Bill H.2261 187th (2011 - 2012)
An Act to establish the Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code
By Ms. Peisch of Wellesley, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 2261) of Alice Hanlon Peisch for legislation to establish the Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code. The Judiciary.
SECTION 2. The General Laws are hereby amended by inserting after chapter 203D the following chapter—
MASSACHUSETTS UNIFORM TRUST CODE
GENERAL PROVISIONS AND DEFINITIONS
Section 101. [Short Title.] This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code.
Section 102. [Scope.] This chapter applies to express trusts, charitable or non-charitable, of a donative nature and trusts created pursuant to a judgment or decree that requires the trust to be administered in the manner of said express trusts.
Section 103. [Definitions.] In this chapter:
(1) “Action,” with respect to an act of a trustee, includes a failure to act.
(2) “Ascertainable standard” means a standard relating to an individual’s health, education, support, or maintenance.
(3) “Beneficiary” means a person who has a present or future beneficial interest in a trust, vested or contingent.
(4) “Charitable trust” means a trust, or portion of a trust, created for a charitable purpose described in section 405(a).
(5) “Environmental law” means a federal, state, or local law, rule, regulation, or ordinance relating to protection of the environment.
(6) “Interests of the beneficiaries” means the beneficial interests provided in the terms of the trust.
(7) “Jurisdiction,” with respect to a geographic area, includes a state or country.
(8) “Person” means an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, government; governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality; public corporation, or any other legal or commercial entity.
(9) “Property” means anything that may be the subject of ownership, whether real or personal, legal or equitable, or any interest therein.
(10) “Qualified beneficiary” means a beneficiary who, on the date the beneficiary’s qualification is determined:
(A) is a distributee or permissible distributee of trust income or principal; or
(B) would be a distributee or permissible distributee of trust income or principal if the trust terminated on that date.
(11) “Revocable,” as applied to a trust, means revocable by the settlor without the consent of the trustee or a person holding an adverse interest.
(12) “Settlor” means a person, including a testator, who creates, or contributes property to, a trust. If more than one person creates or contributes property to a trust, each person is a settlor of the portion of the trust property attributable to that person’s contribution except to the extent another person has the power to revoke or withdraw that portion.
(13) “Spendthrift provision” means a term of a trust which restrains transfer of a beneficiary’s interest.
(14) “State” means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. The term includes an Indian tribe or band recognized by federal law or formally acknowledged by a state.
(15) “Terms of a trust” means the manifestation of the settlor’s intent regarding a trust’s provisions as expressed in the trust instrument or as may be established by other evidence that would be admissible in a judicial proceeding.
(16) “Trust instrument” means an instrument that contains terms of the trust, including any amendments thereto.
(17) “Trustee” includes an original, additional, and successor trustee, and a co-trustee.
Section 104. [Knowledge.]
(a) Subject to subsection (b), a person has knowledge of a fact if the person:
(1) has actual knowledge of it;
(2) has received a notice or notification of it; or
(3) from all the facts and circumstances known to the person at the time in question, has reason to know it.
(b) An organization that conducts activities through employees has notice or knowledge of a fact involving a trust only from the time the information was received by an employee having responsibility to act for the trust, or would have been brought to the employee’s attention if the organization had exercised reasonable diligence. An organization exercises reasonable diligence if it maintains reasonable routines for communicating significant information to the employee having responsibility to act for the trust and there is reasonable compliance with the routines. Reasonable diligence does not require an employee of the organization to communicate information unless the communication is part of the individual’s regular duties or the individual knows a matter involving the trust would be materially affected by the information.
Section 105. [Default And Mandatory Rules.]
(a) Except as otherwise provided in the terms of the trust, this chapter governs the duties and powers of a trustee, relations among trustees, and the rights and interests of a beneficiary.
(b) The terms of a trust prevail over any provision of this chapter except:
(1) the requirements for creating a trust;
(2) the duty of a trustee to act in good faith and in accordance with the terms and purposes of the trust and the interests of the beneficiaries;
(3) the requirement that a trust have a purpose that is lawful and not contrary to public policy;
(4) the power of the court to modify or terminate a trust under sections 410 through 416;
(5) the effect of a spendthrift provision and the rights of certain creditors and assignees to reach a trust as provided in article 5;
(6) the power of the court under section 702 to require, dispense with, or modify or terminate a bond;
(7) the power of the court under section 708(b) to adjust a trustee’s compensation specified in the terms of the trust which is unreasonably low or high;
(8) the effect of an exculpatory term under section 1008;
(9) the rights under sections 1010 through 1013 of a person other than a trustee or beneficiary; and
(10) the power of the court to take such action and exercise such jurisdiction as may be necessary in the interests of justice.
Section 106. [Common Law of Trusts; Principles of Equity.] The common law of trusts and principles of equity supplement this chapter, except to the extent modified by this chapter or another statute of the commonwealth.
Section 107. [Reserved.]
Section 108. [Principal Place of Administration.]
(a) Without precluding other means for establishing a sufficient connection with the designated jurisdiction, terms of a trust designating the principal place of administration are valid and controlling if:
(1) a trustee’s principal place of business is located in or a trustee is a resident of the designated jurisdiction; or
(2) all or part of the administration occurs in the designated jurisdiction.
(b) Without precluding the right of the court to order, approve, or disapprove a transfer, the trustee, may, but has no affirmative duty to, transfer the trust’s principal place of administration to another state or to a jurisdiction outside of the United States.
(c) The trustee shall notify the qualified beneficiaries of a proposed transfer of a trust’s principal place of administration not less than 60 days before initiating the transfer. The notice of proposed transfer must include:
(1) the name of the jurisdiction to which the principal place of administration is to be transferred;
(2) the address and telephone number at the new location at which the trustee can be contacted;
(3) an explanation of the reasons for the proposed transfer;
(4) the date on which the proposed transfer is anticipated to occur; and
(5) the date, not less than 60 days after the giving of the notice, by which the qualified beneficiary must notify the trustee of an objection to the proposed transfer.
(d) The authority of a trustee under this section to transfer a trust’s principal place of administration terminates if a qualified beneficiary notifies the trustee of an objection to the proposed transfer on or before the date specified in the notice.
Section 109. [Methods and Waiver of Notice.]
(a) Notice to a person under this chapter or the sending of a document to a person under this chapter must be accomplished in a manner reasonably suitable under the circumstances and likely to result in receipt of the notice or document. Permissible methods of notice or for sending a document include first-class mail, personal delivery, or delivery to the person’s last known place of residence or place of business.
(b) Notice required under this chapter or a document required to be sent under this chapter need not be provided to a person whose identity or location is unknown to and not reasonably ascertainable by the trustee.
(c) Notice under this chapter or the sending of a document under this chapter may be waived by the person to be notified or sent the document.
(d) Notice of a judicial proceeding must be given as provided in the applicable rules of civil procedure.
Section 110. [Others Treated as Qualified Beneficiaries.]
(a) Whenever notice to qualified beneficiaries of a trust is required under this chapter, the trustee must also give notice to any other beneficiary who has sent the trustee a request for notice.
(b) A charitable organization expressly designated to receive distributions under the terms of a charitable trust has the rights of a qualified beneficiary under this chapter if the charitable organization, on the date the charitable organization’s qualification is being determined:
(1) is a distributee or permissible distributee of trust income or principal; or
(2) would be a distributee or permissible distributee of trust income or principal if the trust terminated on that date.
(c) A person appointed to enforce a trust created for the care of an animal or another non-charitable purpose as provided in section 408 or 409 has the rights of a qualified beneficiary under this chapter.
Section 111. [Non-judicial Settlement Agreements.]
(a) For purposes of this section, “interested persons” means persons whose consent would be required in order to achieve a binding settlement were the settlement to be approved by the court.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c), interested persons may enter into a binding non-judicial settlement agreement with respect to any matter involving a trust.
(c) A non-judicial settlement agreement is valid only to the extent it does not violate a material purpose of the trust and includes terms and conditions that could be properly approved by the court under this chapter or other applicable law.
(d) Matters that may be resolved by a non-judicial settlement agreement include:
(1) the interpretation or construction of the terms of the trust;
(2) the approval of a trustee’s report or accounting;
(3) direction to a trustee to refrain from performing a particular act or the grant to a trustee of any necessary or desirable power;
(4) the resignation or appointment of a trustee and the determination of a trustee’s compensation;
(5) transfer of a trust’s principal place of administration; and
(6) liability of a trustee for an action relating to the trust.
(e) Any interested person may request the court to approve a non-judicial settlement agreement, to determine whether the representation as provided in article 3 was adequate, and to determine whether the agreement contains terms and conditions the court could have properly approved.
Section 112. [Rules of Construction.]
The rules of construction that apply in the commonwealth to the interpretation of and disposition of property by will also apply as appropriate to the interpretation of the terms of a revocable trust and the disposition of the trust property. A “revocable trust”, for purposes of this section, means a trust that was (1) revocable by the settlor until the time of his or her death, (2) created or amended by the settlor after the effective date of this act, and (3) was intended to dispose of the settlor’s property at death (whether under will or otherwise and whether the trust was funded at the time of the settlor’s death or not).
Section 113. [Qualification of Foreign Trustee.]
A foreign corporate trustee is required to qualify as a foreign corporation doing business in the commonwealth if it maintains the principal place of administration of any trust within the commonwealth. A foreign co-trustee is not required to qualify in the commonwealth solely because its co-trustee maintains the principal place of administration in the commonwealth. Unless otherwise doing business in the commonwealth, local qualification by a foreign trustee, corporate or individual, is not required in order for the trustee to receive distribution from a local estate, to hold, invest in, manage or acquire property located in the commonwealth, or to maintain litigation. Nothing in this section affects a determination of what other acts require qualification as doing business in the commonwealth.
Section 201. [Role of Court in Administration of Trust.]
(a) The court may intervene in the administration of a trust to the extent its jurisdiction is invoked by an interested person or as provided by law.
(b) A trust is not subject to continuing judicial supervision unless ordered by the court.
(c) A judicial proceeding involving a trust may relate to any matter involving the trust’s administration, including a request for instructions and an action to declare rights.
Section 202. [Jurisdiction Over Trustee and Beneficiary.]
(a) By accepting the trusteeship of a trust having its principal place of administration in the commonwealth or by moving the principal place of administration to the commonwealth, the trustee submits personally to the jurisdiction of the courts of the commonwealth regarding any matter involving the trust.
(b) With respect to their interests in the trust, the beneficiaries of a trust having its principal place of administration in the commonwealth are subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of the commonwealth regarding any matter involving the trust. By accepting a distribution from such a trust, the recipient submits personally to the jurisdiction of the courts of the commonwealth regarding any matter involving the trust.
(c) This section does not preclude other methods of obtaining jurisdiction over a trustee, beneficiary, or other person receiving property from the trust.
Section 203. [Trust Proceedings; Dismissal of Matters Relating to Foreign Trusts.]
The court will not, over the objection of a party, entertain proceedings under section 201 involving a trust registered or having its principal place of administration in another state, unless (1) when all appropriate parties could not be bound by litigation in the courts of the state where the trust is registered or has its principal place of administration or (2) when the interests of justice otherwise would seriously be impaired. The court may condition a stay or dismissal of a proceeding under this section on the consent of any party to jurisdiction of the state in which the trust is registered or has its principal place of administration, or the court may grant a continuance or enter any other appropriate order.
Section 204. [Venue.]
A trust shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the probate and family court department of the trial court of the commonwealth for the county in which is located its principal place of administration. The principal place of administration of a testamentary trust shall be deemed to be the location of the court of the commonwealth in which the will creating the trust was granted informal or formal probate. Unless otherwise designated in the trust instrument, the principal place of administration of an inter vivos trust is the trustee’s usual place of business where the records pertaining to the trust are kept, or at the trustee’s residence if the trustee has no such place of business. In the case of co-trustees, the principal place of administration, if not otherwise designated in the trust instrument, is (1) the usual place of business of the corporate trustee if there is but one corporate co-trustee, or (2) the usual place of business or residence of the individual trustee who is a professional fiduciary if there is but one such person and no corporate co-trustee, and otherwise (3) the usual place of business or residence of any of the co-trustees as agreed upon by them.
Section 205. [Petition for Transfers of Trust Property Whose Disposition Depends upon the Death of an Absentee.]
(a) If a trustee holds trust property the disposition of which depends upon the death of an absentee whose death has not otherwise been determined, on or after the day five years after the date of the absentee’s disappearance the trustee, or any person who would be interested in the trust property were the absentee dead, may petition the court having jurisdiction of the trust for an order that the trust property be disposed of to the persons to whom and in the shares or proportions in which it would be distributed under the provisions of the trust if the absentee had died on that day.
(b) The court may direct the petitioner to report the results of, or make and report back concerning, a reasonably diligent search for the absentee in any manner that may seem advisable, including any or all of the following methods:
(1) by inserting in one or more suitable periodicals a notice requesting information from any person having knowledge of the whereabouts of the absentee;
(2) by notifying law enforcement officials, public welfare agencies and registers of deaths in appropriate locations of the disappearance of the absentee;
(3) by engaging the services of an investigator.
The costs of any search so directed shall be paid from the trust property.
(c) After any such report directed by the court under paragraph (b) above has been completed to the satisfaction of the court, notice of the hearing on the petition shall be given.
(d) If after the hearing the court finds that the facts warrant a presumption of death, it shall enter an appropriate order of disposition of the trust property and any undistributed net income.
Section 301. [Representation: Basic Effect.]
(a) Notice to a person who may represent and bind another person under this article has the same effect as if notice were given directly to the other person.
(b) The consent of a person who may represent and bind another person under this article is binding on the person represented unless the person represented objects to the representation before the consent would otherwise have become effective.
(c) Except as otherwise provided in section 602, a person who under this article may represent a settlor who lacks capacity may receive notice and give a binding consent on the settlor’s behalf.
(d) A settlor may not represent and bind a beneficiary under this article with respect to the termination or modification of a trust under section 411(a).
Section 302. [Representation by Holder of General Testamentary Power of Appointment.] To the extent there is no conflict of interest between the holder of a general testamentary power of appointment and the persons represented with respect to the particular question or dispute, the holder may represent and bind persons whose interests, as permissible appointees, takers in default, or otherwise, are subject to the power.
Section 303. [Representation by Fiduciaries and Parents.] To the extent there is no conflict of interest between the representative and the person represented or among those being represented with respect to a particular question or dispute:
(1) a conservator may represent and bind the estate that the conservator controls;
(2) a guardian may represent and bind the ward or protected person if a conservator has not been appointed;
(3) an agent having authority to act with respect to the particular question or dispute may represent and bind the principal;
(4) a trustee may represent and bind the beneficiaries of the trust;
(5) a personal representative of a decedent’s estate may represent and bind persons interested in the estate; and
(6) a parent may represent and bind the parent’s minor or unborn child if a conservator or guardian for the child has not been appointed.
Section 304. [Representation by Person Having Substantially Identical Interest.] Unless otherwise represented, a minor, incapacitated, or unborn individual, or a person whose identity or location is unknown and not reasonably ascertainable, may be represented by and bound by another having a substantially identical interest with respect to the particular question or dispute, but only to the extent there is no conflict of interest between the representative and the person represented.
Section 305. [Appointment of Guardian ad Litem.]
(a) If the court determines that an interest is not represented under this article, or that the otherwise available representation might be inadequate, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to receive notice, give consent, and otherwise represent, bind, and act on behalf of a minor, incapacitated, or unborn individual, or a person whose identity or location is unknown. A guardian ad litem may be appointed to represent several persons or interests.
(b) A guardian ad litem may act on behalf of the individual represented with respect to any matter arising under this chapter, whether or not a judicial proceeding concerning the trust is pending.
(c) In making decisions, a guardian ad litem may consider general benefit accruing to the living members of the individual’s family.
CREATION, VALIDITY, MODIFICATION, AND TERMINATION OF TRUST
Section 401. [Methods Of Creating Trust.] A trust may be created by:
(1) transfer of property to another person as trustee during the settlor’s lifetime or by will or other disposition taking effect upon the settlor’s death;
(2) declaration by the owner of property that the owner holds identifiable property as trustee; or
(3) exercise of a power of appointment in favor of a trustee.
Section 402. [Requirements For Creation.]
(a) A trust is created only if:
(1) the settlor has capacity to create a trust;
(2) the settlor indicates an intention to create the trust;
(3) the trust has a definite beneficiary or is:
(A) a charitable trust;
(B) a trust for the care of an animal, as provided in section 408; or
(C) a trust for a non-charitable purpose, as provided in section 409;
(4) the trustee has duties to perform; and
(5) the same person is not the sole trustee and sole beneficiary.
(b) A beneficiary is definite if the beneficiary can be ascertained now or in the future, subject to any applicable rule against perpetuities.
(c) A power in a trustee to select a beneficiary from an indefinite class is valid. If the power is not exercised within a reasonable time, the power fails and the property subject to the power passes to the persons who would have taken the property had the power not been conferred.
Section 403. [Trusts Created in Other Jurisdictions.] A trust not created by will is validly created if its creation complies with the law of the jurisdiction in which the trust instrument was executed, or the law of the jurisdiction in which, at the time of creation:
(1) the settlor was domiciled, had a place of abode, or was a national;
(2) a trustee was domiciled or had a place of business; or
(3) any trust property was located.
Section 404. [Trust Purposes.] A trust may be created only to the extent its purposes are lawful and not contrary to public policy.
Section 405. [Charitable Purposes; Enforcement.]
(a) A charitable trust may be created for the relief of poverty, the advancement of education or religion, the promotion of health, governmental or municipal purposes, or other purposes the achievement of which is beneficial to the community.
(b) If the terms of a charitable trust do not indicate a particular charitable purpose or beneficiary and do not provide a method to select such a purpose or beneficiary, the court may select one or more charitable purposes or beneficiaries. The selection must be consistent with the settlor’s intention to the extent it can be ascertained.
(c) The settlor of a charitable trust, among others, may maintain a proceeding to enforce the trust.
Section 406. [Creation of Trust Induced By Fraud, Duress, or Undue Influence.] A trust is void to the extent its creation was induced by fraud, duress, or undue influence.
Section 407. [Evidence of Oral Trust.] Except as required by a statute other than this chapter, a trust need not be evidenced by a trust instrument, but the creation of an oral trust and its terms may be established only by clear and convincing evidence.
Section 408. [Trust for Care of Animal.]
(a) A trust may be created to provide for the care of an animal alive during the settlor’s lifetime. The trust terminates upon the death of the animal or, if the trust was created to provide for the care of more than one animal alive during the settlor’s lifetime, upon the death of the last surviving animal.
(b) A trust authorized by this section may be enforced by a person appointed in the terms of the trust or, if no person is so appointed, by a person appointed by the court. A person having an interest in the welfare of the animal may request the court to appoint a person to enforce the trust or to remove a person appointed.
(c) Property of a trust authorized by this section may be applied only to its intended use, except to the extent the court determines that the value of the trust property exceeds the amount required for the intended use. Except as otherwise provided in the terms of the trust, property not required for the intended use must be distributed to the settlor, if then living, otherwise to the settlor’s successors in interest.
Section 409. [Non-charitable Trust Without Ascertainable Beneficiary.] Except as otherwise provided in section 408 or by another statute, the following rules apply:
(1) A trust may be created for a non-charitable purpose without a definite or definitely ascertainable beneficiary or for a non-charitable but otherwise valid purpose to be selected by the trustee.
(2) A trust authorized by this section may be enforced by a person appointed in the terms of the trust or, if no person is so appointed, by a person appointed by the court.
(3) Property of a trust authorized by this section may be applied only to its intended use, except to the extent the court determines that the value of the trust property exceeds the amount required for the intended use. Except as otherwise provided in the terms of the trust, property not required for the intended use must be distributed to the settlor, if then living, otherwise to the settlor’s successors in interest.
Section 410. [Modification or Termination of Trust; Proceedings for Approval or Disapproval.]
(a) In addition to the methods of termination prescribed by sections 411 through 414, a trust terminates to the extent the trust is revoked or expires pursuant to its terms, no purpose of the trust remains to be achieved, or the purposes of the trust have become unlawful, contrary to public policy, or impossible to achieve.
(b) A proceeding to approve or disapprove a proposed modification or termination under sections 411 through 416, or trust combination or division under section 417, may be commenced by a trustee or beneficiary, and a proceeding to approve or disapprove a proposed modification or termination under section 411 may be commenced by the settlor.
Section 411. [Modification or Termination of Non-charitable Irrevocable Trust by Consent.]
(a) If, upon petition, the court finds that the settlor and all beneficiaries consent to the modification or termination of a non-charitable irrevocable trust, the court may approve the modification or termination even if the modification or termination is inconsistent with a material purpose of the trust.
(b) A non-charitable irrevocable trust may be terminated upon consent of all of the beneficiaries if the court concludes that continuance of the trust is not necessary to achieve any material purpose of the trust. A non-charitable irrevocable trust may be modified upon consent of all of the beneficiaries if the court concludes that modification is not inconsistent with a material purpose of the trust.
(c) If not all of the beneficiaries consent to a proposed modification or termination of the trust under subsection (a) or (b), the modification or termination may be approved by the court if the court is satisfied that:
(1) if all of the beneficiaries had consented, the trust could have been modified or terminated under this section; and
(2) the interests of a beneficiary who does not consent will be adequately protected.
Section 412. [Modification or Termination Because of Unanticipated Circumstances or Inability to Administer Trust Effectively.]
(a) The court may modify the administrative or dispositive terms of a trust or terminate the trust if, because of circumstances not anticipated by the settlor, modification or termination will further the purposes of the trust. To the extent practicable, the modification must be made in accordance with the settlor’s probable intention.
(b) The court may modify the administrative terms of a trust if continuation of the trust on its existing terms would be impracticable or wasteful or impair the trust’s administration.
Section 413. [Reserved.]
Section 414. [Modification or Termination of Uneconomic Trust.]
(a) After notice to the qualified beneficiaries, the trustee of a trust consisting of trust property having a total value less than $200,000 may terminate the trust if the trustee concludes that the value of the trust property is insufficient to justify the cost of administration.
(b) The court may modify or terminate a trust or remove the trustee and appoint a different trustee if it determines that the value of the trust property is insufficient to justify the cost of administration.
(c) Upon termination of a trust under this section, the trustee shall distribute the trust property in a manner consistent with the purposes of the trust.
(d) This section does not apply to an easement for conservation or preservation.
(e) Action may be taken under this section regardless of any spendthrift or similar protective provision.
Section 415. [Reformation to Correct Mistakes.] The court may reform the terms of a trust, even if unambiguous, to conform the terms to the settlor’s intention if it is proved by clear and convincing evidence that the settlor’s intent or the terms of the trust were affected by a mistake of fact or law, whether in expression or inducement.
Section 416. [Reserved.]
Section 417. [Combination and Division of Trusts.] After notice to the qualified beneficiaries, a trustee may combine two or more trusts into a single trust or divide a trust into two or more separate trusts, if the result does not impair rights of any beneficiary or adversely affect achievement of the purposes of the trust.
CREDITOR’S CLAIMS; SPENDTHRIFT AND DISCRETIONARY TRUSTS
Section 501. [Rights of Beneficiary’s Creditor or Assignee.] To the extent a beneficiary’s interest is not subject to a spendthrift provision, the court may authorize a creditor or assignee of the beneficiary to reach the beneficiary’s interest by attachment of present or future distributions to or for the benefit of the beneficiary or other means. The court may limit the award to such relief as is appropriate under the circumstances.
Section 502. [Spendthrift Provision.]
(a) A spendthrift provision in any instrument executed after the effective date of this chapter is valid only if it restrains both voluntary and involuntary transfer of a beneficiary’s interest.
(b) A term of a trust providing that the interest of a beneficiary is held subject to a “spendthrift trust,” or words of similar import, is sufficient to restrain both voluntary and involuntary transfer of the beneficiary’s interest.
(c) A beneficiary may not transfer an interest in a trust in violation of a valid spendthrift provision and, except as otherwise provided in this article, a creditor or assignee of the beneficiary may not reach the interest or a distribution by the trustee before its receipt by the beneficiary.
Section 503. [Reserved.]
Section 504. [Reserved.]
Section 505. [Creditor’s Claim Against Settlor.]
(a) Whether or not the terms of a trust contain a spendthrift provision, the following rules apply:
(1) During the lifetime of the settlor, the property of a revocable trust is subject to claims of the settlor’s creditors.
(2) With respect to an irrevocable trust, a creditor or assignee of the settlor may reach the maximum amount that can be distributed to or for the settlor’s benefit and, if a trust has more than one settlor, the amount the creditor or assignee of a particular settlor may reach may not exceed the settlor’s interest in the portion of the trust attributable to that settlor’s contribution. Trust property shall not be considered distributable to or for the settlor’s benefit solely because the trustee is authorized by the terms of the trust to reimburse the settlor for any tax on trust income or capital gain that is payable by the settlor under the law imposing such tax; no creditor or assignee of the settlor of an irrevocable trust shall be entitled to reach any trust property based on the discretionary authority described in this sentence.
(3) After the death of a settlor, and subject to the settlor’s right to direct the source from which liabilities will be paid, the property of a trust that was revocable at the settlor’s death is subject to claims of the settlor’s creditors, the expenses of the settlor’s funeral and disposal of remains, and statutory allowances to a surviving spouse and children to the extent the settlor’s probate estate is inadequate to satisfy those claims, expenses, and allowances.
Section 506. [Overdue Distribution.]
(a) In this section, “mandatory distribution” means a distribution of income or principal which the trustee is required to make to a beneficiary under the terms of the trust, including a distribution upon termination of the trust. The term does not include a distribution subject to the exercise of the trustee’s discretion even if (1) the discretion is expressed in the form of a standard of distribution, or (2) the terms of the trust authorizing a distribution couple language of discretion with language of direction.
(b) Whether or not a trust contains a spendthrift provision, a creditor or assignee of a beneficiary may reach a mandatory distribution of income or principal, including a distribution upon termination of the trust, if the trustee has not made the distribution to the beneficiary within a reasonable time after the designated distribution date.
Section 507. [Personal Obligations of Trustee.] Trust property is not subject to personal obligations of the trustee, even if the trustee becomes insolvent or bankrupt.
Section 601. [Reserved.]
Section 602. [Revocation or Amendment of Revocable Trust.]
(a) Unless the terms of a trust expressly provide that the trust is irrevocable, the settlor may revoke or amend the trust. This subsection does not apply to a trust created under an instrument executed before the effective date of this chapter.
(b) If a revocable trust is created or funded by more than one settlor:
(1) to the extent the trust consists of community property, the trust may be revoked by either spouse acting alone but may be amended only by joint action of both spouses;
(2) to the extent the trust consists of property other than community property, each settlor may revoke or amend the trust with regard the portion of the trust property attributable to that settlor’s contribution; and
(3) upon the revocation or amendment of the trust by fewer than all of the settlors, the trustee shall promptly notify the other settlors of the revocation or amendment.
(c) The settlor may revoke or amend a revocable trust:
(1) by complying with a method provided in the terms of the trust; or
(2) if the terms of the trust do not provide a method, by any method manifesting clear and convincing evidence of the settlor’s intent.
(d) Upon revocation of a revocable trust, the trustee shall deliver the trust property as the settlor directs.
(e) A settlor’s powers with respect to revocation, amendment, or distribution of trust property may be exercised by an agent under a power of attorney only to the extent expressly authorized by the terms of the trust and the power.
(f) A trustee who does not know that a trust has been revoked or amended is not liable to the settlor or settlor’s successors in interest for distributions made and other actions taken on the assumption that the trust had not been amended or revoked.
Section 603. [Settlor’s Powers; Powers of Withdrawal.]
(a) While a trust is revocable and the settlor has capacity to revoke the trust, rights of the beneficiaries are subject to the control of, and the duties of the trustee are owed exclusively to, the settlor.
(b) During the period the power may be exercised, the holder of a non-lapsing power of withdrawal shall be treated for purposes of this section as if he or she were the settlor of a revocable trust to the extent of the property subject to the power.
Section 604. [Limitation on Action Contesting Validity of Revocable Trust; Distribution of Trust Property.]
(a) A person may commence a judicial proceeding to contest the validity of a trust that was revocable at the settlor’s death within the earlier of:
(1) one year after the settlor’s death; or
(2) 60 days after the trustee sent the person a copy of the trust instrument and a notice informing the person of the trust’s existence, of the trustee’s name and address, and of the time allowed for commencing a proceeding.
(b) Upon the death of the settlor of a trust that was revocable at the settlor’s death, the trustee may proceed to distribute the trust property in accordance with the terms of the trust. The trustee is not subject to liability for doing so unless:
(1) the trustee knows of a pending judicial proceeding contesting the validity of the trust; or
(2) a potential contestant has notified the trustee of a possible judicial proceeding to contest the trust and a judicial proceeding is commenced within 60 days after the contestant sent the notification.
(c) A beneficiary of a trust that is determined to have been invalid is liable to return any distribution received.
OFFICE OF TRUSTEE
Section 701. [Accepting or Declining Trusteeship.]
(a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c), a person designated as trustee accepts the trusteeship:
(1) by substantially complying with a method of acceptance provided in the terms of the trust; or
(2) if the terms of the trust do not provide a method or the method provided in the terms is not expressly made exclusive, by accepting delivery of the trust property, exercising powers or performing duties as trustee, or otherwise indicating acceptance of the trusteeship.
(b) A person designated as trustee who has not yet accepted the trusteeship may reject the trusteeship. A designated trustee who does not accept the trusteeship within a reasonable time after knowing of the designation is deemed to have rejected the trusteeship.
(c) A person designated as trustee, without accepting the trusteeship, may, but need not:
(1) act to preserve the trust property if, within a reasonable time after acting, the person sends a rejection of the trusteeship to the settlor or, if the settlor is dead or lacks capacity, to a qualified beneficiary; and
(2) inspect or investigate trust property to determine potential liability under environmental or other law or for any other purpose.
Section 702. [Duty to Provide Bond.]
In the case of a testamentary trust, a trustee shall furnish a bond for the performance of the trustee’s fiduciary duties and a surety shall be required unless waived by the terms of the trust, or found by the court to be not necessary to protect the interests of the beneficiaries. On petition of the trustee or other interested person the court may excuse a requirement of bond, reduce the amount of the bond, release the surety, or permit the substitution of another bond with the same or different sureties. When the instrument creating the trust exempts the trustee from furnishing a bond or limits the amount thereof, or the court determines that the bond is insufficient, the court may if it concludes that a bond be necessary or that a bond of a larger amount is necessary, require the furnishing of such bond.
Section 703. [Co-Trustees.]
(a) Co-trustees who are unable to reach a unanimous decision may act by majority decision.
(b) If a vacancy occurs in a co-trusteeship, the remaining co-trustees may act for the trust.
(c) A co-trustee must participate in the performance of a trustee’s function unless the co-trustee is unavailable to perform the function because of absence, illness, disqualification under other law, or other temporary incapacity or the co-trustee has properly delegated the performance of the function to another trustee.
(d) If a co-trustee is unavailable to perform duties because of absence, illness, disqualification under other law, or other temporary incapacity, and prompt action is necessary to achieve the purposes of the trust or to avoid injury to the trust property, the remaining co-trustee or a majority of the remaining co-trustees may act for the trust.
(e) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (f), a trustee who does not join in an action of another trustee is not liable for the action.
(f) Each trustee shall exercise reasonable care to:
(1) prevent a co-trustee from committing a breach of trust; and
(2) compel a co-trustee to redress a breach of trust.
(g) The provisions of this section permitting trustees to act in certain circumstances by majority rather than unanimity shall not apply with respect to trusts established under instruments executed before the effective date of this act.
Section 704. [Vacancy in Trusteeship; Appointment of Successor.]
(a) A vacancy in a trusteeship occurs if:
(1) a person designated as trustee rejects the trusteeship;
(2) a person designated as trustee cannot be identified or does not exist;
(3) a trustee resigns;
(4) a trustee is disqualified or removed;
(5) a trustee dies; or
(6) a guardian or conservator is appointed for an individual serving as trustee.
(b) If one or more co-trustees remain in office, a vacancy in a trusteeship need not be filled. A vacancy in a trusteeship must be filled if the trust has no remaining trustees.
(c) A vacancy in a trusteeship that is required to be filled must be filled in the following order of priority:
(1) by a person designated by the terms of the trust to act as successor trustee;
(2) by a person appointed by unanimous agreement of the qualified beneficiaries; or
(3) by a person appointed by the court.
(d) Whether or not a vacancy in a trusteeship exists or is required to be filled, the court may appoint an additional trustee or special fiduciary whenever the court considers the appointment necessary for the administration of the trust.
Section 705. [Resignation of Trustee.]
(a) A trustee may resign:
(1) upon at least 30 days’ notice to: (i) in the case of a revocable trust, the settlor and all co-trustees of the trust, and (ii) in the case of any other trust, the qualified beneficiaries and all co-trustees of the trust; or
(2) with the approval of the court.
(b) In approving a resignation, the court may issue orders and impose conditions reasonably necessary for the protection of the trust property.
(c) Any liability of a resigning trustee or of any sureties on the trustee’s bond for acts or omissions of the trustee is not discharged or affected by the trustee’s resignation.
Section 706. [Removal of Trustee.]
(a) The settlor, a co-trustee, or a beneficiary may request the court to remove a trustee, or a trustee may be removed by the court on its own initiative.
(b) The court may remove a trustee if:
(1) the trustee has committed a serious breach of trust;
(2) lack of cooperation among co-trustees substantially impairs the administration of the trust;
(3) because of unfitness, unwillingness, or persistent failure of the trustee to administer the trust effectively, the court determines that removal of the trustee best serves the interests of the beneficiaries; or
(4) there has been a substantial change of circumstances or removal is requested by all of the qualified beneficiaries, the court finds that removal of the trustee best serves the interests of all of the beneficiaries and is not inconsistent with a material purpose of the trust, and a suitable co-trustee or successor trustee is available.
(c) Pending a final decision on a request to remove a trustee, or in lieu of or in addition to removing a trustee, the court may order such appropriate relief under section 1001(b) as may be necessary to protect the trust property or the interests of the beneficiaries.
Section 707. [Delivery of Property by Former Trustee.]
A trustee who has resigned or been removed shall proceed expeditiously to deliver the trust property within the trustee’s possession to the co-trustee, successor trustee, or other person entitled to it.
Section 708. [Compensation of Trustee.]
(a) If the terms of a trust do not specify the trustee’s compensation, a trustee is entitled to compensation that is reasonable under the circumstances.
(b) If the terms of a trust specify the trustee’s compensation, the trustee is entitled to be compensated as specified, but the court may allow more or less compensation if:
(1) the duties of the trustee are substantially different from those contemplated when the trust was created; or
(2) the compensation specified by the terms of the trust would be unreasonably low or high.
Section 709. [Reimbursement of Expenses.]
(a) A trustee is entitled to be reimbursed out of the trust property, with interest as appropriate, for:
(1) expenses that were properly incurred in the administration of the trust; and
(2) to the extent necessary to prevent unjust enrichment of the trust, expenses that were not properly incurred in the administration of the trust.
(b) An advance by the trustee of money for the protection of the trust gives rise to a lien against trust property to secure reimbursement with reasonable interest.
DUTIES AND POWERS OF TRUSTEE
Section 801. [Duty to Administer Trust.] Upon acceptance of a trusteeship, the trustee shall administer the trust in good faith, in accordance with its terms and purposes and the interests of the beneficiaries, and in accordance with this chapter.
Section 802. [Duty of Loyalty.]
(a) A trustee shall administer the trust solely in the interests of the beneficiaries.
(b) Subject to the rights of persons dealing with or assisting the trustee as provided in section 1012, a sale, encumbrance, or other transaction involving the investment or management of trust property entered into by the trustee for the trustee’s own personal account or which is otherwise affected by a conflict between the trustee’s fiduciary and personal interests is voidable by a beneficiary affected by the transaction unless:
(1) the transaction was authorized by the terms of the trust;
(2) the transaction was approved by the court;
(3) the beneficiary did not commence a judicial proceeding within the time allowed by section 1005;
(4) the beneficiary consented to the trustee’s conduct, ratified the transaction, or released the trustee in compliance with section 1009; or
(5) the transaction involves a contract entered into or claim acquired by the trustee before the person became a trustee.
(c) A sale, encumbrance, or other transaction involving the investment or management of trust property is presumed to be affected by a conflict between personal and fiduciary interests if it is entered into by the trustee with:
(1) the trustee’s spouse; or
(2) the trustee’s descendants, siblings, parents, or their spouses.
(d) A transaction not concerning trust property in which the trustee engages in the trustee’s individual capacity involves a conflict between personal and fiduciary interests if the transaction concerns an opportunity properly belonging to the trust.
(e) An investment by a trustee in securities of an investment company or investment trust to which the trustee, or its affiliate, provides services in a capacity other than as trustee is not presumed to be affected by a conflict between personal and fiduciary interests if the investment otherwise complies with the prudent investor rule of chapter 203C. In addition to its compensation for acting as trustee, the trustee may be compensated by the investment company or investment trust for providing those services out of fees charged to the trust. If the trustee receives compensation from the investment company or investment trust for providing investment advisory or investment management services, the trustee must at least annually notify the persons entitled under section 813 to receive a copy of the trustee’s annual report of the rate and method by which that compensation was determined.
(f) In voting shares of stock or in exercising powers of control over similar interests in other forms of enterprise, the trustee shall act in the best interests of the beneficiaries.
(g) This section does not preclude the following transactions, if fair to the beneficiaries:
(1) an agreement between a trustee and a beneficiary relating to the appointment or compensation of the trustee;
(2) payment of reasonable compensation to the trustee;
(3) a transaction between a trust and another trust, decedent’s estate, or conservatorship of which the trustee is a fiduciary or in which a beneficiary has an interest;
(4) a deposit of trust money in a regulated financial-service institution operated by the trustee; or
(5) an advance or loan by the trustee of money to the trust for a proper trust purpose.
Section 803. [Impartiality.] If a trust has two or more beneficiaries, the trustee shall act impartially in investing, managing, and distributing the trust property, giving due regard to the beneficiaries’ respective interests.
Section 804. [Prudent Administration.] A trustee shall administer the trust as a prudent person would, considering the purposes, terms, and other circumstances of the trust. In satisfying this standard, the trustee shall exercise reasonable care, skill, and caution.
Section 805. [Costs of Administration.] In administering a trust, the trustee may incur only costs that are appropriate and reasonable in relation to the trust property, the purposes of the trust, and the skills of the trustee.
Section 806. [Trustee’s Skills.] A trustee who has special skills or expertise, or is named trustee in reliance upon the trustee’s representation that the trustee has such special skills or expertise, shall have a duty to use such special skills or expertise.
Section 807. [Delegation by Trustee.]
(a) A trustee may delegate duties and powers if it is prudent to do so. The trustee shall exercise reasonable care, skill, and caution in:
(1) selecting an agent;
(2) establishing the scope and terms of the delegation, consistent with the purposes and terms of the trust; and
(3) periodically reviewing the agent’s actions in order to monitor the agent’s performance and compliance with the terms of the delegation.
(b) In performing a delegated function, an agent owes a duty to the trust to exercise reasonable care to comply with the terms of the delegation.
(c) A trustee who complies with subsection (a) is not liable to the beneficiaries or to the trust for an action of the agent to whom the function was delegated.
(d) By accepting a delegation of powers or duties from the trustee of a trust that is subject to the law of the commonwealth, an agent submits to the jurisdiction of the courts of the commonwealth.
Section 808. [Powers to Direct.]
(a) While a trust is revocable, the trustee may follow a direction of the settlor that is contrary to the terms of the trust.
(b) If the terms of a trust confer upon a person other than the settlor of a revocable trust power to direct certain actions of the trustee, the trustee shall act in accordance with an exercise of the power unless the attempted exercise is manifestly contrary to the terms of the trust or the trustee knows the attempted exercise would constitute a serious breach of a fiduciary duty that the person holding the power owes to the beneficiaries of the trust.
(c) A person who holds a power to direct is presumptively a fiduciary who, as such, is required to act in good faith with regard to the purposes of the trust and the interests of the beneficiaries. The holder of a power to direct is liable for any loss that results from breach of a fiduciary duty.
Section 809. [Control and Protection of Trust Property.] A trustee shall take reasonable steps to take control of and protect the trust property.
Section 810. [Recordkeeping and Identification of Trust Property.]
(a) A trustee shall keep adequate records of the administration of the trust.
(b) A trustee shall keep trust property separate from the trustee’s own property.
(c) If the trustee maintains records clearly indicating the respective interests, a trustee may invest as a whole the property of two or more separate trusts.
Section 811. [Enforcement and Defense of Claims.] A trustee shall take reasonable steps to enforce claims of the trust and to defend claims against the trust.
Section 812. [Collecting Trust Property.] A trustee shall take reasonable steps to compel a former trustee or other person to deliver trust property to the trustee, and to redress a breach of trust known to the trustee to have been committed by a former trustee.
Section 813. [Duty to Inform and Report.]
(a) A trustee shall keep the qualified beneficiaries of the trust reasonably informed about the administration of the trust. Unless unreasonable under the circumstances, a trustee shall promptly respond to a qualified beneficiary’s request for information related to the administration of the trust.
(b) Within 30 days after acceptance of the trust or the trust becomes irrevocable, whichever is later, the trustee shall inform in writing the qualified beneficiaries of the trustee’s name and address. The information shall be delivered or sent by ordinary first class mail.
(c) A trustee shall send an account to the distributees and permissible distributees of trust income or principal, and to other qualified beneficiaries who request it, at least annually and at the termination of the trust. The account may be formal or informal, but shall include information relating to the trust property, liabilities, receipts, and disbursements, including the amount of the trustee’s compensation, a listing of the trust assets and, if feasible, their respective market values.
(d) A beneficiary may waive the right to a trustee’s account or other information otherwise required to be furnished under this section. A beneficiary, with respect to future accounts and other information, may withdraw a waiver previously given. A waiver of a trustee’s account or other information does not relieve the trustee from accountability and potential liability for matters that the account or other information would have disclosed.
Section 814. [Discretionary Powers; Tax Savings.]
(a) Notwithstanding the breadth of discretion granted to a trustee in the terms of the trust, including the use of such terms as “absolute”, “sole”, or “uncontrolled”, the trustee shall exercise a discretionary power in good faith and in accordance with the terms and purposes of the trust and the interests of the beneficiaries.
(b) Subject to subsection (d), and unless the terms of the trust expressly indicate that a rule in this subsection does not apply:
(1) a person other than a settlor who is a beneficiary and trustee of a trust that confers on the trustee a power to make discretionary distributions to or for the trustee’s personal benefit may exercise the power only in accordance with an ascertainable standard; and
(2) a trustee may not exercise a power to make discretionary distributions to satisfy a legal obligation of support that the trustee personally owes another person.
(c) A power whose exercise is limited or prohibited by subsection (b) may be exercised by a majority of the remaining trustees whose exercise of the power is not so limited or prohibited. If the power of all trustees is so limited or prohibited, the court may appoint a special fiduciary with authority to exercise the power.
(d) Subsection (b) does not apply to:
(1) a power held by the settlor’s spouse who is the trustee of a trust for which a marital deduction was previously allowed; or
(2) any trust during any period that the trust may be revoked or amended by its settlor.
Section 815. [General Powers of Trustee.]
(a) A trustee, without authorization by the court, may exercise:
(1) powers conferred by the terms of the trust; or
(2) except as limited by the terms of the trust:
(A) all powers over the trust property which an unmarried competent owner has over individually owned property;
(B) any other powers appropriate to achieve the proper investment, management, and distribution of the trust property; and
(C) any other powers conferred by this chapter.
(b) The exercise of a power is subject to the fiduciary duties prescribed by this article.
Section 816. [Specific Powers of Trustee.] Without limiting the authority conferred by section 815, a trustee may:
(1) collect trust property and accept or reject additions to the trust property from a settlor or any other person;
(2) acquire or sell property, for cash or on credit, at public or private sale;
(3) exchange, partition, or otherwise change the character of trust property;
(4) deposit trust money in an account in a regulated financial-service institution;
(5) borrow money, with or without security, and mortgage or pledge trust property for a period within or extending beyond the duration of the trust;
(6) with respect to an interest in a proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, business trust, corporation, or other form of business or enterprise, continue the business or other enterprise and take any action that may be taken by shareholders, members, or property owners, including merging, dissolving, or otherwise changing the form of business organization or contributing additional capital;
(7) with respect to stocks or other securities, exercise the rights of an absolute owner, including the right to:
(A) vote, or give proxies to vote, with or without power of substitution, or enter into or continue a voting trust agreement;
(B) hold a security in the name of a nominee or in other form without disclosure of the trust so that title may pass by delivery;
(C) pay calls, assessments, and other sums chargeable or accruing against the securities, and sell or exercise stock subscription or conversion rights; and
(D) deposit the securities with a depositary or other regulated financial-service institution;
(8) with respect to an interest in real property, construct, or make ordinary or extraordinary repairs to, alterations to, or improvements in, buildings or other structures, demolish improvements, raze existing or erect new party walls or buildings, subdivide or develop land, dedicate land to public use or grant public or private easements, and make or vacate plats and adjust boundaries;
(9) enter into a lease for any purpose as lessor or lessee, including a lease or other arrangement for exploration and removal of natural resources, with or without the option to purchase or renew, for a period within or extending beyond the duration of the trust;
(10) grant an option involving a sale, lease, or other disposition of trust property or acquire an option for the acquisition of property, including an option exercisable beyond the duration of the trust, and exercise an option so acquired;
(11) insure the property of the trust against damage or loss and insure the trustee, the trustee’s agents, and beneficiaries against liability arising from the administration of the trust;
(12) abandon or decline to administer property of no value or of insufficient value to justify its collection or continued administration;
(13) with respect to possible liability for violation of environmental law:
(A) inspect or investigate property the trustee holds or has been asked to hold, or property owned or operated by an organization in which the trustee holds or has been asked to hold an interest, for the purpose of determining the application of environmental law with respect to the property;
(B) take action to prevent, abate, or otherwise remedy any actual or potential violation of any environmental law affecting property held directly or indirectly by the trustee, whether taken before or after the assertion of a claim or the initiation of governmental enforcement;
(C) decline to accept property into trust or disclaim any power with respect to property that is or may be burdened with liability for violation of environmental law;
(D) compromise claims against the trust which may be asserted for an alleged violation of environmental law; and
(E) pay the expense of any inspection, review, abatement, or remedial action to comply with environmental law;
(14) pay or contest any claim, settle a claim by or against the trust, and release, in whole or in part, a claim belonging to the trust;
(15) pay taxes, assessments, compensation of the trustee and of employees and agents of the trust, and other expenses incurred in the administration of the trust;
(16) exercise elections with respect to federal, state, and local taxes;
(17) select a mode of payment under any employee benefit or retirement plan, annuity, or life insurance payable to the trustee, exercise rights thereunder, including exercise of the right to indemnification for expenses and against liabilities, and take appropriate action to collect the proceeds;
(18) make loans out of trust property, including loans to a beneficiary on terms and conditions the trustee considers to be fair and reasonable under the circumstances, and the trustee has a lien on future distributions for repayment of those loans;
(19) pledge trust property to guarantee loans made by others to the beneficiary;
(20) appoint a trustee to act in another jurisdiction with respect to trust property located in the other jurisdiction, confer upon the appointed trustee all of the powers and duties of the appointing trustee, require that the appointed trustee furnish security, and remove any trustee so appointed;
(21) pay an amount distributable to a beneficiary who is under a legal disability or who the trustee reasonably believes is incapacitated, by paying it directly to the beneficiary or applying it for the beneficiary’s benefit, or by:
(A) paying it to the beneficiary’s conservator or, if the beneficiary does not have a conservator, the beneficiary’s guardian;
(B) paying it to the beneficiary’s custodian under chapter 201A or custodial trustee under part 5 of Article VII of chapter 190B, and, for that purpose, creating a custodianship or custodial trust;
(C) if the trustee does not know of a conservator, guardian, custodian, or custodial trustee, paying it to an adult relative or other person having legal or physical care or custody of the beneficiary, to be expended on the beneficiary’s behalf; or
(D) managing it as a separate fund on the beneficiary’s behalf, subject to the beneficiary’s continuing right to withdraw the distribution;
(22) on distribution of trust property or the division or termination of a trust, make distributions in divided or undivided interests, allocate particular assets in proportionate or disproportionate shares, value the trust property for those purposes, and adjust for resulting differences in valuation;
(23) resolve a dispute concerning the interpretation of the trust or its administration by mediation, arbitration, or other procedure for alternative dispute resolution;
(24) prosecute or defend an action, claim, or judicial proceeding in any jurisdiction to protect trust property and the trustee in the performance of the trustee’s duties;
(25) sign and deliver contracts and other instruments that are useful to achieve or facilitate the exercise of the trustee’s powers;
(26) establish or continue title-holding entities, including so-called “nominee trusts” for the purposes of holding legal title to any portion or all of the trust property without the need to record or make public the terms of the trust; and
(27) on termination of the trust, exercise the powers appropriate to wind up the administration of the trust and distribute the trust property to the persons entitled to it.
Section 817. [Distribution upon Termination.]
(a) Upon termination or partial termination of a trust, the trustee may send to the beneficiaries a proposal for distribution. The right of any beneficiary to object to the proposed distribution terminates if the beneficiary does not notify the trustee of an objection within 30 days after the proposal was sent but only if the proposal (i) informed the beneficiary of the right to object and of the time allowed for objection and (ii) provided the beneficiary with sufficient material facts to enable the beneficiary to evaluate the proposal.
(b) Upon the occurrence of an event terminating or partially terminating a trust, the trustee shall proceed expeditiously to distribute the trust property to the persons entitled to it, subject to the right of the trustee to retain a reasonable reserve for the payment of debts, expenses, and taxes.
LIABILITY OF TRUSTEES AND RIGHTS OF
PERSONS DEALING WITH TRUSTEE
Section 1001. [Remedies for Breach of Trust.]
(a) A violation by a trustee of a duty the trustee owes to a beneficiary is a breach of trust.
(b) To remedy a breach of trust that has occurred or may occur, the court may:
(1) compel the trustee to perform the trustee’s duties;
(2) enjoin the trustee from committing a breach of trust;
(3) compel the trustee to redress a breach of trust by paying money, restoring property, or other means;
(4) order a trustee to account;
(5) appoint a special fiduciary to take possession of the trust property and administer the trust;
(6) suspend the trustee;
(7) remove the trustee as provided in section 7-308 of chapter 190B;
(8) reduce or deny compensation to the trustee;
(9) subject to section 1012, void an act of the trustee, impose a lien or a constructive trust on trust property, or trace trust property wrongfully disposed of and recover the property or its proceeds; or
(10) order any other appropriate relief.
Section 1002. [Reserved.]
Section 1003. [Reserved.]
Section 1004. [Reserved.]
Section 1005. [Limitation of Action Against Trustee.]
(a) Unless previously barred by adjudication, consent or limitation, any claim against a trustee for breach of trust is barred as to any beneficiary who has received a final account or other statement fully disclosing the matter and showing termination of the trust relationship between the trustee and the beneficiary unless a proceeding to assert the claim is commenced within six months after receipt of the final account or statement. In any event and notwithstanding lack of full disclosure a trustee who has issued a final account or statement received by the beneficiary and has informed the beneficiary of the location and availability of records for examination by the beneficiary is protected after three years. A beneficiary is deemed to have received a final account or statement if, being an adult, it is received by the beneficiary personally or if, being a minor or disabled person, it is received by the beneficiary’s representative as described in article 3.
(b) Where a claim is not barred by the provisions of subsection (a), a beneficiary may not commence a proceeding against a trustee for breach of trust more than three years after the date the beneficiary or a representative of the beneficiary knew or reasonably should have known of the existence of a potential claim for breach of trust.
(c) If subsections (a) and (b) do not apply, a judicial proceeding against a trustee for breach of trust must be commenced within five years after the first to occur of:
(1) the removal, resignation, or death of the trustee;
(2) the termination of the beneficiary’s interest in the trust; or
(3) the termination of the trust.
Section 1006. [Reliance on Trust Instrument.] A trustee who acts in reasonable reliance on the terms of the trust as expressed in the trust instrument is not liable to a beneficiary for a breach of trust to the extent the breach resulted from the reliance.
Section 1007. [Event Affecting Administration or Distribution.] If the happening of an event or change of status, including, but not limited to: birth, adoption, marriage, divorce, performance of educational requirements, or death, affects the administration or distribution of a trust, a trustee who has exercised reasonable care to ascertain the happening of the event or change of status is not liable for a loss resulting from the trustee’s lack of knowledge.
Section 1008. [Exculpation of Trustee.]
(a) A term of a trust relieving a trustee of liability for breach of trust is unenforceable to the extent that it:
(1) relieves the trustee of liability for breach of trust committed in bad faith or with reckless indifference to the purposes of the trust or the interests of the beneficiaries; or
(2) was inserted as the result of an abuse by the trustee of a fiduciary or confidential relationship to the settlor.
(b) An exculpatory term drafted or caused to be drafted by the trustee may be invalid as an abuse of a fiduciary or confidential relationship unless the trustee proves that its existence and contents were adequately communicated to the settlor.
Section 1009. [Beneficiary’s Consent, Release, or Ratification.] A trustee is not liable to a beneficiary for breach of trust if the beneficiary, while having capacity, in writing, consented to the conduct constituting the breach, released the trustee from liability for the breach, or ratified the transaction constituting the breach, unless:
(1) the consent, release, or ratification of the beneficiary was induced by improper conduct of the trustee; or
(2) at the time of the consent, release, or ratification, the beneficiary did not know of the material facts relating to the breach.
Section 1010. [Limitation on Personal Liability of Trustee.]
(a) Except as otherwise provided in the contract, a trustee is not personally liable on a contract properly entered into in the trustee’s fiduciary capacity in the course of administering the trust if the trustee in the contract disclosed the fiduciary capacity.
(b) A trustee is personally liable for torts committed in the course of administering a trust, or for obligations arising from ownership or control of trust property, including liability for violation of environmental law, only if the trustee is personally at fault.
(c) A claim based on a contract entered into by a trustee in the trustee’s fiduciary capacity, on an obligation arising from ownership or control of trust property, or on a tort committed in the course of administering a trust, may be asserted in a judicial proceeding against the trustee in the trustee’s fiduciary capacity, whether or not the trustee is personally liable for the claim.
Section 1011. [Interest as General Partner.]
(a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) or unless personal liability is imposed in the contract, a trustee who holds an interest as a general partner in a general or limited partnership is not personally liable on a contract entered into by the partnership after the trust’s acquisition of the interest if the fiduciary capacity was disclosed in the contract or in a statement previously filed pursuant to chapter 108A or chapter 109.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c), a trustee who holds an interest as a general partner is not personally liable for torts committed by the partnership or for obligations arising from ownership or control of the interest unless the trustee is personally at fault.
(c) The immunity provided by this section does not apply if an interest in the partnership is held by the trustee in a capacity other than that of trustee or is held by the trustee’s spouse or one or more of the trustee’s descendants, siblings, or parents, or the spouse of any of them.
(d) If the trustee of a revocable trust holds an interest as a general partner, the settlor is personally liable for contracts and other obligations of the partnership as if the settlor were a general partner.
Section 1012. [Protection of Person Dealing with Trustee.]
(a) A person other than a beneficiary who in good faith assists a trustee, or who in good faith and for value deals with a trustee, without knowledge that the trustee is exceeding or improperly exercising the trustee’s powers is protected from liability as if the trustee properly exercised the power.
(b) A person other than a beneficiary who in good faith deals with a trustee is not required to inquire into the extent of the trustee’s powers or the propriety of their exercise.
(c) A person who in good faith delivers assets to a trustee need not ensure their proper application.
(d) A person other than a beneficiary who in good faith assists a former trustee, or who in good faith and for value deals with a former trustee, without knowledge that the trusteeship has terminated is protected from liability as if the former trustee were still a trustee.
(e) Comparable protective provisions of other laws relating to commercial transactions or transfer of securities by fiduciaries prevail over the protection provided by this section.
Section 1013. [Certification of Trust.]
(a) Instead of furnishing a copy of the trust instrument to a person other than a beneficiary, the trustee may furnish to the person a certification of trust containing the following information:
(1) that the trust exists and the date the trust instrument was executed;
(2) the identity of the settlor;
(3) the identity and address of the currently acting trustee;
(4) the powers of the trustee;
(5) the revocability or irrevocability of the trust and the identity of any person holding a power to revoke the trust;
(6) the authority of co-trustees to sign or otherwise authenticate and whether all or less than all are required in order to exercise powers of the trustee;
(7) the trust’s taxpayer identification number; and
(8) the manner of taking title to trust property.
(b) A certification of trust may be signed or otherwise authenticated by any trustee.
(c) A certification of trust must state that the trust has not been revoked, modified, or amended in any manner that would cause the representations contained in the certification of trust to be incorrect.
(d) A certification of trust need not contain the dispositive terms of a trust.
(e) A recipient of a certification of trust may require the trustee to furnish copies of those excerpts from the original trust instrument and later amendments which designate the trustee and confer upon the trustee the power to act in the pending transaction.
(f) A person who acts in reliance upon a certification of trust without knowledge that the representations contained therein are incorrect is not liable to any person for so acting and may assume without inquiry the existence of the facts contained in the certification. Knowledge of the terms of the trust may not be inferred solely from the fact that a copy of all or part of the trust instrument is held by the person relying upon the certification.
(g) A person who in good faith enters into a transaction in reliance upon a certification of trust may enforce the transaction against the trust property as if the representations contained in the certification were correct.
(h) A person making a demand for the trust instrument in addition to a certification of trust or excerpts is liable for damages if the court determines that the person did not act in good faith in demanding the trust instrument.
(i) This section does not limit the right of a person to obtain a copy of the trust instrument in a judicial proceeding concerning the trust.
SECTION 3. (a) Except as otherwise provided in this act, on the effective date of this act:
(1) this act shall apply to all trusts created before, on, or after the effective date;
(2) this act shall apply to all judicial proceedings concerning trusts commenced on or after the effective date;
(3) this chapter shall apply to judicial proceedings concerning trusts commenced before the effective date unless the court finds that application of a particular provision of this chapter would substantially interfere with the effective conduct of the judicial proceedings or prejudice the rights of the parties, in which case the particular provision of this act shall not apply and the superseded law shall apply;
(4) an act done before the effective date shall not be affected by this act.
(b) If a right is acquired, extinguished, or barred upon the expiration of a prescribed period that has commenced to run under any other statute before the effective date of this act, that statute shall continue to apply to the right even if it has been superseded.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect on January 2, 2012.
Petitioners: Alice Hanlon Peisch