Wednesday, September 06, 2006

PA Enacts a Uniform Trust Act

On July 7, 2006, the Governor of Pennsylvania signed Senate Bill 660 into law as Act 98 of 2006. The final legislation, as signed into law, is found online in bill form as Printer's No. 1969.

This statute -- five years in the drafting and presentment to the Pennsylvania Legislature -- codifies the law of trusts in Pennsylvania into a new Chapter 77 of the Pennsylvania Probate, Estates & Fiduciaries Code (Title 20 of PA. Consolidated Statutes).

The general provisions of the new PA UTA will take effect on November 4, 2006. [CORRECTION: The real effective date is Monday, November 6, 2006, as explained in a subsequent posting.]

The principal & income provisions of the Act already took effect 60 days after signing. Pennsylvania's repeal of the "Rule Against Perpetuities" will be effective January 1, 2007. Other provisions regarding notices applicable to irrevocable trusts in effect on the effective date will be phased in over two years.

According to "UTCProject", the website dedicated to tracking such state enactments
, despite Pennsylvania's customization to address well-developed procedures and established case law decisions in the Commonwealth, the PA UTA still is considered to be an enactment of the form of the national model Uniform Trust Code (National UTC).

The National UTC was prepared by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, and is available online in its final 2005 form here.

Additional links regarding the PA UTA:

Original (November, 2003) Joint State Government Commission Report to the Legislature, based on its Decedents' Estate Law Advisory Committee recommendations, for an originally-proposed PA UTA statute.

Supplemental (April, 2005) Joint State Government Commission Report for an updated proposed PA UTA statute.

Official Legislative History of changes made during the process of consideration are reflected in the two prior versions (P.N. 754 & P.N. 1423) prior to the finalization of SB 660 into P.N. 1969, which was signed by the Governor.

Update on 10/03/06:

A chart of
"Significant Differences in States’ Enacted Uniform Trust Codes" (67 pages, in PDF format), compares various state enactments (including Pennsylvania's) against the National UTC. It is available online here. The chart notes that it "was created as an unofficial in-house NCCUSL document and is not for general publication." Yet, it was made available online, and so may be helpful (in an unofficial way) to highlight the significant deviations of the PA UTA from the National UTC.