There are two types of trusts under the jurisdiction of the probate division of the Vermont Superior Court: testamentary and nontestamentary.
A testamentary trust is a trust created under the terms of a will. Historically, most trusts were set up as testamentary trusts and had to be established by the probate division. Currently, most trusts are set up outside of the court. Existing testamentary trusts may still fall under probate court supervision. Trustees are required to file annual accounts, but annual accounts may be waived by the court upon petition, if certain requirements are met.
A nontestamentary trust is also called an inter vivos, or living, trust. This kind of trust enables an adult to determine the extent of health care they will receive should if they become incapacitated or at the end of life. This kind of trust is usually established with the assistance of a lawyer. The court may become involved in a nontestamentary trust if an issue or dispute arises with a trustee or trust administration. An interested person may file a petition with the court.
Trust matters are governed by the Vermont Trust Code, 14 V.S.A. section 101-1204.
Petitions for review of nontestamentary trusts are governed by 18 V.S.A. section 9718.