Research guides

Pennsylvania Wills, Trusts, and Estates

Drafting Trusts

A trust is "a fiduciary relationship with respect to property, arising from a manifestation of intention to create that relationship and subjecting the person who holds title to the property to duties to deal with it for the benefit of charity or for one or more persons, at least one of whom is not the sole trustee." Restatement (Third) of Trusts § 2 (Am. Law Inst. 2003).

In Pennsylvania, "a trust exists when one holds the legal title to property for the benefit of another, or when the legal estate, interest or title in the property is in one person and the equitable estate, interest or title is in another." 51 P.L.E.2d Trusts § 1 (2010).

The Pennsylvania legislature passed the Pennsylvania Uniform Trust Act in 2006 (2006, July 7, P.L. 625, No. 98; legislative history). The majority of this act is codified at 20 Pa.C.S. §§ 7701-7799.3. See the Tables volumes of the print Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes for the correlation table that lists additional statute sections related to this act. For where to find Pennsylvania statutes, see the Pennsylvania Statutes guide.

The Pennsylvania Uniform Trust Act is based upon the Uniform Trust Code (2000) approved and recommended by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. For more information, see the 2005 Joint State Government Commission Comment found at the beginning Title 20, Chapter 77 of the print Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and on Westlaw. HeinOnline's National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws Collection includes the Uniform Trust Code (2000) as well as various drafts and amendments.

Additional trust-related laws may be included in other areas of the Pennsylvania Statutes. For example, Title 20, Chapter 75 is "Limitations on Exercise of Trustee Powers and Powers of Beneficiaries to Appoint Trustees." Use the index volumes or conduct a search to find relevant statutes.

The resources listed below are a selection of the secondary materials related to trusts in Pennsylvania. It may be beneficial to also look at the resources listed in the Estate Practice & Planning page of this guide. Additional material may be available at Jenkins. Search the Jenkins' catalog for trust* and limit the location to Pennsylvania for a more detailed list. Visitors to Jenkins may also want to browse the shelves around call numbers KFP137 through KFP140.

Forms

Dunlap-Hanna Pennsylvania Forms LexisNexis
Also available on the library's Lexis computers.
See Chapter 67: Charitable Trusts, Chapter 70: Trusts, and Chapter 78: Trust Estates.

Estate Planning in Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Bar Institute
See Chapter 4: Drafting the Trust. Includes forms.
Library also has previous editions: see all.

PA Legal Forms Gale
Member database available to all members. Includes a variety of forms relating to trusts, including "Agreement Among Beneficiaries to Terminate Trust", "General Form of Amendment of Trust Agreement", "General Form of Irrevocable Trust Agreement", "Release by Trustor of Right to Revoke Trust", and "Trust Agreement - Family Special Needs".

Pennsylvania Transaction Guide: Legal Forms LexisNexis
Also available on the library's Lexis computers. Also referred to as Bongiovanni.
See chapters 83-107. Topics include "Standard Testamentary Trusts", "Revocable Trusts", and "Charitable Trusts."

Research Tip

Forms may also be included in the other resources listed on this page.

For additional resources on estate planning for animals and pets, see the Animal Law guide.

Member Databases

PA Legal Forms Gale
Member database available to all members. Includes a variety of forms relating to trusts, including "Agreement Among Beneficiaries to Terminate Trust", "General Form of Amendment of Trust Agreement", "General Form of Irrevocable Trust Agreement", "Release by Trustor of Right to Revoke Trust", and "Trust Agreement - Family Special Needs".

Pennsylvania Law Encyclopedia
Available on the LexisNexis Digital Library. See "Trusts" (vol. 51).
Also on the library's Lexis computers and in print.

Onsite Print & Electronic

Dunlap-Hanna Pennsylvania Forms LexisNexis
Also available on the library's Lexis computers.
See Chapter 67: Charitable Trusts, Chapter 70: Trusts, and Chapter 78: Trust Estates.

Partridge-Remick Practice and Procedure in the Orphan's Court Division, Court of Common Pleas of Pennsylvania LexisNexis
Also available on the library's Lexis computers.
See Chapter XXXV: Trustees.

Pennsylvania Estate Planning, Wills, and Trusts Library: Forms and Practice Manual Data Trace Pub.
Includes forms.

Pennsylvania Law Encyclopedia LexisNexis
Also available on the library's Lexis computers and the LexisNexis Digital Library.
See "Trusts" (vol. 51). Library also has previous edition: see all.

Pennsylvania Orphans' Court Commonplace Book Bisel
Also referred to as Hunter's. See "Trusts" and "Trustees". Library also has previous edition: see all.

Pennsylvania Special Needs Planning Guide: A Handbook for Trustees of Special Needs Trusts and Their Advisors Bisel
Includes forms. Library also has previous edition: see all.

Pennsylvania Transaction Guide: Legal Forms LexisNexis
Also available on the library's Lexis computers. Also referred to as Bongiovanni.
See chapters 83-107. Topics include "Standard Testamentary Trusts", "Revocable Trusts", and "Charitable Trusts."

Pennsylvania Trust Guide: A Handbook for Trustees and Their Advisors Bisel
Includes forms. Library also has previous editions: see all.

Standard Pennsylvania Practice West
Also available on the library's Westlaw computers.
See Chapter 160: Trusts, Generally, Chapter 161: Trustees, Generally, and Chapter 162: Accounting by Trustees; Trust Distribution. Library also has previous edition: see all.

Summary of Pennsylvania Jurisprudence 2d West
Also available on the library's Westlaw computers.
See Probate, Estates, and Trusts, Part 3: Trusts (chapters 29-41). Library also has previous edition.

PBI Publications

24th Annual Estate Law Institute
See Chapter D: Revisiting Solomon: Using Trusts to Protect a Child's Inheritance from Equitable Distribution in Divorce; Chapter I: Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts; and Chapter K: A Continuing Retrospective of the Pennsylvania Uniform Trust Act.

25th Annual Estate Law Institute
See Chapter D: Drafting Special Needs Trusts, Chapter E: Trust Essentials, Chapter I: Introduction to Tax-Driven Trusts, Chapter M: Tax-Driven Trusts - Advanced Concepts, Chapter P: Non-Tax Considerations in Drafting Trusts, and Chapter X: Special Needs Trusts.

The Art of Trust Litigation: Amending, Challenging and Modifying Trusts in PA

Drafting Wills and Trusts in Pennsylvania PBI Press
Includes forms. Library has previous editions: see all.

Estate Planning in Pennsylvania
See Chapter 4: Drafting the Trust. Includes forms.
Library has previous editions: see all.

Fixing a Broken Trust
Includes forms. Library has previous edition: see all.

Irrevocable Trusts: Drafting with the Right Ingredients
Library has previous editions: see all.

Making Use of Trusts for Asset Protection of the Middle Class

Pennsylvania Uniform Trust Act: Pitfalls & Solutions

Pooled Disability Trusts: Protecting the Futures of Individuals with Disabilities
Includes forms.

Special Needs Trusts
Includes forms. Library has previous editions: see all.

Trusts: Drafting Well to Administer Well

Using Trusts as Building Blocks for Your Client's Estate Plan: Common Trust Techniques
Includes forms.

Wills v. Trusts: A Primer on the Right Tools for Your Client