SOUTH CAROLINA UNIFORM PRUDENT INVESTOR ACT
2019 South Carolina Code of Laws
Title 62 – South Carolina Probate Code
Article 7 – South Carolina Trust Code
Section 62-7-933. Uniform Prudent Investor Act.
(A) This section may be cited as the South Carolina Uniform Prudent Investor Act, or this act.
(B)(1) Except as otherwise provided in item (2) of this subsection, a trustee who invests and manages trust assets owes a duty to the beneficiaries of the trust to comply with the prudent investor rule in this act.
(2) The prudent investor rule is a default rule that may be expanded, restricted, eliminated, or otherwise altered by the provisions of a trust. A trustee is not liable to a beneficiary to the extent that the trustee acted in reasonable reliance on the provisions of the trust.
(C)(1) A trustee shall invest and manage trust assets as a prudent investor would by considering the purposes, terms, distribution requirements, and other circumstances of the trust. In satisfying this standard, the trustee shall exercise reasonable care, skill, and caution.
(2) A trustee’s investment and management decisions respecting individual assets must be evaluated not in isolation but in the context of the trust portfolio as a whole and as a part of an overall investment strategy having risk and return objectives reasonably suited to the trust.
(3) Among other circumstances provided in item (1) of this subsection which a trustee shall consider in investing and managing trust assets are such of the following as are relevant to the trust or its beneficiaries:
(a) general economic conditions;
(b) the possible effect of inflation or deflation;
(c) the expected tax consequences of investment decisions or strategies;
(d) the role that each investment or course of action plays within the overall trust portfolio, including financial assets, interests in closely held enterprises, tangible and intangible personal property, and real property;
(e) the expected total return from income and the appreciation of capital;
(f) other resources of the beneficiaries;
(g) needs for liquidity, regularity of income, and preservation or appreciation of capital; and
(h) an asset’s special relationship or special value to the purposes of the trust or to one or more of the beneficiaries.
(4) A trustee shall make a reasonable effort to verify facts relevant to the investment and management of trust assets.
(5)(a) A trustee may invest in any kind of property or type of investment consistent with the standards of this act.
(b) Nothing in this act prohibits affiliate investments if they otherwise comply with the standards of this act. For these purposes, ‘affiliate’ means an entity that owns or is owned by the trustee, in whole or in part, or is owned by the same entity that owns the trustee. Affiliate investments include:
(i) investment and reinvestment in the securities of an open-end or closed-end management investment company or of an investment trust registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended. A bank or trustee, or both of them, may invest in these securities even if the bank or trustee, or an affiliate of the bank or trustee, provides services to the investment company or investment trust such as that of an investment advisor, custodian, transfer agent, registrar, sponsor, distributor, manager, or otherwise, and receives reasonable remuneration for those services;
(ii) retention of the securities into which corporate securities owned by the trustee may be converted or which may be derived as a result of merger, consolidation, stock dividends, splits, liquidations, and similar procedures, and the exercise by purchase or otherwise any rights, warrants, or conversion features attaching to the securities;
(iii) purchase or other acquisition and retention of a security underwritten by a syndicate, even if the trustee or its affiliate participates or has participated as a member of the syndicate, provided the trustee does not purchase the security from itself, its affiliate, or from another member of the underwriting syndicate, or its affiliate, pursuant to an implied or express reciprocal agreement between the trustee, or its affiliate, and the other member, or its affiliate, to purchase all or part of each other’s underwriting participation commitment within the syndicate.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any fiduciary holding securities in its fiduciary capacity, any bank, trust company, or private banker holding securities as a custodian or managing agent, and any bank, trust company, or private banker holding securities as custodian for a fiduciary, is authorized to deposit or arrange for the deposit of such securities in a clearing corporation, as defined in Article 8 of the Uniform Commercial Code. When such securities are so deposited, certificates representing securities of the same class of the same issuer may be merged and held in bulk in the name of the nominee of such clearing corporation with any other such securities deposited in such clearing corporation by any person regardless of the ownership of such securities, and certificates of small denomination may be merged into one or more certificates of larger denomination. The records of such fiduciary and the records of such bank, trust company, or private banker acting as custodian, as managing agent or as custodian for a fiduciary shall at all times show the name of the party for whose account the securities are so deposited. Ownership of, and other interests in, such securities may be transferred by bookkeeping entry on the books of such clearing corporation without physical delivery of certificates representing such securities. A bank, trust company, or private banker so depositing securities pursuant to this section shall be subject to such regulations as in the case of state-chartered institutions, the Board of Financial Institutions, and, in the case of national banking associations, The Comptroller of the Currency may from time to time issue. A bank, trust company, or private banker acting as custodian for a fiduciary shall, on demand by the fiduciary, certify in writing to the fiduciary the securities so deposited by such bank, trust company, or private banker in such clearing corporation for the account of such fiduciary. A fiduciary shall, on demand by any party to a judicial proceeding for the settlement of such fiduciary’s account or on demand by the attorney for such party, certify in writing to such party the securities deposited by such fiduciary in such clearing corporation for its account as such fiduciary. This subsection shall apply to any fiduciary holding securities in its fiduciary capacity, and to any bank, trust company, or private banker holding securities as a custodian, managing agent, or custodian for a fiduciary, acting on April 17, 1973, or who thereafter may act regardless of the date of the agreement, instrument, or court order by which it is appointed and regardless of whether or not such fiduciary, custodian, managing agent, or custodian for a fiduciary owns capital stock of such clearing corporation.
(D) A trustee shall diversify the investments of the trust unless the trustee reasonably determines that, because of special circumstances, the purposes of the trust are better served without diversifying.
(E) Within a reasonable time after accepting a trusteeship or receiving trust assets, a trustee shall review the trust assets and make and implement decisions concerning the retention and disposition of assets in order to bring the trust portfolio into compliance with the purposes, terms, distribution requirements, and other circumstances of the trust and with the requirements of this act.
(G) Compliance with the prudent investor rule is determined in light of the facts and circumstances existing at the time of a trustee’s decision or action and not by hindsight.
(I) The following terms or comparable language in the provisions of a trust, unless otherwise limited or modified, authorize any investment or strategy permitted pursuant to this act: “investments permissible by law for investment of trust funds”, “legal investments”, “authorized investments”, “using the judgment and care under the circumstances then prevailing that persons of prudence, discretion, and intelligence exercise in the management of their own affairs, not in regard to speculation but in regard to the permanent disposition of their funds, considering the probable income as well as the probable safety of their capital”, “prudent man rule”, “prudent trustee rule”, “prudent person rule”, and “prudent investor rule”.
(J)(1) Notwithstanding provisions of this act to the contrary, the duties of a trustee with respect to acquiring a contract of insurance upon the life of the trustor or upon the lives of the trustor and the trustor’s spouse, children, or parents do not include a duty to:
(a) determine whether the contract is or remains a proper investment;
(b) exercise policy options available under the contract; or
(c) diversify the contract.
(2) The trustee is not liable to the beneficiaries of the contract of insurance or to another party for loss arising from this subsection.
(3) Except as specifically provided in the trust instrument, the provisions of this subsection apply to a trust established before or after the effective date of this subsection and to a life insurance policy acquired by the trustee before or after the effective date of this act.
(K) This act applies to “charitable remainder trusts”. “Charitable remainder trust” means a trust that provides for a specified distribution at least annually for either life or a term of years to one or more beneficiaries, at least one of which is not a charity with an irrevocable remainder interest to be held for the benefit of, or paid over to, charity.
(L) This act must be applied and construed to effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the law with respect to the subject of this act among the States enacting it.
HISTORY: 2005 Act No. 66, Section 1; 2010 Act No. 244, Section 57, eff June 7, 2010; 2013 Act No. 100, Section 2, eff January 1, 2014.
Effect of Amendment
The 2010 amendment in subsection (C)(3) substituted “Among other circumstances provided in item (1) of this subsection which a” for “A”, and substituted “are such” for “those circumstances” following “investing and managing trust assets”.
The 2013 amendment made nonsubstantive changes.