36C-8-816.1. Trustee's special power to appoint to a second trust.

(a) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

(1) Current beneficiary. - A person who is a permissible distributee of trust income or principal.

(2) Original trust. - A trust established under an irrevocable trust instrument pursuant to the terms of which a trustee has a discretionary power to distribute principal or income of the trust to or for the benefit of one or more current beneficiaries of the trust.

(3) Second trust. - A trust established under an irrevocable trust instrument, the current beneficiaries of which are one or more of the current beneficiaries of the original trust. The second trust may be a trust created under the same trust instrument as the original trust or under a different trust instrument.

(b) A trustee of an original trust may, without authorization by the court, exercise the discretionary power to distribute principal or income to or for the benefit of one or more current beneficiaries of the original trust by appointing all or part of the principal or income of the original trust subject to the power in favor of a trustee of a second trust. The trustee of the original trust may exercise this power whether or not there is a current need to distribute principal or income under any standard provided in the terms of the original trust. The trustee's special power to appoint trust principal or income in further trust under this section includes the power to create the second trust. The second trust may have a duration that is longer than the duration of the first trust.

(c) The terms of the second trust shall be subject to all of the following:

(1) The beneficiaries of the second trust may include only beneficiaries of the original trust.

(2) A beneficiary who has only a future beneficial interest, vested or contingent, in the original trust cannot have the future beneficial interest accelerated to a present interest in the second trust.

(3) The terms of the second trust may not reduce any fixed income, annuity, or unitrust interest of a beneficiary in the assets of the original trust if that interest has come into effect with respect to the beneficiary.

(4) If any contribution to the original trust qualified for a marital or charitable deduction for federal income, gift, or estate tax purposes under the Internal Revenue Code, then the second trust shall not contain any provision that, if included in the original trust, would have prevented the original trust from qualifying for the deduction or that would have reduced the amount of the deduction.

(5) If contributions to the original trust have been excluded from the gift tax by the application of section 2503(b) and section 2503(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, then the second trust shall provide that the beneficiary's remainder interest in the contributions shall vest and become distributable no later than the date upon which the interest would have vested and become distributable under the terms of the original trust.

(6) If any beneficiary of the original trust has a power of withdrawal over trust property, then either:

a. The terms of the second trust must provide a power of withdrawal in the second trust identical to the power of withdrawal in the original trust; or

b. Sufficient trust property must remain in the original trust to satisfy the outstanding power of withdrawal.

(7) If a trustee of an original trust exercises a power to distribute principal or income that is subject to an ascertainable standard by appointing property to a second trust, then the power to distribute income or principal in the second trust must be subject to the same ascertainable standard as in the original trust and must be exercisable in favor of the same current beneficiaries to whom such distribution could be made in the original trust.

(8) The second trust may confer a power of appointment upon a beneficiary of the original trust to whom or for the benefit of whom the trustee has the power to distribute principal or income of the original trust. The permissible appointees of the power of appointment conferred upon a beneficiary may include persons who are not beneficiaries of the original or second trust. The power of appointment conferred upon a beneficiary shall be subject to the provisions of G.S. 41-23 specifying the permissible period allowed for the suspension of the power of alienation of the original trust and the time from which that permissible period is computed.

(9) The terms of the second trust shall not contain any provisions that would jeopardize (i) the qualification of a transfer as a direct skip under section 2642(c) of the [Internal Revenue] Code, (ii) if the first trust owns subchapter S Corporation stock, the election to treat a corporation as a subchapter S Corporation under section 1362 of the Code, (iii) if the first trust owns an interest in property subject to the minimum distribution rules of section 401(a)(9) of the Code, a favorable distribution period by shortening the minimum distribution period, or (iv) any other specific tax benefit for which a contribution originally qualified for income, gift, estate, or generation-skipping transfer tax purposes. In this subdivision, "tax benefit" means a federal or State tax deduction, exemption, exclusion, or other benefit not otherwise listed in this section, except for the benefit from having the settlor considered the owner under sections 671 through 679 of the Code. Subject to clause (ii) above, the second trust may be a trust as to which the settlor is not considered the owner under sections 671 through 679 of the Code even if the settlor is considered the owner of the first trust, and the second trust may be a trust as to which the settlor of the first trust is considered the owner under sections 671 through 679 of the Code, even if the settlor is not considered the owner of the first trust.

(10) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, but subject to the limitations of subdivisions (1), (2), (4), (5), and (9) of this subsection, a trustee may exercise the power to appoint principal and income under subsection (b) of this section with respect to a disabled beneficiary's interest in the original trust to a second trust that is a supplemental needs trust that does not have (i) an ascertainable standard (or has a different ascertainable standard); (ii) a fixed income, annuity, or unitrust interest in the assets of the original trust; or (iii) a right of withdrawal, if the trustee determines that it would be in the best interest of the disabled beneficiary. For purposes of this subsection, the following apply:

a. A "supplemental needs trust" means a trust that is a discretionary trust under G.S. 36C-5-504 and relative to the original trust contains either lesser or greater restrictions on the trustee's power to distribute income or principal, and which the trustee believes would, if implemented, allow the disabled beneficiary to receive greater governmental benefits than the disabled beneficiary would receive if the power to appoint principal and income had not been exercised.

b. "Governmental benefits" means medical assistance, financial aid, or services from any local, State, or federal agency or department.

c. A "disabled beneficiary" means a current beneficiary of the original trust who the trustee determines has a condition that substantially impairs the beneficiary's ability to provide for his or her own support, care, or custody whether or not the beneficiary has been adjudicated a "disabled person" by any government agency or department.

d. The second supplemental needs trust shall not be liable to pay or reimburse the State or any government or public agency for medical assistance, financial aid, or services provided to the disabled beneficiary except as provided in the second supplemental needs trust.

(d) A trustee may not exercise the power to appoint principal or income under subsection (b) of this section if the trustee is a beneficiary of the original trust, but the remaining cotrustee or a majority of the remaining cotrustees may act for the trust. If all the trustees are beneficiaries of the original trust, then the court may appoint a special fiduciary with authority to exercise the power to appoint principal or income under subsection (b) of this section.

(e) The exercise of the power to appoint principal or income under subsection (b) of this section:

(1) Shall be considered the exercise of a power of appointment, other than a power to appoint to the trustee, the trustee's creditors, the trustee's estate, or the creditors of the trustee's estate; and

(2) Shall be subject to the provisions of G.S. 41-23 specifying the permissible period allowed for the suspension of the power of alienation of the original trust and the time from which that permissible period is computed; and

(3) Is not prohibited by a spendthrift provision or by a provision in the original trust instrument that prohibits amendment or revocation of the trust.

(f) To effect the exercise of the power to appoint principal or income under subsection (b) of this section, all of the following shall apply:

(1) The exercise of the power to appoint shall be made by an instrument in writing, signed and acknowledged by the trustee, setting forth the manner of the exercise of the power, including the terms of the second trust, and the effective date of the exercise of the power. The instrument shall be filed with the records of the original trust.

(2) The trustee shall give written notice to all qualified beneficiaries of the original trust, at least 60 days prior to the effective date of the exercise of the power to appoint, of the trustee's intention to exercise the power. The notice shall include a copy of the instrument described in subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(3) If all qualified beneficiaries waive the notice period by a signed written instrument delivered to the trustee, the trustee's power to appoint principal or income shall be exercisable after notice is waived by all qualified beneficiaries, notwithstanding the effective date of the exercise of the power.

(4) The trustee's notice under this subsection shall not limit the right of any beneficiary to object to the exercise of the trustee's power to appoint and bring an action for breach of trust seeking appropriate relief as provided by G.S. 36C-10-1001.

(g) Nothing in this section shall be construed to create or imply a duty of the trustee to exercise the power to distribute principal or income, and no inference of impropriety shall be made as a result of a trustee not exercising the power to appoint principal or income conferred under subsection (b) of this section. Nothing in this section shall be construed to abridge the right of any trustee who has a power to appoint property in further trust that arises under the terms of the original trust or under any other section of this Chapter or under another provision of law or under common law.

(h) A trustee or beneficiary may commence a proceeding to approve or disapprove a proposed exercise of the trustee's special power to appoint to a second trust pursuant to subsection (b) of this section. (2009-318, s. 1; 2010-97, s. 5(b); 2013-91, s. 2(d); 2015-205, s. 8.)