New York Trust Decanting Law Substantially Revised


On August 17, 2011, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that substantially revises New York’s trust decanting statute, NY EPTL 10-6.6. New York was the first state to enact a decanting law in 1992. The statute offers one effective method to revise or update otherwise irrevocable trusts. The revisions to the statute significantly expand its scope, including the following changes:

“Absolute discretion” standard expanded. Under the old New York law, the trustee had to have “absolute discretion” to invade the trust principal in order to be able to decant the trust. The new law relaxes this requirement.

Under the new law, if the trustee has “unlimited discretion” to distribute the trust principal, the trustee may decant the trust in favor of one or more of the trust beneficiaries, to the exclusion of others.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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