What Is a Directed Trust?

When thinking about your family wealth management there are many different options available to you. Consulting with an experienced asset protection planning attorney can help you to decide which of these tactics is most appropriate for you. A directed trust could be an option if you are contemplating establishing a family trust. Directed trusts have been in existence for many years but were not recognized in the law until 1986 when the state of Delaware adopted the first legislation.

Other states have also created directed trust statutes including South Dakota, Nevada, Illinois, and Alaska but it’s important to remember that you do not need to live in one of these states to take advantage of a directed trust. Turning over wealth to a corporate trustee is one of the leading concerns for families creating trusts.

Directed trusts give a way to set up a trust to transition into a fiduciary relationship instead. The way these work is that an individual is appointed either as a firm or as a sole advisor who directs the trustee on a certain aspect of trust administration, such as distributions to beneficiaries or investment management.

This means that you can take advantage of the experience, longevity and stability of a known corporate trustee but place responsibility for specific decisions with another firm or individual. Corporate fiduciaries often have extensive experience in managing investments for trusts and in exercising discretionary powers for beneficiary distribution. In all of these circumstances a directed trust might be the perfect way for you to accomplish your individual estate planning goals.

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