Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Journal

Settlor-Authorized Fiduciary Indifference to Trust Purposes and the Interests of Beneficiaries under the Uniform Trust Code

by James P. Spica

James P. Spica, Attorney, Chalgian & Tripp Law Offices, Southfield, Michigan, is an ACTEC Fellow, a Uniform Law Commissioner, and a sometime American Bar Association Advisor to the ULC. He is the principal author of several Michigan statutes, including the Personal Property Trust Perpetuities Act (2008 Mich. Pub. Act 148). He clerked for Hon. Richard C. Wilbur on the United States Tax Court (1985) and taught jurisprudence, taxation, and trusts and estates as an Assistant/Associate Professor of Law at the University of Detroit Mercy (1989–2000, tenured 1996). This Article expands upon observations made in his recently published article, James P. Spica, Settlor-Authorized Fiduciary Indifference to Trust Purposes and the Interests of Beneficiaries, 45 ACTEC L.J. 73 (2019).

Author’s Synopsis:

Almost twenty years after the promulgation of the Uniform Trust Code, the Uniform Directed Trust Act touched on a latent ambiguity in the UTC’s specification of a trustee’s “fundamental obligation.” The resolution of that ambiguity is doctrinally knotty; the UDTA cuts the knot by means of a “Legislative Note”; this Article suggests how the knot might rather be untied.

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