By Bobby Harrison
Daily Journal Jackson Bureau
JACKSON – Legislation allowing Mississippians to place their assets in a trust for up to 360 years passed the state House Thursday and is now pending before Gov. Phil Bryant.
Earlier, a spokesperson for Bryant said the governor would study the legislation when it reaches his desk before deciding whether to sign it into law.
Despite questions in the House on the reason it would be necessary to form a trust that would last 360 years, the legislation passed by an overwhelming 105-12 margin.
“I am not so sure it makes any sense whatsoever to be talking about having a trust for 19 generations or longer,” said Rep. Cecil Brown, D-Jackson, who ended up voting for the legislation.
House Judiciary A Chair Mark Barker, R-Brandon, said many states were passing laws allowing for the establishments of trusts for 360 years or longer. He said in reality the process is already occurring through loopholes in the existing state rules against perpetuities.
In general, though, current Mississippi law allows a person to set up a trust that would last to a point where a person’s grandchildren were young adults. But at a certain age, in general terms, the grandchildren would have the authority to control the property and assets as they saw fit.
Under the bill heading to the governor, a trust on property could last for 110 years. But a trust for assets, such as money and investments, would be allowed to last 360 years.
Trusts generally make it easier to avoid paying taxes on assets and property.
Various groups that deal with trusts and estate planning, including banks, have been advocating the proposal.