This Comment argues that similar legislation would be desirable in Washington. Even though the proposed statute would entail a substantial deviation from the common-law rule, the resulting benefits justify the change. This Comment also examines the retroactive application of variation of trusts statutes and concludes that a retroactive application is constitutional. A requirement that courts consent on behalf of the beneficiaries only when the variation benefits the beneficiaries in some manners sufficiently protects the beneficiaries' constitutional interests under the contract clause10 and the due process clause of the federal Constitution. Finally, this Comment proposes that a Washington variation of trusts statute include: (1) a provision directing the court to consider the settlor's intentions before approving a requested variation, to maintain the stability of trusts validly created under Washington law; (2) a provision for separate representation for minor, disabled, unborn, or unascertained beneficiaries, to ensure that their interests are accurately represented to the court; and (3) a provision directing costs to be charged to adult beneficiaries when a variation is denied, to discourage frivolous trust litigation.
Julie A. Anderson, A Proposal for a Variation of Trusts Statute in Washington, 8 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 625 (1985).