The Uniform Trust Code is a model law that has been adopted in part or in whole by several states. The DC Uniform Trust Code can be found in Title 19 of the District of Columbia code and the District of Columbia adoptive provisions from the Uniform Trust Code in 2003. Consult with a DC trusts lawyer about any concerns or questions regarding the Uniform Trust Code.
The Uniform Trust Code addresses topics such as the creation, modification, and validity of a trust. In addition, it addresses the duties and powers of the trustees. Furthermore, the Uniform Trust Code provides the procedure and circumstances for a non-judicial modification of a trust origin, called a non-judicial settlement agreement. The UTC also provides laws for construction and administration of the trust.
General Rule of Representation
The rule regarding representation generally describes a principle that one beneficiary or one person can bind another beneficiary of a trust and may accept notice on that beneficiary’s behalf. The Uniform Trust Code provides specific provisions regarding representation, and the purpose of the representation is that, in the event that consents are required or notice is required, certain beneficiaries or certain individuals can bind others who may not have the ability to bind themselves yet.
For example, a parent may represent and bind a minor or even an unborn child so that the trust can be modified in certain circumstances.
When There is No Conflict of Interest
Generally, the Uniform Trust Code states that, to the extent that there are no conflicts of interest between a representative and the person represented, with respect to a particular dispute about a minor’s capacity, unborn individual, or a person whose location is unknown and not attainable they may be represented and bound by another having this essential, identical interest in the trust.
For example, if a beneficiaries of a trust are a class of children and there is no conflict of interest present regarding a requested change or modification to the trust, then one child could in theory, bind either the unborn children in the class or even the born children who are minor children.
The term “qualified beneficiary” is defined in the Uniform Trust Code as a beneficiary who on the date of the beneficiary’s qualification is determined because the person is a distributee or permissible distributee of either principle or income, or would be a distributee or permissible distributee of trust income or principle, if the interest of the distributee is terminated. Also, the individual would be a distributee or permissible distributee of trust or income principle if the trust is terminated on a specific date.
Qualified Power of Appointment
Qualified power of appointment with regards to the Uniform Trust Code is one of the mechanisms that an individual can use to bind a beneficiary of the trust or represent a beneficiary of the trust. In essence, the holder of a power of appointment may represent and bind those individuals who are permissible appointees or takers in default, which are subject to the power.
The qualified power of appointment is the right to exercise a power in favor of the power holder, him or herself. The power holders are the state or the power holder’s creditors and the creditors of the power holders of the state.
Information Trustees Must Provide Beneficiaries
Generally, a trustee should keep the qualified beneficiaries of the trust reasonably informed about the administration of the trust and any of the facts necessary for them to protect their interest. In addition, upon request, generally a trustee should promptly furnish a copy of the trust instrument to a beneficiary. In general, a trustee should also notify qualified beneficiaries within 60 days after the acceptance of a trusteeship.
In the event that a trustee has changed, the qualified beneficiaries should be made aware. Furthermore, the qualified beneficiary should be made aware within 60 days after the day that that trustee acquires knowledge of the creation of an irrevocable trust or the date that the trustee acquires knowledge that a formally revocable trust has become irrevocable. Also, the trustee shall notify the qualified beneficiaries in advance of any change in the method or rate of the trustee’s compensation.