December 8, 2019

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California's New Uniform Trust Decanting Act

In a recent post, I remarked that as a corporate and securities lawyer I was unfamiliar with the term "decanting" in respect to trusts.  Much to my surprise, I have since learned that last year California actually enacted a uniform trust decanting law.  Cal. Stats. ch. 407 (SB 909 (Hertzberg)).  According to the legislative digest, the new law allows "a fiduciary of an irrevocable trust may distribute the property of a first trust to one or more 2nd trusts or modify the terms of the first trust without the consent of the beneficiaries or approval of the court, subject to certain exceptions". 

The source of the law is the California Commission on Uniform State Laws.  The CCUSL was created more than a century ago to represent the state on the national Uniform Law Commission.  It is part of the Legislative Counsel Bureau.  Cal. Gov't Code § 10270.  The CCUSL is required to "do all in its power to promote uniformity in state laws upon all subjects where uniformity is deemed desirable and practicable".  Cal. Gov't Code § 10280.

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About this Author

Keith Paul Bishop, Corporate Transactions Lawyer, finance securities attorney, Allen Matkins Law Firm

Keith Paul Bishop is a partner in Allen Matkins' Corporate and Securities practice group, and works out of the Orange County office. He represents clients in a wide range of corporate transactions, including public and private securities offerings of debt and equity, mergers and acquisitions, proxy contests and tender offers, corporate governance matters and federal and state securities laws (including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the Dodd-Frank Act), investment adviser, financial services regulation, and California administrative law. He regularly advises clients...