The majority rule in America for the amendment and termination of trusts was first adopted in Claflin v. Claflin and came to be known as the Claflin Doctrine. This rule states that "a testator has a right to dispose of his own property with such restrictions and limitations, not repugnant to law, as he sees fit, and that his intentions ought to be carried out, unless they contravene some positive rule of law, or are against public policy." In effect, the Claflin Doctrine is codified in the Restatement (Second) of Trusts, which states that trust beneficiaries cannot compel a trust's premature termination or modification unless 1) all beneficiaries consent (where none are incapacitated), and 2) such termination or modification will not defeat a material purpose of the trust.4 The Claflin Doctrine has been the law in Virginia for some time.
Jessica L. Lacey,
The Dead Hand Loses Its Grip In Virginia: A New Rule For Trust Amendment and Termination?,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol29/iss4/14