Tuesday, July 03, 2007

PA Uniform Trust Act Available Online (Unofficially)

Attorney Steve Seel, of the law firm Thorp, Reed & Armstrong, in Pittsburgh, through his business enterprise VirtuWill Solutions, Ltd.., has placed the entire text of Chapter 77 -- the "Pennsylvania Uniform Trust Act" -- of Title 20 (the Pennsylvania Probate, Estates & Fiduciaries Code) online in an unofficial version for free reference.

The PA UTA is based upon, but is not identical to, the Uniform Trust Code (2005 Version) offered by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL). As summarized by UTCProject, a version of the UTC has been enacted in twenty states, including Pennsylvania (see graphic above), by August, 2006.

The PA UTA, set forth in Title 20, Chapter 77 (effective November 6, 2006), consists of ten subchapters, which Steve posted at full length, but without the legislative comments:

A. General Provisions

B. Judicial Proceedings

C. Representation

D. Creation, Validity, Modification and Termination of Trust

E. Creditor’s Claims; Spendthrift and Discretionary Trusts

F. Revocable Trusts

G. Office of Trustee

H. Duties and Powers of Trustee

I. Liability of Trustees and Rights of Persons Dealing with Trustees

J. Miscellaneous Provisions

Since Pennsylvania remains the only state in the Union which does not post its enacted statutes online in an official form, Steve's effort to post this important new addition to the PEF Code is welcomed.

His effort will fill the information gap somewhat until the Legislature might someday authorize internet access of an official version of the Commonwealth's statutes. See: PA EE&F Law Blog postings
"Bills Propose PA Statutes Online!" (06/26/07), and "Sunshine Week" in PA Neglects Statutes (03/20/07).

Steve's posting of the PA UTA has its limitations, however. As a counterpart of Act 98 of 2006, Printer's No. 1969, IT IS NOT AN OFFICIAL VERSION; and therefore cannot be cited with reliance to a court. Only the enacted legislation (based upon Senate Bill 660 of 2005, as amended & approved by the Legislature, and then signed by the Governor) can be cited as such authority. For enactment information, see:
PA EE&F Law Blog posting "PA Enacts a Uniform Trust Act" (09/06/06).

If you have comments about Steve's online text counterpart version of the PA UTA, you may contact him at: sseel@virtuwillsolutions.com. Again, his unofficial posting of the PA UTA is found online here.