What state law governs

Imagine (and it’s not much of a stretch) that a Maryland resident wrote a trust for her Pennsylvania daughter naming an Arizona trustee. What state law governs the trust’s administration?

Trust situs, governing law, jurisdiction and venue are all confusing topics. In this podcast episode, we try to unpack some of the terms. We discuss how the governing law might be different from proper court to bring any action. State taxation of the trust’s income may be different yet again.

Mobile individuals, multiple trustees, and multiple beneficiaries can all complicate state law considerations. If you are a trustee, you need to understand the effect of this interplay. If you are the settlor of a trust, you need to appreciate how complicated that interplay can be.

What state law governs administration of a given trust? The answer can be difficult, surprising — or even altogether unclear. An experienced attorney can help parse the question in your individual facts. A qualified Certified Public Accountant may also be able to offer insight. The answer is not always found in common-sense considerations or (sometimes) even in the document itself.

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