Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 18. Charitable and Split-Interest Trusts.


§ 21–1801. Charitable and split-interest trusts.

(a) Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in the governing instrument or under any law applicable to the District of Columbia (except as provided in subsection (e) of this section), the governing instrument of any trust which is treated during a particular year as a private foundation described in section 509 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (including any nonexempt charitable trust described in section 4947(a)(1) of the Code which is treated as a private foundation) and the governing instrument of any nonexempt split-interest trust described in section 4947(a)(2) of the Code (but only to the extent that section 508(e) of the Code is applicable to such nonexempt split-interest trust) shall be deemed during such particular year to contain all of the following provisions:

(1) The trust shall not engage in any act of self-dealing which is taxable under section 4941 of the Code.

(2) The trust shall make distributions at such time and in such manner as not to subject it to tax under section 4942 of the Code.

(3) The trust shall not retain any excess business holdings which would subject it to tax under section 4943 of the Code.

(4) The trust shall not make any investments which would subject it to tax under section 4944 of the Code.

(5) The trust shall not make any taxable expenditures which would subject it to tax under section 4945 of the Code.

With respect to any such trust created prior to January 1, 1970, subsection (a) shall apply to taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 1972.

(b) Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in the governing instrument, the trustee or trustees of any trust described in subsection (a), other than a trust described in section 4947(a)(2) of the Code, may, without application to any court, amend the governing instrument expressly to include the provisions required by section 508(e) of the Code by executing a written amendment to the trust and delivering a copy thereof, by certified mail, to each named beneficiary, if any.

(c) Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in the governing instrument, the trustee or trustees of any trust described in section 4947(a)(2) of the Code to which subsection (a) is applicable may, after obtaining the written consent of the creator of such trust if then living and competent to give such consent, and without application to any court, amend the governing instrument expressly to include the provisions required by section 508(e) of the Code by executing a written amendment to the trust and delivering a copy thereof by certified mail, to each named beneficiary, if any.

(d) Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in the governing instrument, the trustee or trustees of any trust described in section 4947(a)(2) of the Code to which subsection (a) is applicable, with the consent of each beneficiary named in such governing instrument, may, without application to any court, amend the governing instrument to conform to the provisions of section 664 of the Code by executing a written amendment to the trust for such purpose. Consent shall not be required as to individual named beneficiaries not living at the time of the amendment. In the case of any individual beneficiary not competent to give consent, the consent of a guardian, appointed by a court of competent jurisdiction, shall be treated as consent of the beneficiary. In the case of any amendment to a trust created by will, such amendment may, if provided in the amendment, be deemed to apply as of the date of death of the testator.

(e) The provisions of subsection (a) shall not apply to any trust to the extent that a court of competent jurisdiction shall determine that such application would be contrary to the terms of the governing instrument and that such instrument may not properly be amended to conform with subsection (a).

(f) For purposes of this section, the term “trust” includes (1) any trust created by will of a resident of the District of Columbia admitted to probate in the District of Columbia, (2) any trust created by a resident of the District of Columbia and executed in the District of Columbia, (3) any trust of which the trustee or a co-trustee is a bank or trust company doing business in the District of Columbia, (4) any trust of which a majority of the trustees are resident in the District of Columbia, (5) any trust of real property located in the District of Columbia, and (6) any trust the governing instrument of which provides that it is governed by the laws of the District of Columbia.

(g) For the purposes of this section, the term “Code” means the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.


(Dec. 6, 1971, 85 Stat. 494, Pub. L. 92-177, § 1; Mar. 24, 1998, D.C. Law 12-81, § 14(q), 45 DCR 745.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 21-1801.

1973 Ed., § 21-1801.

Cross References

Corporations law, related provision, see § 29-321.01.

Uniform management of institutional funds, see § 44-1601 et seq.

References in Text

Sections 508, 509, 664, 4941 to 4945, and 4947 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, referred to throughout this section, are classified to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as 26 U.S.C. § 508, 509, 644, 4941 to 4945, and 4947.