Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

The Uniform Trust Code’s qualified-beneficiary concept confuses yet another court

Estate planningIn the matter of the Colecchia Family Trust, The litigation was focused on an irrevocable, income-only/use-only trust "under which the equitable property rights of remaindermen had vested ab initio." The Massachusetts Court of Appeals had to decide whether trustees were accountable to the remaindermen during the lifetimes of the current beneficiaries. The Court ultimately found that they were not. 

According to Charles E. Rounds, there are two major reasons why the Court made the wrong decisions: 

First, equitable non-possessory property rights in the remainder in corpus had vested ab initio. Second, the trustees had had a background overarching enforceable equitable duty to act in the interests of all beneficiaries, not just the current ones. See Massachusetts UTC §105(b)(2).

Apparently the Uniform Trust Code's qualified-beneficiary concept has been an issue for multiple courts, including the Appeals Court in Massachusetts. 

See Charles E. Rounds, Jr., The Uniform Trust Code’s qualified-beneficiary concept confuses yet another court, JD Supra, January 1, 2022. 

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.




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would point out that the Massachusetts statute does not include sub (b) of the definition of "qualified beneficiary," which would include a beneficiary who would take if the incumbent beneficiary died. it might be interesting to know why, if there is any legislative history.

Posted by: Russ Willis | Jan 2, 2022 12:26:52 PM

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