United States: Attorney James Spica Addresses ABA Real Property, Trust And Estate Law Section 2018 Spring Symposia
Last Updated: May 18 2018

On Thursday, May 10, 2018, Dickinson Wright Attorney James P. Spica addressed the American Bar Association (ABA) Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section 2018 Spring Symposia in Orlando, Florida as a member of the Symposia CLE faculty. His topic was the Uniform Directed Trust Act (UDTA). The UDTA has been promulgated by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, also known as the Uniform Law Commission (ULC). Mr. Spica is a ULC Commissioner (appointed by the State of Michigan's bipartisan Legislative Council) and served as the ABA Advisor to the ULC Drafting Committee that developed the UDTA. He is also the Chair of the Divided and Directed Trusteeships Committee of the Council of the Probate and Estate Planning Section of the State Bar of Michigan, which has developed a legislative proposal to enact the UDTA in Michigan as an amendment to the Michigan Trust Code. (That proposal is currently being prepared in the form of bill requests by the Michigan Legislative Service Bureau.)

Mr. Spica is the principal author of the Michigan Personal Property Trust Perpetuities Act and of Michigan's multi-statute "trust decanting" regime. In addition to serving as the ABA advisor to the ULC Directed Trust Drafting Committee, he served on the ad hoc committee of the ABA Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section that drafted the Section's response to the Treasury Department's request (IRS Notice 2011-101) for comments on the tax implications of trust decanting. He is a member of the ULC's Fiduciary Income and Principal Act (UFIPA) Drafting Committee, a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), a former member of the ACTEC State Laws Committee, a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a member of the Michigan Commission on Uniform State Laws, Chair of the UFIPA Committee of the Council of the Probate and Estate Planning Section of the State Bar of Michigan (Council), a former member of the Council (2006-2015), and a current member of the Probate and Estate Planning Advisory Board of Michigan's Institute of Continuing Legal Education.

As a Member in Dickinson Wright's Detroit office, Mr. Spica focuses his practice on estate and tax planning, trust banking, and trust litigation. Listed in Chambers High Net Worth Guide, The Best Lawyers in America, Michigan Super Lawyers, Leading Lawyers, and DBusiness Top Lawyers, he is the author of the Commentaries on the Michigan Powers of Appointment Act, the Michigan Uniform Statutory Rule Against Perpetuities, and the Personal Property Trust Perpetuities Act in the Michigan Probate Sourcebook (3rd ed. 2018), of the decanting chapter in Trust Administration Under the Michigan Trust Code (2010 & Supp.), and of the wills chapters in the Michigan Estate Planning Handbook (3rd ed. 2016 & Supp.). He clerked for Hon. Richard C. Wilbur on the United States Tax Court (1985) and taught jurisprudence, taxation, trusts, and decedents' estates as an Assistant/Associate Professor of Law at the University of Detroit Mercy (1989-2000, tenured 1996).

About the Uniform Directed Trust Act

The UDTA addresses an increasingly common arrangement in contemporary estate planning and asset management in which the terms of a trust grant a person other than a trustee (sometimes referred to as a "trust protector" or "trust adviser") a power over some aspect of the trust's administration. There is much uncertainty in existing law about the fiduciary duties both of a nontrustee who has such a power and of a trustee who is subject to one. The UDTA systematically address these and many other practical questions raised by the use of nontrustee powers of trust administration.

The Uniform Law Commission's History

On August 24, 1892, representatives from seven states—Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania—met in Saratoga Springs, New York, to form what is now known as the ULC. By 1912, every state was participating in the ULC, and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands also participate. There have been 125 Annual Conferences since 1892, convening at least once every year since the national organization's founding, with the exception of 1945. Over the course of its history, the ULC has become known as a distinguished body of lawyers. Its members include judges, academics, practitioners, and legislators. President Woodrow Wilson became a member in 1901, and several Justices of the United States Supreme Court, including former Justices Brandeis, Rutledge, and Souter and former Chief Justice Rehnquist, have served as commissioners. Many legal scholars have also served, including Professors John H. Wigmore, Samuel Williston, Roscoe Pound, and George G. Bogert. To learn more about the ULC, please click here.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Press Releases from this Firm
Recent Content from this Firm
By Marlene A. Pontrelli, Robert L. Schwartz
By Eric Gregory
By Sara Jodka
By Tara Halbert
By Heather Frayre
By W. Stuart Scott
By John Anderson, Sr., Michael S. Deel
By Erica A. Morris
By Aaron Burrell
By Todd Baxter
Font Size:
Mondaq Sign Up
Gain free access to lawyers expertise from more than 250 countries.
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Newsalert
Select Topics
Select Regions
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions