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How to Fix a Broken Trust: Decanting, Reformation & Other Tools

February 24, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Not every irrevocable trust ends up serving its intended purpose or is financially viable.  Many unforeseen events can and do occur – tax laws change, family circumstance change – sometimes dramatically, or there can be d a deep downturn in a family business.  In these and many other circumstances trusts are broken and need to be “fixed” – fiduciary powers adjusted, distributions policies modified, trusts divided or merged, or even terminated.  The process of accomplishing these fixes are necessarily limited and come with risks, including tax liability and potentially liability to future beneficiaries. This program will provide you with a practical guide to techniques for fixing broken irrevocable trusts.

Handout Materials will be emailed to you prior to the seminar
1.0 MCLE Credit Hour


  • Trust reformation by agreement of all stakeholder or by court order
  • Principal and income adjustment powers under the UPIA
  • Techniques for converting a trust from one type to another
  • Use of “decanting” to terminate trusts and distribute assets when the trust is not viable
  • Framework of tax considerations when trusts are restructured or terminated


Benjamin S. Candland, McGuireWoods, LLP – Richmond, Virginia