The Uniform Trust Code defines various aspects of Trusts under state law. Additionally, this code outlines the duties and powers of trustees in overseeing these testamentary documents.
Forming a Trust can be a powerful and convenient way to transfer property to another party. To effectively utilize these tools, it is important to work with a lawyer who understands the Raleigh Uniform Trust Code. A knowledgeable attorney can help Trust makers and trustees to better understand the legal requirements involved in this type of estate planning.
One major purpose of the Uniform Trust Code is to inform people on how to create Trusts. There is no specific form that a Trust must take, and the terms are highly customizable depending on the maker’s goals.
However, there are a few elements that every Trust must contain. Under North Carolina General Statutes § 36C-4-401, a portion of the Uniform Trust Code, any person over the age of 18 who has the mental capacity to understand their actions may create a Trust. They can accomplish this by:
The terms of the Trust must also be put down in writing. Additionally, this document must contain the Trust maker’s signature, the signature of two witnesses, and a seal from a notary. A seasoned local attorney could provide more information concerning the requirements for creating a Trust under the Uniform Trust Code.
Another major role that the Uniform Trust Code plays in the administration of a Trust is defining the duties and powers of trustees. Trustees are people or organizations that a Trust maker nominates to temporarily hold the property, manage it, and distribute it to the beneficiaries at the designated time.
To this end, the Uniform Trust Code contains specific laws that concern the duties of trustees. For instance, N.C. Gen. Stat. § 36C-8-801 requires all trustees to act in good faith and uphold the purpose of the Trust. This means that a trustee must properly hold the property and make all necessary payments for the maintenance of the Trust.
State law also places an obligation on trustees to act in the best interests of beneficiaries. It is important to remember that a trustee is only a caretaker of property. They are obligated to act to protect the beneficiaries by properly investing funds and regularly reporting their activities related to the Trust. A lawyer at our Raleigh office could work with trustees to provide guidance on their obligations under the Uniform Trust Code.
Understanding the Uniform Trust Code is an essential part of estate planning. Not only should Trust makers have a basic knowledge of this law when creating their testamentary documents, but trustees must also understand their duties outlined by the Code.
Talking with an experienced lawyer could help you to better understand these laws and how they apply in your situation. Contact our firm today to learn more about the Raleigh Uniform Trust Code and speak with a skilled member of our team.