2016 New Hampshire Revised Statutes
Title LVI - PROBATE COURTS AND DECEDENTS' ESTATES
Chapter 564-B - NEW HAMPSHIRE TRUST CODE
Section 564-B:4-418 - Trustee's Power to Decant Trust.

NH Rev Stat § 564-B:4-418 (2016) What's This?
    564-B:4-418 Trustee's Power to Decant Trust. – (a) Subject to the limitations provided in this section, a trustee has the power to decant a trust. The power to decant is the power to appoint some or all of the trust property of a trust ("first trust'') to another trust ("second trust''). A trustee's power to decant is a power with respect to an administrative matter of the trust.
    (b) The beneficiaries of the second trust may include only one or more of the beneficiaries of the first trust. The second trust may exclude one or more of the beneficiaries of the first trust. A person is not a beneficiary of the second trust solely by reason of being a permissible appointee of a power of appointment under the terms of the second trust.
    (c) Under the terms of the second trust, a person may have a power of appointment if (1) that person was a beneficiary of the first trust or (2) under the terms of the first trust, that person held a power of appointment either in a fiduciary or nonfiduciary capacity.
    (d) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the terms of the second trust may provide that a trustee has discretion to distribute income or principal, and the terms of the second trust may impose a standard or no standard on the trustee's discretion regardless of whether the terms of the first trust imposed a standard on the trustee's discretion to distribute income or principal. If the first trust is a charitable trust and the terms of the first trust impose a standard on the trustee's discretion to distribute income or principal, then the terms of the second trust shall impose the same standard on the trustee's discretion to distribute income or principal, unless the director of charitable trusts expressly consents to the modification or elimination of that standard.
    (e) The second trust may have a term that is longer than the first trust.
    (f) A trustee may not decant to the extent that the terms of the second trust are inconsistent with a material purpose of the first trust.
    (g)(1) A trustee may not decant to the extent that the terms of the second trust reduce or eliminate a vested interest of a beneficiary of the first trust.
       (2) A vested interest is:
          (A) a current right to a mandatory distribution of income or principal, a mandatory annuity interest, or a mandatory unitrust interest;
          (B) a currently-exercisable power of withdrawal; or
          (C) a noncontingent, unconditional right to receive an ascertainable portion of the trust property upon the trust's termination.
       (3) In addition to other possible contingencies, a beneficiary's right to receive a portion of the trust property upon the trust's termination is contingent if, by reason of the trustee's discretionary power to make distributions or under other terms of the trust, any person other than the beneficiary or the beneficiary's estate could receive that portion unless the beneficiary survives a specified date or a specified event.
    (h) If a transfer to the first trust qualified for a deduction, credit, exclusion, or exemption for purposes of any income, gift, estate, or generation-skipping transfer tax, then a trustee may decant only to the extent that the decanting would not jeopardize that deduction, credit, exclusion, or exemption.
    (i) If a settlor of the first trust or a beneficiary of the first trust is an applicant for public benefits or receives public benefits and the settlor's or beneficiary's eligibility or qualification for those public benefits is dependent on the nature and scope of his or her rights, powers, and interests in the first trust, then a trustee may decant only to the extent that the decanting would not jeopardize the settlor's or beneficiary's eligibility or qualification for those public benefits.
    (j) A trustee may not decant to the extent that, under the terms of the second trust:
       (1) one or more beneficiaries can remove the trustee;
       (2) those beneficiaries can appoint a successor trustee who, with respect to any of them, is a related or subordinate party within the meaning of section 672(c) of the Internal Revenue Code;
       (3) the trustee may distribute trust property to any one or more of those beneficiaries; and
       (4) the trustee's discretion to make those distributions is not limited by an ascertainable standard.
    (k) A trustee who is a beneficiary of the first trust does not have the power to decant to the extent that, under the terms of the first trust:
       (1) the trustee does not have the discretion to make or participate in making distributions to himself or herself unless the terms of second trust impose the same limitation on that trustee's discretion;
       (2) the trustee's discretion to make or participate in making distributions to himself or herself is limited by an ascertainable standard unless the terms of second trust impose the same limitation on that trustee's discretion;
       (3) the trustee's discretion to make or participate in making distributions to himself or herself is exercisable only with the consent of a cotrustee or a person holding an adverse interest, unless the terms of second trust impose the same limitation on that trustee's discretion; or
       (4) the trustee does not have the discretion to make or participate in making distributions in a manner that will discharge his or her legal support obligations, unless the terms of second trust impose the same limitation on that trustee's discretion.
    (l) A trustee is not prohibited from decanting solely because:
       (1) the first trust is irrevocable;
       (2) the terms of the first trust provide that the trust may not be amended or modified;
       (3) the first trust contains a spendthrift provision;
       (4) under the terms of the first trust, the trustee does not have any discretion in making distributions of income or principal; or
       (5) except as provided in subsection (d), the terms of the first trust impose a standard on the trustee's discretion to distribute income or principal.
    (m) A trustee of a charitable trust or a trust in which a charitable organization has a vested interest shall notify the director of charitable trusts of a proposed decanting, and the trustee shall provide that notice in writing at least 30 days before the effective date of the decanting. A trustee of a noncharitable trust may notify a beneficiary of a proposed decanting, but does not have any duty to do so. The right of any beneficiary to object to a proposed decanting terminates if the beneficiary does not notify the trustee of an objection within 60 days after the proposal was sent to the beneficiary but only if the proposal informed the beneficiary of the right to object and the time allowed for objection.
    (n) A trustee's power to decant may be expanded, restricted, eliminated, or otherwise altered by the terms of the trust. A nonjudicial settlement agreement made in accordance with RSA 564-B:1-111, however, may only restrict or eliminate a trustee's power to decant. Except as otherwise provided under the terms of the trust, a trustee's power to decant is in addition to any other powers conferred by the terms of the trust, this chapter, or the laws of this state. This section does not expand, restrict, eliminate, or otherwise alter any power that, with respect to a trust, a person holds in a nonfiduciary capacity.
    (o) A trustee does not have a duty to decant or an ongoing duty to consider whether to decant. In exercising the power to decant, a trustee has a duty to exercise the power in a manner that is consistent with the settlor's intent as expressed in the terms of the trust, and the trustee shall act in accordance with the trustee's duties under this chapter and the terms of the first trust.
    (p) A trustee may exercise the power to decant, without court approval, the consent of the settlor, or the consent of any of the beneficiaries of the first trust. A trustee or any other interested person may ask a court to approve a trustee's exercise of the power to decant.

Source. 2008, 374:9, eff. Sept. 9, 2008. 2014, 195:16, eff. July 1, 2014. 2015, 272:66, eff. Oct. 1, 2015.

Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. New Hampshire may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.