H. B. 4309
(By Mr. Speaker, Mr. Kiss, and Delegates
Jenkins, Staton, Varner, Trump and Dalton)
(Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary)
[February 20, 1998]
A BILL to amend and reenact section eighteen, article one,
chapter thirty-six of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended; and to amend
article five, chapter forty-four of said code by adding
thereto a new section, designated section fifteen, all
relating to the nonmerger of trusts; providing that trust
estates are subject to the debts of the beneficiaries;
permitting spendthrift trusts; and preventing the merger of
trusts in which the trustee is also a beneficiary of the
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section eighteen, article one, chapter thirty-six of
the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one,
as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that article five,
chapter forty-four of said code be amended by adding thereto a
new section, designated section fifteen, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 36. ESTATES AND PROPERTY.
ARTICLE 1. CREATION OF ESTATES GENERALLY.
§36-1-18. Trust estates; debts of beneficiaries; spendthrift
trusts; nonmerger of trusts.
Estates of every kind in real or personal property, holden
or possessed in trust, shall be subject to the debts and charges
of the persons to whose use or for whose benefit they are holden
or possessed, as they would be if those persons owned the like
interest in the things holden or possessed, as in the uses or
trusts thereof; but where the creator of the trust has expressly
so provided in the instrument or conveyance creating the trust,
real or personal property may be held in trust upon condition
that the income therefrom shall be applied by the trustee to the
support and maintenance of a beneficiary or beneficiaries of the
trust in being at the time of the creation of the trust, other
than the creator of the trust, for the life of such beneficiary
or beneficiaries, without being subject to the liabilities of, or
alienation by, such beneficiary or beneficiaries: Provided, That
no trust, whenever executed or created, may be deemed to be
invalid or terminated, and title to trust assets may not be
merged, merely because a creditor asserts that the trustee or
trustees are the same person or persons as the beneficiaries of
CHAPTER 44. ADMINISTRATION OF ESTATES AND TRUSTS.
ARTICLE 5. GENERAL PROVISIONS AS TO FIDUCIARIES.
§44-5-15. Nonmerger of trusts.
(a) No trust is invalid or terminated, and title to trust
assets is not merged, because the trustee or trustees are the
same person or persons as the beneficiaries of the trust.
(b) This section applies to all trusts whenever executed or
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to prevent the merger of
trusts in which the trustee is also a beneficiary of the trust.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.
§44-5-15 is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring
have been omitted.