2006 New York Code - Disposition Of Property For Charitable Purposes



 
  § 8-1.1 Disposition of property for charitable purposes
    (a)  No disposition of property for religious, charitable, educational
  or benevolent purposes, otherwise valid under the laws of this state, is
  invalid by reason of the indefiniteness or uncertainty  of  the  persons
  designated  as  beneficiaries.  If  a  trustee is named in the disposing
  instrument, legal title to the property transferred for such  a  purpose
  vests  in such trustee; if no person is named as trustee, title vests in
  the court having jurisdiction over the trust.
    (b) No disposition of property made in a will, executed  and  attested
  as  prescribed  by  law,  is  invalid  by reason of the incorporation by
  reference in the will of any existing written resolution, declaration or
  deed of trust, identified in such  will  and  made  or  adopted  by  any
  corporation  authorized  by  law to execute or accept trusts, to assist,
  encourage and promote  the  well-being  and  well-doing  of  mankind  in
  general or the inhabitants of any community in particular; provided that
  a  copy  of  such  resolution,  declaration or deed of trust, certified,
  under its corporate seal, by the secretary or assistant secretary or the
  cashier or assistant cashier of such corporation, is filed for record in
  the office of the secretary of state and in the office of the  clerk  or
  register of the county of the corporation's principal place of business,
  in  which  the  conveyances  of  real property are required by law to be
  filed for record, the secretary of state and the officer  in  charge  of
  such  record  office being hereby authorized and directed to receive and
  record such resolution, declaration or deed of trust upon payment of the
  fees provided by law. Any such testamentary disposition to a corporation
  for the religious, charitable, educational or  benevolent  purposes  set
  forth  in  such  resolution,  declaration  or deed of trust is effective
  although the terms, conditions and  purposes  of  such  disposition  are
  established only through such reference in the will.
    (c)  (1) The supreme court and, where the disposition is made by will,
  the surrogate's court in which such will is probated  have  jurisdiction
  over  dispositions referred to and authorized by paragraphs (a) and (b),
  and whenever it appears to such court that circumstances have so changed
  since the execution of an instrument making a disposition for religious,
  charitable,  educational   or   benevolent   purposes   as   to   render
  impracticable  or impossible a literal compliance with the terms of such
  disposition, the court may, on application of  the  trustee  or  of  the
  person  having custody of the property subject to the disposition and on
  such notice as the court may direct, make an order or  decree  directing
  that  such  disposition be administered and applied in such manner as in
  the judgment of the court will most effectively accomplish  its  general
  purposes,  free  from  any specific restriction, limitation or direction
  contained therein; provided, however, that any such order or  decree  is
  effective  only with the consent of the creator of the disposition if he
  is living.
    (2) (i) The attorney general  or  any  trustee  or  beneficiary  of  a
  testamentary or lifetime trust wholly benefitting one or more charitable
  beneficiaries  may petition a court of competent jurisdiction, on notice
  to the attorney general and all parties interested in the trust, seeking
  a termination of such trust when the trust is comprised of  assets,  the
  market  value  of  which is one hundred thousand dollars or less and the
  expense  of  administering  the  trust  is  uneconomic  when  considered
  relative  to  income.  When  the  court finds upon such application that
  continuation of the trust is economically impracticable or is not in the
  best interests of the beneficiaries, the court shall make  an  order  or
  decree terminating the trust and directing the distribution of the trust
  assets to accomplish its charitable purposes, provided, however, that if
  the  trust is one for the benefit of a particular charitable beneficiary
  or beneficiaries named therein, the court shall direct the  distribution
  of   the   trust   assets   to  such  named  charitable  beneficiary  or
  beneficiaries, and provided further  that  no  such  proceeding  may  be
  instituted  without  the consent of the creator of the disposition if he
  is living.
    (ii) For purposes of this paragraph, the term "charitable beneficiary"
  shall mean the beneficiary of a disposition for a religious, charitable,
  educational or benevolent purpose.
    (d) The power of the  supreme  court  or  the  surrogate's  court,  as
  provided in paragraph (c), to prevent the failure of, and to give effect
  to  dispositions  for  religious,  charitable, educational or benevolent
  purposes is not defeated by the circumstance that the beneficiary of any
  such disposition does not exist or, if in existence, lacks  capacity  to
  take  such  disposition at the time it would otherwise become effective,
  whether or not the disposition creates an express  trust  to  effectuate
  its purposes.
    (e)  Any accumulation of income from property subject to a disposition
  in trust for a religious, charitable, educational or benevolent purpose,
  or otherwise acquired by such trust, shall in  all  respects,  including
  its  reasonableness,  amount and duration, be within the jurisdiction of
  the supreme court or the surrogate's court,  as  the  case  may  be.  In
  exercising such jurisdiction, (1) any accumulation of income which might
  otherwise  be applied for the purposes of the trust may be prohibited or
  limited, despite a valid direction therefor in the trust  instrument  or
  authority  therefor  under  8-1.7  and  (2)  such an accumulation may be
  authorized by order of the court despite  the  absence  of  a  direction
  therefor in the trust instrument.
    (f)  The  attorney  general  shall represent the beneficiaries of such
  dispositions  for  religious,  charitable,  educational  or   benevolent
  purposes  and  it  shall  be  his  duty  to  enforce  the rights of such
  beneficiaries by appropriate proceedings in the courts.
    (g) The supreme court or the surrogate's court, as the  case  may  be,
  may  authorize  the trustee or any person holding title thereto to sell,
  mortgage  or  lease  any  real  property  which  is  the  subject  of  a
  disposition  for  a  religious,  charitable,  educational  or benevolent
  purpose, whenever it appears to the satisfaction of the court that  such
  real  property,  or  any part thereof, has become or is likely to become
  unproductive, has depreciated or is likely to depreciate in value,  that
  it  is  advisable  to  raise  money  to  improve or erect buildings upon
  property so held or that it is expedient for any other reason that  such
  real  property  be  sold,  mortgaged or leased. This paragraph shall not
  restrict in any manner the powers or rights any trustee may have by  law
  or  by  the  terms  of  any  disposition  of  such  real property.   The
  provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to any corporation which is
  subject to sections 509 through 511 of  the  not-for-profit  corporation
  law.
    (h) The supreme court or the surrogate's court shall not make an order
  or  decree under paragraph (g) unless it appears that eight days written
  notice, stating the time and place of the application for such order  or
  decree,  has  been served upon the attorney general, who shall represent
  the state, the beneficiaries of any trust  and  the  persons  who  might
  benefit  from  the  religious,  charitable,  educational  or  benevolent
  purpose for which the  real  property,  which  is  the  subject  of  the
  application, is held. A like eight days notice of such application shall
  be  given  to  any adult within the state who has a vested or contingent
  future estate in such real  property  and  to  any  minor,  incompetent,
  conservatee  or  absentee  who  is  interested in such property, in such
  manner as the court may direct. Before making a final order  or  decree,
  the  court  shall  appoint  a guardian ad litem for any minor who is not
  represented by a guardian or parent, for  any  incompetent  who  is  not
  represented by a committee, and for any absentee.
    (i)  A sale, mortgage or lease made, as required by law, in accordance
  with an order or decree of a  court  under  this  section  is  effective
  against  the  state as representative of the beneficiaries of such trust
  and persons who might benefit from the  purposes  for  which  such  real
  property is held, and against persons with a vested or contingent future
  interest  in  such  property  and  minors,  incompetents,  conservatees,
  absentees and persons  not  in  being  who  have  an  interest  in  such
  property,  as well as all other persons who, having been made parties to
  such proceeding,  consent  to  such  order  or  decree.  The  purchaser,
  mortgagee  or  lessee,  or  any person claiming under them, shall not be
  responsible for the disposition  of  the  proceeds  of  any  such  sale,
  mortgage or lease.
    (j)  Whenever  a  voluntary  association or committee has received, by
  public subscription, a fund for a charitable or benevolent purpose  from
  more  than  one  thousand  contributors,  a  portion  of  which  remains
  unexpended after the expiration of five  years  from  the  time  of  its
  receipt,  and it appears that a literal compliance with the terms of the
  subscription is impracticable, the  supreme  court  may  make  an  order
  directing that such unexpended balance be transferred for administration
  and  application  to such domestic corporation as in the judgment of the
  court will most effectively accomplish the  general  purpose  for  which
  such  fund  was  collected,  free  from  any  restriction, limitation or
  direction upon which the subscription was made; and on the  transfer  of
  such  fund  to  the  corporation designated in the order, such voluntary
  association, its officers  and  trustees,  or  such  committee  and  its
  officers  shall be fully exonerated and discharged from all liability to
  account for such fund.
    (k) An order shall be made under paragraph (j) on the  application  of
  the association or the treasurer of the committee, having custody of the
  unexpended  balance,  on  twenty  days  personal  notice to the attorney
  general and notice by publication once a week for four consecutive weeks
  in a newspaper of general circulation published in the county  in  which
  the  treasurer  of  such  association  or  committee  resides.  If  such
  treasurer resides outside of the state, such notice shall  be  published
  in the county in which at least ten per cent of the contributors of such
  fund  resided  at the time of its receipt or in such other manner as the
  court may direct to the  contributors  as  a  class,  to  ten  specified
  members  of  such  class  and to the trustees of such association or the
  surviving members of such committee.
    (l) Where public subscriptions for charitable or  benevolent  purposes
  were  made  or  begun  prior to the year nineteen hundred twenty and the
  total number of subscribers exceeded five hundred but were less than one
  thousand, any unexpended balance of a fund  obtained  for  such  purpose
  which,  at  the  time  this section takes effect, is in the custody of a
  surviving member of a committee may be transferred  for  administration,
  on  the  application  of  such  surviving member, in accordance with the
  procedure and with the effect set forth in paragraphs (j) and (k).

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