Claflin-trust principle. The doctrine that a trust cannot be terminated by the beneficiaries if the termination would defeat one of the settlor’s material purposes in establishing the trust, even if all the beneficiaries seek its termination. ? The Claflin rule, which derives from Claflin v. Claflin, 20 N.E. 454 (Mass. 1889), is often cited as the purest illustration of ¡°deadhand control,¡± in which the wishes of the now-dead settlor prevail over the wishes and needs of living beneficiaries. If the settlor is alive and consents to the modification or termination of the trust, the trust may usu. be terminated, unless it is irrevocable. Trusts in the Claflin category are spendthrift trusts, support trusts, trusts in which the trustee has discretion to make distributions, and trusts in which the beneficiary is entitled to income until a certain age, at which point the beneficiary will receive the principal.
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