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Of all the instruments available to a donor wishing to transfer property, none has the versatility of the power of appointment. The transfer of legal title to property combined with the creation of a power of appointment rids the donor of ownership of the property and provides the donee of the power with the flexibility to apportion the property in accordance with future needs and events arising long after the time of such transfer. This flexibility is often unavailable even in a carefully drafted trust which does not contain powers of appointment. A trustee with power to invade principal or to spray income among a class of beneficiaries can control somewhat the eventual distribution, but the identity of the beneficiaries must be definite, at least as to such class, or the trust will fail for lack of a cestui que trust. This is not the case with a power of appointment. The donor of a power can postpone until well after his death a final determination of both the amount of the gift and the identity of the recipient. The outcome of future events can thus be taken into consideration before ownership finally vests.


C. Terry Johnson is a Partner, Smith & Schnacke, Dayton, Ohio; A.B. Trinity College, 1960; J.D. Columbia Law School, 1963.

Frank B. Williams III Iis a Trust Officer, First National Bank of Dayton, Ohio; B.A. Vanderbilt University, 1968; J.D. Chase College of Law, 1977.

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