Practical Pointers for Practitioners: The First State Is First Again: Delaware’s Innovative New Trust Law Provides an Additional Trust Modification Tool

Brian M. Balduzzi is a fiduciary innovation strategist at Wilmington Trust, N.A. and a 2019–2021 ABA RPTE Fellow and a Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Committee member.

Delaware is called the First State because it was the first to ratify the US Constitution. Delaware is also the First State when determining which jurisdiction is the best for your clients’ personal trusts. Over the years, Delaware has been a pioneer of many innovative trust laws, including directed trusts, the prudent investor rule, domestic asset protection trusts, total return unitrusts, and noncharitable purpose trusts. Delaware continues this innovation with the addition of a new trust modification tool under its trust laws, providing that a fiduciary who holds the power to appoint a successor trustee may appoint multiple trustees and allocate the trustee’s duties among them.

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