Uniform Trust Code Revives the Historical Purposes of Trusts and Reiterates the Importance of the Settlor's Intent, The
Patterson, Benjamin D.
INTRODUCTION|An accepted principle of trust law is that a trust exists for the benefit of its beneficiaries and the trustee has a duty to manage the assets of the trust for the benefit of those beneficiaries. Traditionally, the trustee had a duty to carry out the settlor's intent regarding the terms of the trust and the settlor was permitted to set forth the duties of the trustee in the trust instrument. The Uniform Trust Code ("UTC"), adopted by twenty-one jurisdictions, codifies the common-law principle that a settlor's intent controls the provisions of the trust, while also setting forth a standard that creates both uniformity and predictability. Courts in jurisdictions not adopting the UTC lack both a standard and guidance when determining issues of trust law. This Article will first demonstrate that the historical purposes of living trusts were to benefit the beneficiary and that the settlor's intent was a controlling factor in enforcing and interpreting trust agreements. This Article will then examine the UTC's attempt to codify a uniform approach to balance the beneficiary's interests and the settlor's intent. This Article will then discuss critic's opposition pertaining to the need to follow the settlor's intent as well as the "benefit-the-beneficiary" rule provided for in the UTC. Next, this Article will evaluate cases from jurisdictions that have adopted the UTC...
43 Creighton L. Rev. 905 (2009-2010)
Creighton University School of Law