2018 Tennessee Code
Title 35 - Fiduciaries and Trust Estates
Chapter 15 - Tennessee Uniform Trust Code
Part 1 - General Provisions and Definitions
§ 35-15-107. Governing law.

Universal Citation: TN Code § 35-15-107 (2018)
  • (a) The validity, construction and administration of a trust are determined by the law of the jurisdiction designated in the terms of the trust instrument, which is called a state jurisdiction provision.

  • (b) When a state jurisdiction provision designates that the law of this state controls:

    • (1) This state and its courts have jurisdiction over a trust created in a foreign jurisdiction;

    • (2) The validity, construction, and administration of a trust are determined by the laws of this state, including but not limited to:

      • (A) The capacity of the settlor;

      • (B) The powers, obligations, liabilities, and rights of the trustees and other fiduciaries;

      • (C) The appointment and removal of the trustees and other fiduciaries;

      • (D) The existence and extent of all powers conferred on a trustee or other fiduciary, including but not limited to, any trustee's or other fiduciary's discretionary powers, as well as the existence and extent of all powers retained by a settlor and the validity of the exercise of any such power, whether conferred on a trustee or other fiduciary or retained by a settlor;

    • (3) (A) Neither a trust nor any disposition made subject to the terms of such trust is subject to the laws of any foreign country, nor is any such trust or such disposition void, voidable, liable to be set aside or defective in any manner for any reason including but not limited to:

      • (i) The law of any foreign country prohibits or does not recognize the concept of a trust; or

      • (ii) The trust or disposition avoids or defeats any right, claim, or interest conferred by the law of a foreign country upon any person by reason of a personal relationship to the settlor or by way of heirship rights or contravenes any rule or law of a foreign country or any foreign country's judicial or administrative order or action intended to recognize, protect, enforce, or give effect to such right, claim, or interest;

        • (B) Relative to any foreign country or any interest in property arising or originating under the laws of any foreign country:

          • (i) No form of forced heirship, legitime, forced share or any similar heirship rights or form of transmission or transfer of property from a decedent or from a living person, or any restrictions on transmission or transfer of property from a decedent or a living person is recognized by this state; or

          • (ii) No heirship rights described in subdivision (b)(3)(B)(i) conferred under the law of a foreign country shall constitute an obligation or liability, the transfer, conveyance or devise of which, would violate title 66, chapter 3; and

        • (C) Subdivision (b)(3) shall apply to all realty or other forms of immovable property physically in this state, as well as to all personal or movable property wherever situated if owned by a trust containing a state jurisdiction provision designating that the law of this state controls such trust;

    • (4) No judgment or other holding of any judicial body of any foreign country, including but not limited to, any court, administrative body or other entity or organization purportedly having the power to make judicial or administrative decisions of any foreign country, shall be recognized or enforced or give rise to any equitable forms of relief, including but not limited to, estoppel, to the extent such judgment or other holding concerns a trust containing a state jurisdiction provision designating that the law of this state controls such trust or to the extent such judgment or other holding concerns property held by such trust;

    • (5) If, in any action brought against a trustee or other fiduciary of a trust, any judicial body of any foreign country, including but not limited to, any court, administrative body or other entity or organization purportedly having the power to make judicial or administrative decisions of any foreign country, takes any action whereby such judicial body declines to apply the law of this state in determining the validity, construction, or administration of a trust, or the effect of a spendthrift provision or discretionary interest of a trust, the trustee or other fiduciary, as applicable, shall immediately upon the action of the judicial body of the foreign country and without the further order of any court of this state, cease in all respects to be trustee or other fiduciary, as applicable, of the trust and a vacancy in the office of trustee or other fiduciary, as applicable, shall immediately exist:

      • (A) Upon the existence of such vacancy, the trustee or other fiduciary, as applicable, has no power or authority other than to convey the trust property to the successor trustee or other fiduciary who fills such vacancy as provided in subdivision (b)(5)(B);

      • (B) Such vacancy shall be filled in the same manner as would a vacancy in trusteeship that is required to be filled, either as provided by § 35-15-704(c) if the trust is a noncharitable trust, or as provided by § 35-15-704(d) if the trust is a charitable trust; and

      • (C) Section 35-15-704(e) shall also apply relative to such trustee or other fiduciary, as applicable, in the same manner as § 35-15-704(e) applies to trustees and vacancies in trusteeship in general; provided, however, that when exercising its power provided by § 35-15-704(e), the court shall consider the purposes of this subsection (b) and make any such appointments pursuant to § 35-15-704(e) in a manner designed to give full force and effect to this subsection (b) to the maximum extent allowed by the laws of this state or of the United States.

  • (c) In the absence of the existence of a state jurisdiction provision, the laws of the jurisdiction where the trust was executed determine the validity of the trust and the laws of descent, while the laws of the principal place of administration determine the administration of the trust.

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