72-34-424. Adjustments between principal and income. (1) Subject to subsection (2), a trustee may make an adjustment between principal and income to the extent the trustee considers necessary if all of the following conditions are satisfied:
(a) the trustee invests and manages trust assets under the prudent investor rule under 72-38-901;
(b) the trust describes the amount that must or may be distributed to a beneficiary by referring to the trust's income; and
(c) the trustee determines, after applying the rules in 72-34-423(1) and considering any power the trustee may have under the trust to invade principal or accumulate income, that the trustee is unable to comply with 72-34-423(2).
(2) A trustee may not make an adjustment between principal and income in any of the following circumstances:
(a) when it would diminish the income interest in a trust:
(i) that requires all of the income to be paid at least annually to a spouse; and
(ii) for which, if the trustee did not have the power to make the adjustment, an estate tax or gift tax marital deduction would be allowed, in whole or in part;
(b) when it would reduce 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;
(c) when it would change the amount payable to a beneficiary as a fixed annuity or a fixed fraction of the value of the trust assets;
(d) when it would be made from any amount that is permanently set aside for charitable purposes under a will or trust, unless both income and principal are set aside;
(e) when possessing or exercising the power to make an adjustment would cause 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 trustee did not possess the power to make an adjustment;
(f) when possessing or exercising the power to make an adjustment would cause 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 trustee or appoint a trustee, or both, and the assets would not be included in the estate of the individual if the trustee did not possess the power to make an adjustment; or
(g) when the trustee is a beneficiary of the trust.
(3) If subsection (2)(e), (2)(f), or (2)(g) of this section applies to a trustee and there is more than one trustee, a cotrustee to whom the provision does not apply may make the adjustment unless the exercise of the power by the remaining trustee or trustees is not permitted by the trust.
(4) A trustee may release the entire power conferred by subsection (1) or may release only the power to adjust from income to principal or the power to adjust from principal to income in either of the following circumstances:
(a) if the trustee is uncertain about whether possessing or exercising the power will cause a result described in subsections (2)(a) through (2)(f); or
(b) if the trustee 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 (2).
(5) A release under subsection (4) may be permanent or for a specified period, including a period measured by the life of an individual.
(6) A trust that limits the power of a trustee to make an adjustment between principal and income does not affect the application of this section unless it is clear from the trust that it is intended to deny the trustee the power of adjustment provided by subsection (1).
(7) In deciding whether and to what extent to exercise the power to make adjustments under this section, the trustee may consider, but is not limited to considering, any of the following:
(a) the nature, purpose, and expected duration of the trust;
(b) the intent of the settlor;
(c) the identity and circumstances of the beneficiaries;
(d) the needs for liquidity, regularity of income, and preservation and appreciation of capital;
(e) the assets held in the trust, the extent to which the assets 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 trustee or received from the settlor;
(f) the net amount allocated to income under other statutes and the increase or decrease in the value of the principal assets, which the trustee may estimate as to assets for which market values are not readily available;
(g) whether and to what extent the trust gives the trustee the power to invade principal or accumulate income or prohibits the trustee from invading principal or accumulating income and the extent to which the trustee has exercised a power from time to time to invade principal or accumulate income;
(h) the actual and anticipated effect of economic conditions on principal and income and effects of inflation and deflation; or
(i) the anticipated tax consequences of an adjustment.
(8) Nothing in this part or this section is intended to create or imply a duty to make an adjustment, and a trustee is not liable for not considering whether to make an adjustment or for choosing not to make an adjustment.
History: En. Sec. 4, Ch. 506, L. 2003; amd. Sec. 153, Ch. 264, L. 2013.