Charles E. Rounds, Jr. – Suffolk University Law School

Conflating tax law and trust law: The strange case of Ciampa v. Bank of America.

Under the Internal Revenue Code, an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) may be a trust. See 26 U.S. Code § 408(a). Or it may be a custodianship. See sub-section (h) to §408. Here is sub-section (h) verbatim: FOR PURPOSES OF…more
| Administrative Law, Business Organizations, Finance & Banking, Taxation, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

A permissible beneficiary's equitable property interest under an irrevocable discretionary trust is contingent, not vested, the divorce case of Pfannenstiehl vs. Pfannenstiehl notwithstanding

A permissible beneficiary’s equitable property interest under a discretionary trust is contingent, not vested. The critical condition precedent that renders the interest contingent is that the trustee must exercise his…more
| Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies, Family Law, Professional Malpractice, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

Is a Hungarian trust a clone of the Anglo-American trust, or just a type of contract?: Parsing the asset-management provisions of the New Hungarian Civil Code.

On March 15, 2014, the Hungarian Parliament enacted into law the New Hungarian Civil Code (NHCC). The NHCC creates out of whole cloth a civil law fiduciary asset-management vehicle (FAM) that in form and function bears some…more
| Administrative Law, Business Organizations, Commercial Law & Contracts, International Law & Trade, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

Whether the trust relationship should be fundamentally transmogrified into a juristic entity/person

In re Estate of Fournier, 902 A.2d 852 (Me. 2006) illustrates how a fundamental conversion of the trust relationship by legislation or otherwise into a juristic entity/person might well limit the trust’s practical applicability,…more
| Business Organizations, Family Law, Real Estate - Commercial, Real Estate - Residential, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

A trust is not an agency

The trustee is not an agent of the beneficiary. The trustee's duty not to delegate the administration of the trust could well be implicated if the trustee without authority were to behave as if he were the beneficiary's agent…more
| Business Organizations, Finance & Banking, Family Law, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning, Nonprofit Law

The Crummey trust: Keeping both the IRS and the creditors at bay is taking some fancy footwork

Since Crummey v. Commissioner was decided in 1968, the IRS has been making life difficult for the settlors of Crummey trusts. Only recently the parties again skirmished, this time over whether an in terrorem clause in the…more
| Administrative Law, Civil Remedies, Insurance, Taxation, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

Why trustees need to know something about will residue clauses

The Anglo-American trust is an invention of the judiciary, specifically the English Court of Chancery. The will, a testamentary instrument, on the other hand, is a creature of statute. The testamentary trust is a product of the…more
| Business Organizations, Conflict of Laws, Family Law, Taxation, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

Trust Law’s Material Purpose Doctrine, the Traditional Protector of Settlor-Intent is Under Attack: The TEDRA Factor

In recent years, reformers of trust law have been hard at work defanging the plain meaning rule, primarily by liberalizing the doctrines of reformation and deviation. The rule is discussed generally in §8.15.6 of Loring and…more
| Conflict of Laws, Family Law, Real Estate - Residential, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning, Real Estate - Commercial

Does the trustee who socially invests entrusted funds breach his/her/its fiduciary duty of undivided loyalty, absent express authority to do so in the trust’s terms?

On February 8, 2015, The University of California Student Association [which purports to represent all 240,000 students enrolled in the UC system’s 10 campuses] passed [9-1-5] the following resolution, which, in part, calls upon…more
| Education, Family Law, Finance & Banking, Nonprofit Law, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

The Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code: Context, Content, and Critique

The law review article "The Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code: Context, Content and Critique," 96 Mass. L. Rev. 27 (2014), co-authored by Courtney J. Maloney and Charles E. Rounds, Jr., contains a detailed discussion of the…more
| Business Organizations, Civil Remedies, Family Law, Insurance, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

The liability of a trustee who honors a fraudulent exercise of a power of appointment

A trustee who transfers trust property to a permissible appointee for the benefit of an impermissible appointee such that the fraud on a special power doctrine is implicated incurs no liability as a consequence, unless the…more
| Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies, Family Law, Taxation, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

Guarding against a Trust's Destruction by Merger

A trust is not a trust if the “trustee” alone holds legal title to the subject property and alone possesses the entire beneficial/equitable interest. Instead, he owns the subject property outright and free of trust, all…more
| Administrative Law, Art, Entertainment, & Sports Law, Criminal Law, Family Law, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

Neither the non-charitable corporation, itself, nor its directors hold the corporate assets in trust, absent special facts.

A charitable corporation is more a trust than a corporation, a topic that is taken up in an earlier posting on this site. See In the case of a…more
| Bankruptcy, Business Organizations, Nonprofit Law, Real Estate - Commercial, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

Is a human corpse property that can be made the subject of a trust?

While a pet may be put into a trust, its human owner may not be. Nor under traditional principles of property and trust law may the corpse of a deceased human being be made the subject of a trust. Charles E. Rounds, Jr.,…more
| Constitutional Law, Family Law, Privacy, Health, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

The fiduciary exception to the attorney-client privilege: A recent development

In a suit by the beneficiary against the trustee, is the trustee entitled to assert the attorney-client privilege against the beneficiary, or is there a fiduciary exception to the attorney-client privilege? As to communications…more
| Administrative Law, Privacy, Professional Malpractice, Taxation, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning
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