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Family Trusts: A Guide for Beneficiaries, Trustees, Trust Protectors, and Trust Creators



Family Trusts: A Guide for Beneficiaries, Trustees, Trust Protectors, and Trust Creators

Hartley Goldstone, James E. Hughes Jr., Keith Whitaker

ISBN: 978-1-119-11826-8 October 2015 320 Pages


An insightful and practical guide to family trusts

Family Trusts is a step-by-step guide for anyone involved in family trusts: trust creators, trustees, beneficiaries, and advisors. It will help families create and administer a culture that recognizes trusts as a gift of love.

Marrying the practical and emotional aspects of family wealth, this book provides a hands-on primer that focuses on fostering positive relationships, and structuring the trust appropriately for the situation and the people involved. It tackles difficult topics with frank and honest discussion, from the first beneficiary meeting to working with addictions, and more. Written by a team of experts in family wealth, this information is becoming increasingly crucial to the successful execution of a trust; you'll learn what type of person makes the best trustee, how to be an excellent beneficiary, and the technical aspects that help you build a better trust from the very beginning.

There's been a staggering increase in trustee/beneficiary litigation and hostility, but that doesn't mean it's inevitable. Plenty of trusts are running smoothly, with positive experiences on all sides. This book shows you how to set up your trust to succeed from the start, with step-by-step guidance and expert insight.

  • Express clear and thoughtful intent for the trust
  • Create a healthy and supportive culture
  • Select the right trustee, trust protector, and trust advisor
  • Take the time to prepare before initially meeting the beneficiary
  • Conduct a productive first meeting to set a tone for the relationship

Historically, there has been little consideration given to the culture of trusts, and this oversight may be a key driver of the behavior that's becoming more prevalent. Family Trusts explores the nature of these relationships, and shows you how to build a trust that retains the nature and spirit with which it was intended.

Acknowledgments xv

Foreword xvii

Preface xxv

Introduction 1
Keith Whitaker

Principles 3

Notes 13

Part One: Introducing the Trustscape 15

Chapter 1 Navigation Works Better When You Have a Destination in Mind 17

Beyond the Thought Experiment 20

Questions for Reflection 22

Note 22

Chapter 2 The Trustscape 23

Introducing Your Trustscape 25

A Dynamic Tableau 26

A Closing Exercise 27

Note 28

Chapter 3 Some Key Terms 29

Chapter 4 Know Your Narratives 33

Depends Where You’re Sitting 35

A Thirst for Education 36

Note 39

Part Two: The Players 41

Chapter 5 The Trust 43

A Short Description of a Long History 44

A Closing Exercise 47

Notes 50

Chapter 6 The Trustee 51

The Trustee 52

Choices 55

Chapter 7 Beneficiaries and Trust Creators 59

Beneficiaries 62

Trust Creators 66

Notes 75

Chapter 8 The Trust Protector and the Trust Adviser 77

Trust Advisers 78

Trust Protectors 79

Choices 81

Part Three: Building Great Relationships 85

Chapter 9 Considerations Prior to Accepting Appointment as Trustee 87

So—You’ve Been Asked to Serve as Trustee 89

Now for Some Homework 89

If You Are New to the Trustscape 90

Understanding the Technical Side 91

Almost There 93

A Final Step 94

Note 95

Chapter 10 Creating Preambles 97

Preambles and Purpose 98

“But My Trust Was Drafted 20 Years Ago!” 100

Themes and Schemes 101

Preambles Created by Trustees and Beneficiaries 102

Revisit the Preamble 103

As You Begin to Create Your Preamble 104

Note 105

Chapter 11 Action Steps Prior to the First Trustee-Beneficiary Meeting 107

If You Are a Trustee 108

If You Are a Beneficiary 110

Note 113

Chapter 12 Positive Events, Supportive Responses 115

Matching Mind-set to Task 116

Supportive Responses to Positive Events 119

Play to Your Strengths 121

Notes 122

Chapter 13 Trustee-Beneficiary Meetings 123

Premeeting Checklists 124

If This Is the First Meeting 126

A Sampling of Agenda Items 128

An “Appreciative” Exercise 130

Note 131

Chapter 14 Requests for Distribution 133

“This Worked because I Knew Susan . . .” 135

The Request Process 137

Analysis of a Request 139

About Enhancement 142

Note 143

Chapter 15 Working with Addictions 145

Chapter 16 Trusts and Marriage 153

Prenuptials 154

Within Marriage 157

Second Marriages and Beyond 161

Notes 163

Chapter 17 Transitions 165

Solomon’s Ring 165

This Too Shall Pass 166

Changing the Trust 167

Changing the Players 169

Coming to an End 171

Note 173

Part Four: A Comprehensive Model for a Humane Trustscape 175

Chapter 18 A Promise and a Challenge for Trust Creators 177

A Trust Creator’s Challenge 178

First, an Exercise for Trust Creators 179

Note 180

Chapter 19 The Highest Duty of the Trustee and the Corresponding Responsibility of the Beneficiary 181

I Wrote These Great Docs, but My Clients Won’t Sign . . . 183

The Highest Duty of the Trustee and the Corresponding Responsibility of the Beneficiary 184

Support for the Trustee 186

Support for the Beneficiary 188

Chapter 20 The Distribution Committee and the Office of the Beneficiary 191

Distribution Committee 192

The Office of the Beneficiary 195

Conclusion 201

Chapter 21 The Trustee and the Trust Protector Revisited 203

Which Cap’s on Top? 205

A Different Approach 206

Reconsidering the Institutional Trustee 209

Note 211

Appendices 213

Appendix 1 Sample Legacy Letter 215

Appendix 2 Sample Language Regarding Addiction 223

Appendix 3 The Distribution Committee 235

The Core Concept 236

Committee Members 237

Drafting Points 238

Appendix 4 Private Trust Companies 243

Definitions 243

PTCs versus Individual Trustees 244

Governance 246

Best Practices 248

Appendix 5 Family Trust Review 253

Purpose 253

Content 253

Process 254

Why Commission a Family Trust Review? 254

Opportunities for Commissioning a Family Trust Review 255

Note 256

Appendix 6 Reflections on the Often Unexpected Consequences of the Creation of a Perpetual Trust 257
By James E. Hughes Jr., Esq.

Notes 273

About the Authors 275

Index 279