Discretionary Distribution Standards In Estate Planning

Webinar: ID# 1022832
Recorded CD
About This Course:
The wording of a discretionary distribution standard can have tremendous consequences, positive and negative, for the settlor, the beneficiaries, and the trustee.

Discretionary language must be carefully tailored to meet a client's objectives, and this requires a thorough understanding of the legal principles that govern the interpretation of a discretionary standard.

Failure to draft carefully can result in estate inclusion for the settlor and/or the beneficiary, can convert a discretionary trust into a mandatory support trust, and can make administration a confusing exercise in complexity for the trustee.

This webinar will help you understand and plan for the drafting traps awaiting the unwary with respect to discretionary distribution standards. It will explain the factors that increase and decrease a trustee's discretion and a beneficiary's right to enforce a distribution.


The Line Between a Discretionary and a Mandatory Distribution Standard Has Been Blurred
  • May vs. Shall, and When Does 'Shall' Still Create a Discretionary Standard?
  • How Will a Distribution Provision Affect Estate Inclusion for the Settlor?
  • Effect of Savings Clauses and Limiting Clauses
Enforceability of Standard by Beneficiaries and Creditors
  • When Does a Beneficiary Have an Enforceable Right to a Distribution?
  • When Can a Creditor of a Beneficiary Force a Distribution?
  • What Broadens and Narrows Trustee Discretion?
  • What Is the Effect of Language Making Discretion Uncontrolled or Unreviewable?
  • When Must a Trustee Consider Other Resources Available to the Beneficiary?
Preserving Flexibility and Avoiding Litigation
  • Importance of Drafting Clearly and Understanding How Language Is Interpreted
  • Weight Given to Intent and Purpose
  • Private Trustee Removal - A Very Powerful Tool
About The Presenter

Geoff N. Germane, AEP, EPLS
  • Shareholder in Utah’s largest law firm, Kirton McConkie PC
  • Practice focuses on estate, business, tax and asset protection planning
  • Regularly presents on latest techniques in the area of estate planning, tax planning, business succession and charitable giving
  • Published writer in several national periodicals, including Estate Planning magazine
  • Past president of the Utah Valley Estate Planning Council; board member of BYU Management Society, Utah Valley chapter; member of Utah Valley University Gift Planning Advisory Board
  • Adjunct faculty member, business law and estate planning, BYU Marriott School and Utah Valley University
Discretionary Distribution Standards In Estate Planning
Available on CD format
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