Scot Boulton


The promulgation of the Uniform Trust Code (“UTC”) by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws presents a real opportunity to replace the current hit-or-miss Missouri statutory scheme with a comprehensive, flexible body of trust statutes that is not overly exhaustive. The UTC could fill some important gaps in Missouri law and solve issues left open by current statutory provisions. However, after extensive analysis, it is clear that Missouri has adopted some unique statutes and combinations of statutes that express policy decisions that are much different than those made in corresponding provisions of the UTC. One such example is Section 456.590.2, which provides that court may vary the terms of a private trust in very specific manners, including terminating the trust earlier than specified, upon consent of all adult beneficiaries without regard to whether a material purpose of the trust remains to be accomplished. This statute is different form the rule of all other common law jurisdictions in the United States and the rule set forth in the UTC. In addition, the rights of a settlor’s creditors to reach trust assets, both during the settlor’s life and after the settlor’s death, are dealt with in a comprehensive manner that is not inconsistent with the UTC. It is very likely that, even if Missouri adopts a version of the UTC, it will lack uniformity at least in these two areas.

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