Mastering Fiduciary Accounting Income for Estate Planners and Administrators

Interpreting Operating Documents, Applying UPIA & State Law, Designing Distribution Strategies, Avoiding Beneficiary Challenges

Recording of a 90-minute CLE/CPE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Program Materials

This CLE/CPE webinar will provide estate planners with a comprehensive and practical guide to navigating the complexities of fiduciary accounting income (FAI) for trusts and estates. The panel will focus on the impact of FAI on planners and estate administrators and will detail how to interpret essential trust and estate provisions to apply to FAI calculations. The program will focus on planning implications of FAI considerations, including distribution strategies and specific allocation challenges under trust accounting principles.


A critical and often overlooked task for estate planners, administrators and trustees is navigating the rules governing FAI. FAI is the amount generally available to distribute to income beneficiaries of a trust or estate. It is different from both taxable income and distributable net income, both of which are tax-related concepts. Estate planners and administrators must have a thorough understanding of FAI principles to allocate income and expenses properly and distribute assets equitably.

The starting point for determining FAI is the operating instrument, such as a will or trust agreement. Where the operating document is unclear as to an income receipt, an expense item or a distribution item, the FAI determination defaults to the state law of the trust situs. Most states have incorporated the UPIA, with some local differences. However, fiduciary accounting principles determine the timing and amount of distributions to beneficiaries.

Another critical skill is reconciling FAI to both distributable net income and trust taxable income. Where trust documents do not adequately address distributable net income inclusion of capital gains, fiduciaries face significant tax challenges that can complicate distribution and allocation decisions. Accountants and lawyers representing fiduciaries must grasp the critical differences between fiduciary accounting and tax accounting to avoid both tax consequences and beneficiary challenges.

Listen as our experienced panel provides a deep and practical guide to what estate planners must know to master FAI beyond the basics.



  1. Specific challenges in allocating income and expenses to FAI
  2. UPIA factors in calculating FAI
  3. Impact of FAI on trust distributions
  4. Tax considerations such as distributable net income inclusion on distribution strategies
  5. Planning considerations and traps to avoid


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • How operating documents impact FAI calculations
  • Interpreting state laws and UPIA provisions in circumstances where operating documents are silent or inconclusive
  • Reconciling FAI to distributable net income and to trust taxable income
  • How FAI determines distribution amounts and timing


Deeter, Ellen
Ellen M. Deeter

Of Counsel
Dale & Eke

Ms. Deeter’s practice is focused on estate planning and administration; estate, trust and elder law mediation;...  |  Read More

Humphrey, Michael
Michael D. Humphrey

Vishnick McGovern Milizio

Mr. Humphrey, who leads the firm’s Charitable Bequest Management Group, serves in the firm’s Trust and...  |  Read More

Other Formats
— Anytime, Anywhere

Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include program handouts. To find out which recorded format will provide the best CLE option, select your state:

CLE On-Demand Video



CPE Not Available