What Is the Cy-pres Doctrine?

When individuals set up a charitable trust, they have certain expectations regarding where their funds will go. They would rightfully suspect that their trust funds will go to the cause or organization detailed in the text of the trust. However, as many of these trusts are set aside as a part of a testamentary estate plan, the individual may not be alive to see the funds delivered. In instances when it is not possible to execute these trusts, the courts are permitted to intervene.

Contact the Houston wills and trusts attorneys of Garg & Associates, P.C., today at 281-362-2865 to discuss your estate plan options with a legal professional.

Court Intervention Factors

If a person assigns a particular beneficiary for a charitable trust and that organization disbands or the goal cannot be reached, the courts can intervene. Known as the cy-pres doctrine, the courts may then determine an appropriate use of that money following the general intentions of the trust’s creator. Intention, as shaped by the court, may take form through some of the following factors:

  • A person’s long-standing religious or group affiliations
  • Whether there are similar organizations
  • If the organization was simply bought-out
  • Related goals or programs to achieve similar goals

The cy-pres doctrine may work in a number of situations. For example, a person can set up a trust for an in-state college scholarship. However, if that state soon after declares that all in-state schools must be free of charge, this trust cannot be executed. As a result, the courts would step in and readjust the direction of these funds according to the general intentions of the trust’s creator.

Contact Us

If you are considering the future of your estate and need assistance with the creation of testamentary documents, the Houston wills and trusts attorneys of Garg & Associates, P.C., can help. Contact us today by calling 281-362-2865 for more information.

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Garg & Associates, PC | 21 Waterway Avenue, Suite 300 | The Woodlands, Texas 77380 Please call 281-362-2865 | Fax: 866-743-4506
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Land, River Oaks, Alief, Stafford, Missouri City, and Southwest Houston Texas.