Virtual Representation

Many modern trust laws include provisions to allow competent adults to speak for minor trust beneficiaries, a concept is called “virtual representation.” Although the specifics can vary by state, the concept of virtual representation is the same. Virtual representation provisions allow competent adults to speak for beneficiaries who lack the legal capacity to speak for themselves. Beneficiaries who may be represented can include minor children, incapacitated adults, unborn children, unascertained beneficiaries, and adult beneficiaries who cannot be located. These individuals would not be able to legally receive notice or assent to a trustee’s actions. The representative may be a competent adult beneficiary of the same trust, an attorney-in-fact, or a parent, depending on the situation. One key limitation on who can serve as representative is that the competent adult must not have a conflict of interest with the person being represented.

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Reference: Virtual Representation