As modern trust laws have proliferated over the past 20 years, the decision as to where to place a trust has become as important as the decision to create one in the planning process. Researching and identifying states with the most sophisticated and powerful trust planning tools around asset protection, privacy trust laws, and trust tax planning has become of paramount importance, especially as these tools deliver direction and control to settlors of trusts, beneficiaries, and their advisors. For this reason, industry publications have focused on this vitally important jurisdiction decision, producing objective education pieces, statutory analysis, and well-researched comparative charts which led to Bridgeford Trust Company’s trust jurisdiction chart comparing the leading top-tier U.S. trust jurisdictions, with a particular emphasis on areas that clearly distinguish South Dakota as the superior trust jurisdiction in the overall analysis.

Developing case law and other legal authority governing and guiding the fiduciary industry, including the Uniform Probate Code and the Restatement (Third) of Trusts, has clearly identified a duty to select proper trust jurisdiction in the planning process. Even further, there is a continuing duty to ensure that jurisdiction is proper, with at least one state Supreme Court case suggesting that there is a duty to decant a trust and move it to a more favorable trust jurisdiction to protect trust assets. The video below analyzes the legal authority and examines the question as to whether there is, in fact, a fiduciary duty to select the proper trust jurisdiction, and whether it may be professional malpractice not to do so in the planning process.

We’d love to hear from you to discuss this fiduciary duty to select the proper U.S. trust jurisdiction further! As always, please feel free to reach out about this and other information about powerful modern trust law concepts and the South Dakota Advantage by contacting us via our contact page or by calling (605) 224-9189.