2019 Delaware Code
Title 12 - Decedents' Estates and Fiduciary Relations
Chapter 61. Delaware Uniform Principal and Income Act
Subchapter I Definitions and General Principles
§ 61-107 Express total return unitrusts [For application of this section, see 81 Del. Laws, c. 149, § 6].

Universal Citation: 12 DE Code § 61-107 (2019)

(a) The following provisions shall apply to a trust that, by its governing instrument, requires or permits the distribution, at least annually, of a unitrust amount equal to a fixed percentage of not less than 3 nor more than 5 percent per year of the fair market value of the trust’s assets, valued at least annually, such trust to be referred to in this section as an “express total return unitrust.”

(b) The unitrust amount for an express total return unitrust may be determined by reference to the fair market value of the trust’s assets in 1 year or more than 1 year.

(c) Distribution of such a fixed percentage unitrust amount is considered a distribution of all of the income of the express total return unitrust.

(d) An express total return unitrust may or may not provide a mechanism for changing the unitrust percentage similar to the mechanism provided under § 61-106 of this title, based upon the factors noted therein, and may or may not provide for a conversion from a unitrust to an income trust and/or a reconversion of an income trust to a unitrust similar to the mechanism under § 61-106 of this title.

(e) If an express total return unitrust does not specifically or by reference to § 61-106 of this title deny a power to change the unitrust percentage or to convert to an income trust, then the trustee shall have such power and the express total return unitrust shall be deemed to be a ”total return unitrust“ within the meaning of § 61-106 of this title for purposes of applying § 61-106 of this title to the trust.

(f) The distribution of a fixed percentage of not less than 3 percent nor more than 5 percent reasonably apportions the total return of an express total return unitrust.

(g) The trust instrument may grant discretion to the trustee to adopt a consistent practice of treating capital gains as part of the unitrust distribution, to the extent that the unitrust distribution exceeds the net accounting income, or it may specify the ordering of such classes of income.

(h) Unless the terms of the trust specifically provide otherwise, the trustee:

(1) Shall consider the unitrust amount as paid from net accounting income determined as if the trust were not a unitrust;

(2) Shall then consider the unitrust amount as paid from ordinary income not allocable to net accounting income;

(3) After calculating the trust’s capital gain net income as described in Internal Revenue Code (“I.R.C.”) § 1222(9) (26 U.S.C. § 1222(9)), may consider the unitrust amount as paid from net realized short-term capital gain as described in I.R.C. § 1222(5) (26 U.S.C. § 1222(5)) and then from net realized long-term capital gain described in I.R.C. § 1222(7) (26 U.S.C. § 1222(7)); and

(4) Shall then consider the unitrust amount as paid from the principal of the trust.

(i) The trust instrument may provide that:

(1) Assets for which a fair market value cannot be readily ascertained shall be valued using such valuation methods as are deemed reasonable and appropriate; and

(2) Assets used by a trust beneficiary, such as a residence property or tangible personal property, may be excluded from the net fair market value for computing the unitrust amount.

74 Del. Laws, c. 270, § 13; 77 Del. Laws, c. 98, § 12; 77 Del. Laws, c. 330, § 10; 81 Del. Laws, c. 149, § 3.

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