Distributing Property

Fiduciary Duty in Making Distributions

Fiduciaries must exercise care when distributing property from estates and trusts, as they can be held personally liable for incorrect distributions.

Timing and type of income is a key consideration in making distributions.  As best practice, distributions should not be made until all creditor claims, debts, and tax effects of the distributions are determined.  Several statutes can have a considerable impact on the order and amounts of distributions.  Fiduciaries should be aware of the effect of:

  • Uniform Fiduciary Income and Principal Act UCA 22-3
  • Abatement under UCA 75-3-902 
  • Right of Retainer under  UCA § 75-3-903
  • Advancement under  UCA § 75-2-109
  • Ademption under UCA § 75-2-606

Distributions can be made at any time after the time for presenting claims against the estate has expired. UCA § 75-3-1001.  Where a distribution of property to the beneficiaries is desirable prior to settlement of all debts, fiduciaries should exercise care and withholding sufficient assets so that they do not exhaust the estate's property and render it insolvent.


Distribution Resources