TITLE 12

Decedents' Estates and Fiduciary Relations

Fiduciary Relations

CHAPTER 35. TRUSTS

Subchapter II. Accounting and Distribution of Trust Funds


Except as otherwise provided in §§ 3522-3524 of this title, trustees (which term, as used in this subchapter, includes successor trustees) shall not be required to file any accounts or inventories with respect to a trust. Trustees required, under §§ 3522-3524 of this title, to file accounts or inventories with respect to a trust shall do so as described in § 3525 of this title, unless later released from such obligation under § 3526 of this title.

79 Del. Laws, c. 352, § 4.;

Trustees of an inter vivos trust (whether or not property was bequeathed or devised to such trust by a testamentary disposition) shall not be required to file any accounts or inventories with respect to such trust, except:

(1) To the extent provided in the governing instrument;

(2) Upon an order of the Court of Chancery, for cause shown, expressly requiring an accounting by such trustees; or

(3) If such trustees were appointed by the Court of Chancery, then as may be otherwise provided in the order of appointment.

79 Del. Laws, c. 352, § 4.;

Trustees named in wills probated prior to April 5, 1909, may file and submit accounts of their trusts at such times as they deem necessary and they shall be required to file and submit accounts only upon a rule of the Register in Chancery issued upon them pursuant to the written request of any one beneficially interested in their trusts or upon the order of the Court of Chancery.

25 Del. Laws, c. 226, § 2; 26 Del. Laws, c. 258, § 1; Code 1915, § 3874; 40 Del. Laws, c. 232, § 1; Code 1935, § 4400; 12 Del. C. 1953, § 3523; 79 Del. Laws, c. 352, § 4.;

Trustees of a testamentary trust shall be required to file accounts as described in § 3525 of this title, except that:

(1) Trustees subject to § 3523 of this title shall file accounts only in accordance with such section.

(2) Trustees of a testamentary trust established under the will of a decedent dying after July 31, 2005, shall be required to file accounts as described in § 3525 of this title only in accordance with the express terms, if any, of any such trust or upon order of the Court of Chancery with respect to any such trust.

79 Del. Laws, c. 352, § 4.;

(a) Trustees required to file accounts as provided in the governing instrument, or in an order of the Court of Chancery, shall file accounts as described in subsection (c) of this section only in accordance with the express terms, if any, of such governing instrument or order.

(b) Trustees otherwise required to file accounts under §§ 3523 and 3524 of this title shall file accounts as described in subsection (c) of this section.

(c) To the extent required in subsections (a) and (b) of this section above, trustees required to file accounts shall file with the Register in Chancery, in the county in which a will creating the trust was probated or in which such appointments were made, and submit for the approval of the Court of Chancery just and true accounts, showing all receipts and disbursements of their trusts, as the Court requires, but not oftener than once in 2 years, unless there is special occasion. Such accounts shall also show the manner in which the principal of the trust is invested. Upon the request of the trustee or of any party in interest the Court shall, and upon its own motion may, proceed to approve or disapprove the investments, but otherwise the Court shall approve or disapprove the remainder of the account without passing upon the manner in which the principal of the trust is invested.

25 Del. Laws, c. 226, § 2; 26 Del. Laws, c. 258, § 1; Code 1915, § 3874; 40 Del. Laws, c. 232, § 1; Code 1935, § 4400; 12 Del. C. 1953, § 3521; 51 Del. Laws, c. 326; 79 Del. Laws, c. 197, § 2; 79 Del. Laws, c. 352, § 4.;

(a) Without the approval of the Court of Chancery, a trustee or trustees (in either case hereafter referred to as "trustee'') who would otherwise be required under §§ 3521-3524 of this title to file with the Register in Chancery just and true accounts for the approval of the Court of Chancery may be released from such obligation by the interested parties of the trust if the trustee sends a written notice and request for waiver and consent or nonobjection to the interested parties, which notice shall:

(1) Describe the obligation of the trustee under §§ 3521-3524 of this title and identify the alternative means by which the trustee will provide the beneficiaries with the information formerly set forth in the account;

(2) Request the interested person waive the obligations under subsection (a) of this section with respect to the trust and consent, or signify such person's nonobjection, to the alternative means described in the notice for the dissemination of trust information; and

(3) Request that a waiver and consent or nonobjection be executed by:

a. The interested party personally;

b. The interested party's attorney ad litem;

c. A person authorized to represent the interested party under § 3547 of this title or any successor statute; or

(4) A person authorized by applicable law to represent the interested party in transactions involving the trust (such as, but not limited to, the interested party's attorney-in-fact or the Attorney General in the case of certain charitable beneficiaries).

In addition, such waiver and consent or nonobjection shall: (i) be acknowledged by a person authorized to notarize documents (or a similar official if a document is signed in a foreign jurisdiction) or witnessed by a person who is not an interested party; and (ii) affirm that the party executing the waiver and consent or nonobjection has read, understood, and been provided with an opportunity to consult with counsel regarding the waiver and consent or nonobjection and the information provided therein.

(b) For purposes of subsection (a) of this section, the "interested parties'' means:

(1) The trustor of the trust, if living;

(2) All living persons who are currently receiving or eligible to receive distributions of income of the trust;

(3) Without regard to the exercise of any power of appointment, all living persons who would receive principal of the trust if the trust were to terminate at the time of the giving of such notice and all living persons who would receive or be eligible to receive distributions of income or principal of the trust if the interests of all of the beneficiaries currently eligible to receive income under paragraph (b)(2) of this section were to terminate at the time of the giving of such notice; and

(4) All persons acting as adviser or protector of the trust.

(c) Any release of the obligations under §§ 3521-3524 of this title obtained in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall release the trustee from the reporting obligations of §§ 3521-3524 of this title for the duration of the trust, unless a shorter period of time is specified in the written notice provided to the interested parties or an order of a court of competent jurisdiction provides otherwise.

(d) Upon being released from the obligations under §§ 3521-3524 of this title in accordance with provisions of subsection (a) of this section, the trustee shall provide notice of such release to the Register in Chancery in the county in which the trustee would otherwise have filed the accountings required under §§ 3521-3524 of this title, which notice shall include as exhibits copies of the requisite executed notices and requests for waiver and consent or nonobjection of the interested parties.

25 Del. Laws, c. 226, § 2; 26 Del. Laws, c. 258, § 1; Code 1915, § 3874; 40 Del. Laws, c. 232, § 1; Code 1935, § 4400; 12 Del. C. 1953, § 3521; 51 Del. Laws, c. 326; 79 Del. Laws, c. 197, § 2; 79 Del. Laws, c. 352, § 4.;

Transferred by 77 Del. Laws, c. 330, § 10, effective Aug. 1, 2010, to §§ 61-106 and 61-107 of this title.

(a) Unless the terms of the instrument expressly provide otherwise, a trustee who has authority (whether acting at such trustee's discretion or at the direction or with the consent of an adviser), under the terms of a testamentary instrument or irrevocable inter vivos trust agreement, to invade the principal of a trust (the "first trust'') to make distributions to, or for the benefit of, 1 or more proper objects of the exercise of the power, may instead exercise such authority by appointing all or part of the principal subject to the power in favor of a trustee of a trust (the "second trust'') under an instrument other than that under which the power to invade is created or under the same instrument, provided, however, that, except as otherwise provided in this subsection (a):

(1) The exercise of such authority is in favor of a second trust having only beneficiaries who are proper objects of the exercise of the power;

(2) In the case of any trust, contributions to which have been treated as gifts qualifying for the exclusion from gift tax described in § 2503(b) (26 U.S.C. § 2503(b)) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. § 1 et seq.) (hereinafter referred to in this section as the "I.R.C.''), by reason of the application of I.R.C. § 2503(c) (26 U.S.C. § 2503(c)), the governing instrument for the second trust shall provide that the beneficiary's remainder interest shall vest and become distributable no later than the date upon which such interest would have vested and become distributable under the terms of the governing instrument for the first trust;

(3) The exercise of such authority does not reduce any income or unitrust interest of any beneficiary of a trust for which a marital deduction has been taken for federal tax purposes under I.R.C. § 2056 or § 2523 (26 U.S.C. § 2056 or § 2523) or for state tax purposes under any comparable provision of applicable state law; and

(4) The exercise of such authority does not apply to trust property subject to a presently exercisable power of withdrawal held by a trust beneficiary who is the only trust beneficiary to whom, or for the benefit of whom, the trustee has authority to make distributions.

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this subsection (a), the governing instrument for the second trust may grant a power of appointment (including a power to appoint trust property to the powerholder, the powerholder's creditors, the powerholder's estate, the creditors of the powerholder's estate or any other person, whether or not such person is a trust beneficiary) to 1 or more of the trust beneficiaries who are proper objects of the exercise of the power in the first trust. Furthermore, notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this subsection (a), the governing instrument of the second trust may provide that, at a time or upon an event specified in the governing instrument, the remaining trust assets shall thereafter be held for the benefit of the beneficiaries of the first trust upon terms and conditions concerning the nature and extent of each such beneficiary's interest that are substantially identical to the first trust's terms and conditions concerning such beneficial interests. The exercise of a trustee's authority granted under this subsection (a) shall in all respects comply with any standard that limits the trustee's authority to make distributions from the first trust but may be exercised whether or not the trustee would have been permitted to exercise the power to make a current outright distribution of all of the trust assets in compliance with any such standard. For purposes of this subsection (a), an open class of beneficiaries identified in the governing instrument for the first trust (such as, but not limited to, a class comprised of the descendants of a person who is living or who has living descendants) is a proper object of the exercise of a power to make distributions and the exercise of such a power in favor of a second trust having only beneficiaries, including unborn future beneficiaries, who are among the members of the open class satisfies the requirement of paragraph (a)(1) of this section even if, pursuant to the terms of the governing instrument for the second trust, the class remains, or might remain, open beyond the time when the class would have closed pursuant to the terms of the governing instrument for the first trust; provided, however, that the governing instrument for the second trust shall not permit distributions to or among members of the open class sooner than when or in excess of the amounts permitted by the governing instrument for the first trust. A trustee's power, pursuant to this subsection (a), to appoint principal in favor of the trustee of a second trust shall include the power to create the second trust.

(b) The exercise of the power to invade the principal of the trust under subsection (a) of this section shall be by an instrument in writing, signed and acknowledged by the trustee and filed with the records of the trust.

(c) The exercise of the power to invade the principal of the trust under subsection (a) of this section shall be considered the exercise of a power of appointment (other than a power to appoint to the trustee, the trustee's creditors, the trustee's estate, or the creditors of the trustee's estate) and shall be subject to the provisions of Chapter 5 of Title 25 covering the time at which the permissible period of the rule against perpetuities begins and the law which determines the permissible period of the rule against perpetuities. Consequently, a second trust may have a term that is longer than the term set forth in the governing instrument for the first trust, including, but not limited to, a term measured by the lifetime of a current beneficiary.

(d) The provisions of this section shall not be construed to abridge the right of any trustee who has a power of invasion to appoint property in further trust which arises under any other section of this chapter or under another statute or under common law.

(e) When exercising the authority granted under subsection (a) of this section, the trustee and any adviser directing or consenting to the trustee's exercise of such authority shall be held to the standard of care and the standard of liability applicable to the trustee and any such adviser when making outright distributions, free from trust, to or for the benefit of 1 or more permissible distributees. No trustee or adviser shall have a duty to exercise such authority nor, absent wilful misconduct, any liability to any person for failure to exercise such authority or failure to consider whether to exercise such authority.

(f) This section shall be available to any trust that is administered in this State.

74 Del. Laws, c. 81, § 3; 74 Del. Laws, c. 271, § 2; 75 Del. Laws, c. 300, § 2; 76 Del. Laws, c. 90, § 3; 77 Del. Laws, c. 98, § 13; 78 Del. Laws, c. 117, §§ 6, 7; 79 Del. Laws, c. 172, § 3; 79 Del. Laws, c. 352, § 4.;