Decanting: Good for Wine and Trusts

Authority to appoint the property of an original trust to a second trust is commonly referred to as decanting authority. This gives authority to a trustee allowing him to adapt and revise the terms of a trust due to unforeseen circumstances or drafting errors.

Statutory decanting authority allows for modification of undesirable terms of an irrevocable trust when doing so would be in the best interests of the beneficiaries. Some examples of these modifications including changing the situs of a trust to a state with more favorable law; relocating trust assets to a state with no income tax imposed; combining multiple trusts to reduce administrative costs and dividing trusts to resolve conflicts among beneficiaries; correcting errors in drafting; and conforming the distribution provisions of a trust to the requirements of a special needs trust.

Consult your estate planning attorney for further information.