Fiduciary Law: Emerging Issues and New Directions

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Course Description: 

This one-credit, pass-fail course will examine cutting-edge topics in fiduciary law. The first six hours of instruction will focus on the fiduciary law governing trusts and trustees and will be taught by Professor Thomas Gallanis, the Allan D. Vestal Chair in Law at the University of Iowa and the Verner F. Chaffin Visiting Chair in Fiduciary Law at UGA.   Among the topics covered will be:

(1) the trustee’s duty of prudent investment, the measure of the trustee’s liability for breach of that duty, and the rise of the “directed” trust;

(2) the trustee’s duty of impartiality between beneficiaries of income and beneficiaries of principal, the trustee’s power to adjust between income and principal, and the use of unitrusts as an alternative to traditional income-and-principal trusts;

(3) the widespread use of discretionary trusts, and the range of a trustee’s discretion; and

(4) the emerging phenomenon of trust “decanting.” 

Recent uniform acts will be studied, including the Uniform Trust Decanting Act (2015), the Uniform Directed Trust Act (2017), and the Uniform Fiduciary Income and Principal Act (2018)

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