Trust Protectors under Louisiana Law

In re: Eleanor Pierce (Marshall) Stevens Living Trust, 159 So. 3d 1101 (Ct. App. La. 2015) upheld an appointment of a trust protector as valid under Louisiana law. The trust was established in 1979 and amended several times. A 2007 amendment appointed a trust protector and afforded that person the power to remove the trustee.

Later, after several rounds of disputes and litigation, the trustee asserted that the trust protector did not have the authority to remove the trustee. The court analyzed the trust terms and found that, “Although the office of Trust Protector is not expressly provided for by the Trust Code, Appellant cites, and we find, no law that expressly forbids such a provision. We also find no provision I the Trust Code incompatible with recognition of such an office such that would prohibit its coexistence.” Id. at 1110.  The court likewise rejected the argument that a trust protector is against public policy.  Indeed, the court determined that a trust protector guards “the settlor’s interest in managing the assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries.”  Id. at 1111.