The Superior Court affirmed a decision of the Orphans’ Court holding that a trust modification that allowed the beneficiaries to remove and replace trustees was ineffective even with the consent of the settlor. Garrison Trusts, 10 Fid.Rep.3d 189 (Montgomery O.C. 2020), aff’d 1429 EDA 2020 (Pa. Super. 9/27/2021) (non-precedential), rev’d, ___ Pa. ___, ___ A.3d ___, 61 MAP 2022, 62 MAP 2022, and 63 MAP 2022 (1/19/2023).
[DBE Comment: These decisions make no sense, because even a material purpose of a trust can be modified, or an otherwise irrevocable trust can be terminated, with the consent of the settlor and all beneficiaries. Both courts thought that they were following the Supreme Court’s decision in Trust under Agreement of Edward Winslow Taylor, 640 Pa. 629, 164 A.3d 1147 (2017), and a Uniform Law Comment to what was enacted as 20 Pa.C.S. § 7740.1, but the issue in Taylor was an attempted modification by the beneficiaries under subsection (b) and not a modification with the consent of the settlor under subsection (a), and the UTC comment addresses subsection (b) and not subsection (a).]
[Updated on 1/27/2023 to show that the Supreme Court reversed the Superior Court.]