January 7th, 2014
The Missouri Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion in Robert T. McLean Irrevocable Trust v. Ponder, a case involving the question of whether a Trust Protector could be held liable in not exercising the right to remove and replace the Trustees of a special needs Trust.
The Robert T. McLean Irrevocable Trust (the “Trust”) was created with settlement proceeds from Robert McLean’s (“Robert”) personal injury case. Ponder was appointed “Trust Protector” of the Trust with the right to remove the Trustee and appoint a successor Trustee. The Trust Protector was also given the right to appoint a successor Trust Protector and to resign as Trust Protector. The Trust also provided that the “Trust Protector’s authority was conferred in a fiduciary capacity” and that the Trust Protector was not liable for any actions taken “in good faith.” The Trust did not provide Ponder with any power or duty to supervise the Trustees or direct their activities. (more…)