Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 64.2. Wills, Trusts, and Fiduciaries
Chapter 10. Uniform Principal and Income Act
5/8/2021

§ 64.2-1002. Fiduciary's power to adjust.

A. A fiduciary may adjust between principal and income to the extent the fiduciary considers necessary if the fiduciary invests and manages trust assets as a prudent investor, the terms of the trust describe the amount that may or shall be distributed to a beneficiary by referring to the trust's income, and the fiduciary determines, after applying the rules in subsection A of § 64.2-1001, that the fiduciary is unable to comply with subsection B of § 64.2-1001.

B. In deciding whether and to what extent to exercise the power conferred by subsection A, a fiduciary shall consider all factors relevant to the trust and its beneficiaries, including the following factors to the extent they are relevant:

1. The nature, purpose, and expected duration of the trust;

2. The intent of the settlor;

3. The identity and circumstances of the beneficiaries;

4. The needs for liquidity, regularity of income, and preservation and appreciation of capital;

5. The assets held in the trust; the extent to which they consist of financial assets, interests in closely held enterprises, tangible and intangible personal property, or real property; the extent to which an asset is used by a beneficiary; and whether an asset was purchased by the fiduciary or received from the settlor;

6. The net amount allocated to income under the other sections of this chapter and the increase or decrease in the value of the principal assets, which the fiduciary may estimate as to assets for which market values are not readily available;

7. Whether and to what extent the terms of the trust give the fiduciary the power to invade principal or accumulate income or prohibit the fiduciary from invading principal or accumulating income, and the extent to which the fiduciary has exercised a power from time to time to invade principal or accumulate income;

8. The actual and anticipated effect of economic conditions on principal and income and effects of inflation and deflation; and

9. The anticipated tax consequences of an adjustment.

C. A fiduciary may not make an adjustment:

1. That diminishes the income interest in a trust that requires all of the income to be paid at least annually to a spouse and for which an estate tax or gift tax marital deduction would be allowed, in whole or in part, if the fiduciary did not have the power to make the adjustment;

2. That reduces the actuarial value of the income interest in a trust to which a person transfers property with the intent to qualify for a gift tax exclusion;

3. That changes the amount payable to a beneficiary as a fixed annuity or a fixed fraction of the value of the trust assets;

4. From any amount that is permanently set aside for charitable purposes under a will or the terms of a trust unless both income and principal are so set aside;

5. If possessing or exercising the power to make an adjustment causes an individual to be treated as the owner of all or part of the trust for income tax purposes, and the individual would not be treated as the owner if the fiduciary did not possess the power to make an adjustment;

6. If possessing or exercising the power to make an adjustment causes all or part of the trust assets to be included for estate tax purposes in the estate of an individual who has the power to remove a fiduciary or appoint a fiduciary, or both, and the assets would not be included in the estate of the individual if the fiduciary did not possess the power to make an adjustment;

7. If the fiduciary is a beneficiary of the trust; or

8. If the fiduciary is not a beneficiary, but the adjustment would benefit the fiduciary directly or indirectly.

D. If subdivision C 5, 6, 7, or 8 applies to a fiduciary and there is more than one fiduciary, a cofiduciary to whom the provision does not apply may make the adjustment unless the exercise of the power by the remaining fiduciary or fiduciaries is not permitted by the terms of the trust. Any beneficiary or fiduciary may petition the circuit court for appointment of a cofiduciary who would be permitted to make an adjustment not permitted by the other fiduciary or fiduciaries.

E. A fiduciary may release the entire power conferred by subsection A or may release only the power to adjust from income to principal or the power to adjust from principal to income if the fiduciary is uncertain about whether possessing or exercising the power will cause a result described in subdivisions C 1 through 6 or subdivision C 8 or if the fiduciary determines that possessing or exercising the power will or may deprive the trust of a tax benefit or impose a tax burden not described in subsection C. The release may be permanent or for a specified period, including a period measured by the life of an individual.

F. Terms of a trust that limit the power of a fiduciary to make an adjustment between principal and income do not affect the application of this section unless it is clear from the terms of the trust that the terms are intended to deny the fiduciary the power of adjustment conferred by subsection A.

G. As used in this section and the application of this section elsewhere in this chapter, the term "trust" includes the assets under the control or management of a personal representative.

1999, c. 975, § 55-277.4; 2005, c. 935; 2012, c. 614.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.