January 14, 2012
Buckles: The Uniform Act, Federal Tax Law, and State Charity Law
Johnny Rex Buckles (Houston), Probing UPMIFA: The Mysteries of the Uniform Act in Light of Federal Tax and State Charity Laws and Concepts, 46 Real Prop. Tr. & Est. L.J. 281 (2011):
Charitable organizations in the United States hold over $3 billion in assets, and investments constitute a substantial portion of that amount. The single most important source of law governing the investment, management, and expenditure of charitable funds is the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA), which was promulgated in 2006 by the National Conference of Commissioners of Uniform State Laws as a replacement for the Uniform Management of Institutional Funds Act of 1972. This article maintains that while UPMIFA has successfully improved the level of guidance available to institutional fund holders and the fiduciaries that manage and invest those funds, the act has also provoked questions as to its proper scope, the extent to which it allows donors to control the management of their donations, and its interaction with the common law doctrine of cy pres. The author concludes that the careful drafting of gift instruments can resolve some of these questions, but that others will require judicial or legislative intervention.
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