the administration of your Trust plan?
- Does the Trustee already know public benefit rules?
- Are the rules being complied with?
- What issues need to be addressed and resolved?
- What does a possible resolution look like?
- Should a Trust Protector have the authority to terminate the Trustee’s administration (so the Successor Trustee can serve)?
Discuss these questions with your drafting Attorney. You already know your family better than anyone else, so what could possibly go wrong? If differences arise, only the parties can decide how they will resolve their differences, as only the parties are in charge of their choices.
So be sure to tell your Attorney what results you want ~ and do not want ~ so some examples can be included in your estate plan as guidance from you to your future Trustee.
Also suggest mediation by a retired Judge:
- The “facilitative” Process supports the Mediator as a Facilitator to oversee communications between the parties. the neutral mediator is in charge of the process so each party is able to communicate with the neutral and nonjudgmental mediator, who communicates with the other parties, also in a safe and neutral manner. the Mediator conveys the content.
- The “evaluative” Process can assist the parties in assessing their issues more accurately. The neutral Mediation can evaluate a legal issue and provide a confidential opinion of the good points and not-so-good points of a party’s position, to the party and counsel. Then the parties can assess the likelihood of judicial success at trial ~ and at what cost ~ by comparing the litigation fees and costs vis-a- vis the settlement options, and even beyond the legal costs, to include non-monetary remedies, such as an apology or other communication.
- The “transformative” Process results in a family’s dynamics becoming improved, sometimes radically, because of an increased understanding of the different viewpoints of the parties. With new thoughts and insights, a new understanding can assuage an old hurt based on misunderstanding, so that the old hurt can be released, with the prior relationship transformed into a new, positive dynamic.