Key Developments for Wyoming Trust & Estate Practitioners: 2019 Legislative Updates

Five amendments, one repeal and six new statues have been passed by Wyoming Legislature that affect Trust and Estate practitioners. An overview of these changes, as well as links to summaries can be found below.

Amended Statutes

  1. Trust Company Statutes: HB0030

    • Amended and reorganized statutes that provide for governance, formation, administration, and dissolution of (1) public trust companies, (2) chartered family trust companies, and (3) private family trust companies.

    • Summary - Trust Company Amendment (HB0030)

    • Effective July 1, 2019

  2. Uniform Trust Code: HB0056

    • Amended language to prohibit forced heirship and legitimate claims by persons in jurisdictions (including U.S.) that recognize forced heirship, and to clarify discretionary distribution standards as well as judicial review of an exercise of discretion by a trustee.

    • Summary - Uniform Trust Code Amendment (HB0056)

    • Effective July 1, 2019

  3. Rule Against Perpetuities: HB0031

    • Deleted opt out language and simplified language so that common law rule applies to trusts holding real property and 1,000 year rule applies to trusts holding non-real property unless the trust instrument expressly provides an earlier term.

    • Summary - RAP Amendments (HB0031)

    • Effective July 1, 2019

  4. Principal and Income Act: HB0033

    • Amended language so that the act applies to every trust with a principal place of administration in Wyoming and to every decedent’s estate probated in Wyoming unless a trust or will expressly provides that the principal and income act of another state applies.

    • Summary - Principal and Income Act Amendments (HB0033)

    • Effective July 1, 2019

  5. Summary Probate Procedures

    • Added definition of “distributee” for summary probate procedures; amended language to forever bar untimely objections to summary probate distributions and permit summary probate distributions to persons claiming title to decedent’s property through intervening estates.

    • Summary - Summary Probate Procedures Amendment (HB0086)

    • Effective February 26, 2019

Repealed Statues

  1. Illegitimate Persons Descent - Repeal: HB0269

    • Repealed the rule of descent for all property of illegitimate persons dying intestate and having property and effects in Wyoming, and removed “illegitimate child” from the definition of “child” under the Wyoming Probate Code.

    • Summary - Repeal of Illegitimate Persons Decent (HB0269)

    • Effective July 1, 2019

Newly Created Statues

  1. Wyoming Statutory Foundation Act: HB0236

  2. Chancery Court of the State of Wyoming: SF0104

    • Created a new court in Wyoming identified as the “Chancery Court of the State of Wyoming” which court will have primary jurisdiction over many disputes involving commercial, business, trust and similar issues.

    • Summary - Chancery Court of the Stat of Wyoming (SF01014)

    • Effective March 15, 2019

  3. Special Purpose Depository Institutions: HB0074

    • Created a “special purpose depository institution” as a new form of bank in Wyoming so that Wyoming can offer blockchain innovators with a financial institution alternative that is capable of managing accounts in virtual currency and holding other digital assets.

    • Summary - Special Purpose Depository Institutions (HB0074)

    • Effective October 1, 2019

  4. Commercial Filing System (Secretary of State Filing Changes): HB0070

  5. Corporate Stock Certificate Tokens: HB0185

    • Authorized Wyoming corporations to track equity ownership through the issuance of “certificate tokens” which are shares of stock issued in an electronic format using blockchain technology, or similarly secure technology, as a primary security protocol.

    • Summary - Corporate Stock Certificate Tokens (HB0185)

    • Effective July 1, 2019

  6. Financial Technology Sandbox: HB0057

    • Created a flexible environment in which innovators will be able to develop and test new financial technologies which may not fit within the regulatory framework that currently exists in many states.

    • Summary - Financial Technology Sandbox (HB0057)

    • Effective January 1, 2020

Claire Adams