Attorney James Spica Appointed by ABA as Advisor to Uniform Law Commission Drafting Committee

September 19, 2014
Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that Attorney James P. Spica has been appointed by the American Bar Association as ABA Advisor to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws’ Drafting Committee on Divided Trusteeship.

Mr. Spica is a Member in the firm’s Detroit office. He focuses his practice on estate and tax planning, trust banking, and trust litigation. He was the principal author of the Michigan Personal Property Trust Perpetuities Act of 2008 and of the “trust decanting” proposal enacted as 2012 Michigan Public Acts Nos. 483, 484 and 485. He served on the ad hoc committee of the ABA’s Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section that drafted the Section’s response (dated September 10, 2012) to the Treasury Department’s request (in IRS Notice 2011-101) for comments on the tax implications of trust decanting. His most recent publication, “Onus Fiduciae Est Omnis Divisa in Partes Tres: A Statutory Proposal for Partitioning Trusteeship,” will appear in the ABA’s Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Journal this fall.

Mr. Spica has an LL.M. (in Taxation) from New York University, was clerk to the Honorable Richard C. Wilbur, United States Tax Court, and held a series of law professorships, from 1988 to 2000, at the University of Detroit Mercy, where he lectured, latterly as a tenured Associate Professor, on taxation, trusts, and decedents’ estates. Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Michigan Super Lawyers, Leading Lawyers and DBusiness’ Top Lawyers, he is a coauthor of the Michigan Estate Planning Handbook (2nd ed. 2006 & Supp.) and Trust Administration Under the Michigan Trust Code (2010 & Supp.), a member of the Council (governing body) of the Probate and Estate Planning Section of the State Bar of Michigan, and a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.

The Uniform Law Commission (ULC) has worked for the uniformity of state laws since 1892. It is a non-profit unincorporated association, comprised of state commissions on uniform laws from each state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Drafting Committee on Divided Trusteeship will focus on the increasingly common practice in estate planning and asset management to name a trustee that is given custody of the trust property, but with one or more of the investment, distribution or administration functions of the trusteeship being given to a person or persons who are not formally designated as trustees. The Committee will draft legislation on divided trusteeship and also will draft conforming amendments to other uniform trust and estate acts as appropriate. As the ABA Advisor to the Committee, Mr. Spica will participate in the drafting process, report the Committee’s progress to ABA constituencies, and submit the final legislation to the ABA House of Delegates for approval. To learn more about the ULC, please visit
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