Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Friday, October 31, 2008

Fiduciary Duty and Utah's School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration

UtahJan McCosh-Hilder (J.D. Candidate, S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah) recently authored  an article entitled SITLA and Legislative Oversight – Wise Long-Term Direction Under Evolving Charitable Trust Duty, or Shortsighted Micromangement?, 29 J. Land Res. & Envtl. L. 393 (2008).

Here is an excerpt from the conclusion:

Under the current statutory construction of SITLA, and the present common-law definition of fiduciary duty, it is likely that SITLA's real estate development does not violate the duty to protect and preserve the trust corpus, and the legislature should forebear from micromanaging the day-to-day business activities of SITLA as it is discharging its present obligations. A more worthy objective is the development of a sustainable land-use policy. The legislature could advance this goal by either (1) amending Section 53C-1-202 of Utah Code Annotated, the statute directing the composition of the Board of Trustees, or (2) completing a study of state-wide land conservation needs and designating by Constitutional amendment, a portion of school trust lands protected from development for the benefit of future generations of the State's school children.


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