Old Trust, New Trust? Iowa Trust Code Applies to All Trusts

Okay, let's assume person D had a will executed in 1980, then dies in 1987.  Will says 'all my assets in trust to my wife for her life, then to our 2 kids when she dies.'  Child #1 dies in 2002 and then wife dies in 2008.  Child #2 is alive, child #1 has a surviving widow and a surviving daughter.  Who receives the remaining assets at the death of the wife?  Is it: (a) daughter of child #1 (b) widow of child #1 (c) child #2 or (d) the attorney.

If you guessed (d), I like the way you think, but unfortunately you are wrong.  If you guessed (a), you are correct!!  Congratulations on your first star to being a junior lawyer.  The Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed this position in an opinion issued June 13, 2012.  (See the opinion here.)  One of the issues in this case involved the issue of whether the Iowa Trust Code, which became effective in 2000, applied to trusts that were in existence prior to that time.  (For example, a trust established in 1987.)  The Iowa Trust Code is pretty clear that it does, and it is a little more clearer now.

If you guessed (b), don't be too hard on yourself as that very well could have been the position prior to the Iowa Trust Code.

(In case you were wondering, I am related to the attorney that represented the successful party in this appellate ruling...it is me.  So yes, I'm sort of tooting my horn.)


Tara said…
Ooo I need to update my trust, thank you for the reminder!
Interesting post! I would not have guessed that outcome, but that's probably why I am not a lawyer! Thanks!

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