This article is a revised version of the Shirley A. Webster Lecture in Wealth Transfer Law given by the author at the University of Iowa. The article explores the central tension in the law of trusts between the rights and interests of the settlor and the rights and interests of the beneficiaries. In navigating these, the law of trusts has at times taken a position more favorable to the settlor and at other times a position more favorable to the beneficiaries. The article offers a descriptive and normative analysis of where American trust law has been and where it is going. The article argues that American trust law, which had previously moved in the direction of favoring the settlor, is moving in a new direction, with a more balanced recognition of the rights and interests of the beneficiaries. The article further argues that this new direction is appropriate and welcome.
Gallanis, Thomas P., The New Direction of American Trust Law (November 1, 2011). Iowa Law Review, Vol. 97, No. 1, 2011.