Dalton Tomich
  • call us: 313.859.6000
  • The Chrysler House
    719 Griswold Street, Suite 270
    Detroit, Michigan 48226

United Methodist Church

Understanding the Trust Clause

There are few issues in Church law more perplexing than understanding the ownership of Church property. This is even more true with respect to a local congregation that is affiliated with the United Methodist Church.

Unfortunately, there is no specific answer to the ownership of property issue as the answer is based on an interpretation of the Methodist trust clause under state trust law.

Free guide to the United Methodist Church trust clause

In a nutshell, the free guide addresses the big issues contemplated by new local churches like yours, and will let you know when seeking local counsel is necessary.

While this guide will not answer all of your questions and should not be interpreted as providing legal advice, we hope you find it helpful as your local church embarks on a new journey. Please do not hesitate to contact Daniel P. Dalton directly to answer your specific questions.

You may also be interested in our free guide to leaving the United Methodist Church.

State law and the United Methodist Church trust clause

There has been very little judicial guidance from state courts on the issue of ownership of property under the Methodist trust clause. Nonetheless, leading church property attorney Daniel P. Dalton has written a free downloadable guide providing analysis of the trust clause based on present day case law.

The good news is that there are very few states that have truly examined the Methodist trust clause. The bad news is that you truly need to have someone guide you through the trust clause litigation process so that other Methodist Churches will not become beholden to “bad law” based on an errant judicial decision.

Sign Up to Receive
Your Free Guide

No Attorney-Client Relationship or Confidentiality. A visit to our Web site, or an inquiry from this site to one of our attorneys or staff members, does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Dalton & Tomich PLC. For this reason, we caution you not to send us any information about a legal matter until after you have spoken with one of our attorneys and received instructions about what information to provide him or her. Unsolicited information that you send to Dalton & Tomich PLC will not be treated as confidential. While we would like to hear from you, we cannot represent you or advise you whether you have a claim until we know that there is no conflict of interest. In addition, as the Internet is not a guaranteed secure environment, information sent via the Internet by form or e-mail might be intercepted and read by third parties. A telephone number is provided on each attorney's biography page.