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In Trustees We Trust

New York’s Estate Powers and Trust Law welcomes the recent addition of EPTL 10-6.6 (c), enacted August 17, 2011. A product of the Trusts Estates and Surrogates Court’s Committee of the New York City Bar Association, the new section clarifies much of the ambiguity within the preexisting statute.

Under the new legislation trustees may discretionarily invade a trust’s principal in order to fund a new trust. Prior to the enactment, a trustee was required to have “absolute discretion” in order to accomplish the forgoing. Now, a trustee having “any authority” may invade a trust for the benefit of another. “Any authority” is broadly defined and is not hindered by spendthrift clauses or any provision that prohibits the amendment or revocation of the trust. Trustees, however, remain under a duty to exercise their powers as a reasonably prudent person would under the circumstances presented.

– Stefanie L. DeMario, J.D.

New York Bar, Admission Pending; New Jersey Bar, Admission Pending


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