Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Monday, August 19, 2013

Morse v. Kraft Authorizes Decanting in Massachusetts

Decanting

Decanting is the process of distributing trust property to another trust pursuant to a trustee’s discretionary authority.

In Morse v. Kraft, the Massachusetts Supreme Court recently authorized the practice of decanting without the consent or approval of a court or beneficiary.  This case involved a 1982 Trust created by Robert and Myra Craft and four separate subtrusts benefitting their four sons.  In 2012, the sole trustee, Richard Morse, was nearing retirement and wished to transfer the subtrust property into new subtrusts allowing for the sons to manage the assets of the subtrusts.

The court decided to follow the terms of the trust agreement. Because the trust granted Morse unlimited discretion in making outright distributions to beneficiaries, it also allowed him to make outright distributions in further trusts.  This broad grant of unlimited discretion evidenced the settlor’s intent to give the trustee authority to decant without beneficiary consent, court approval, or authorization by statutory law.

See William Linkous & Tiffany McKenzie, Massachusetts Supreme Court Approves Decanting in Kraft Family Trust, Bryan Cave Fiduciary Litigation, Aug. 19, 2013.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/trusts_estates_prof/2013/08/morse-v-kraft-authorizes-decanting-in-massachusetts.html

New Cases, Trusts | Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341bfae553ef01901ee1041d970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Morse v. Kraft Authorizes Decanting in Massachusetts:

Comments

Post a comment