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The Legislative Service Commission staff updates the Revised Code on an ongoing basis, as it completes its act review of enacted legislation. Updates may be slower during some times of the year, depending on the volume of enacted legislation.

Section 5808.14 | Judicial standard of review for discretionary trusts.


(A) The judicial standard of review for discretionary trusts is that the trustee shall exercise a discretionary power reasonably, in good faith, and in accordance with the terms and purposes of the trust and the interests of the beneficiaries, except that with respect to distribution decisions a reasonableness standard shall not be applied to the exercise of discretion by the trustee of a wholly discretionary trust. The greater the grant of discretion by the settlor to the trustee, the broader the range of permissible conduct by the trustee in exercising it.

(B) Subject to division (D) of this section, and unless the terms of the trust expressly indicate that a rule in this division does not apply:

(1) A person other than a settlor who is a beneficiary and trustee of a trust that confers on the trustee a power to make discretionary distributions to or for the trustee's personal benefit may exercise the power only in accordance with an ascertainable standard.

(2) A trustee may not exercise a power to make discretionary distributions to satisfy a legal obligation of support that the trustee personally owes another person.

(C) A power whose exercise is limited or prohibited by division (B) of this section may be exercised by a majority of the remaining trustees whose exercise of the power is not so limited or prohibited. If the power of all trustees is so limited or prohibited, the court may appoint a special fiduciary with authority to exercise the power.

(D) Division (B) of this section does not apply to any of the following:

(1) A power held by the settlor's spouse who is the trustee of a trust for which a marital deduction, as defined in section 2056(b)(5) or 2523(e) of the Internal Revenue Code, was previously allowed;

(2) Any trust during any period that the trust may be revoked or amended by its settlor;

(3) A trust if contributions to the trust qualify for the annual exclusion under section 2503(c) of the Internal Revenue Code.

(E) For purposes of division (A) of this section, a trustee who acts reasonably and in good faith in exercising the power to distribute trust income or principal to the trustee of a second trust in accordance with division (A) or (B) of section 5808.18 of the Revised Code is presumed to have acted in accordance with the terms and purposes of the trust and the interests of the beneficiaries.

Available Versions of this Section