Wealth Advisors Trust Company Blog

    March 20, 2021

    Advisor Friendly Trust Company 2021

    This post will cover the important of what an advisor friendly trust company in 2021 means for financial advisors and their clients. 

    This post will include:

    • Explanation of why trustee services are a commodity
    • Ideas to reduce trustee fees for revocable...
    February 26, 2021

    Types of Charitable Trusts

    UTC§ 405 (a) (2000) – “A charitable trust may be created for the relief of poverty, the advancement of education or religion, the promotion of health, governmental or municipal purposes, or other purposes the achievement of which is beneficial to the...

    February 11, 2021

    Client Service - A Mindset Not a Cheap Tagline

    This blog will cover the history, evolution and simple approach about and on client service.  As an advisor friendly trust company, we view client service as an evolution through successes and failures.

    February 6, 2021

    Foreign Grantor Trusts Increase Reputational Risk for South Dakota trust law

    This blog post outlines how foreign grantor trusts could increase the potential business and reputation risk for South Dakota trust law and trust companies. Potential clients should understand why and if they are comfortable accepting that potential risk.

    January 28, 2021

    Hybrid Domestic Asset Protect Trust (DAPT) - Escape Clause

    This blog describes how a Hybrid Domestic Asset Protection Trust (DAPT) works for grantors wanting an escape clause while taking advantage of their $11.7 million estate tax exemption (as of Jan 2021). This post will cover:

    • History on Estate Tax Exemption
    January 11, 2021

    What is a Fiduciary?

    When individuals hear the word trustee, they often associate the word fiduciary along with it. However, most individuals do not understand what acting in a fiduciary capacity means.  A fiduciary trustee is required to act in the highest statue of...

    November 23, 2020

    Private Trusts and Directed Trusts - South Dakota's hidden treasures

    Most individuals want to maintain control even though they have placed assets in a trust. They are called a Private Trust. Making a trust private is one way to keep control; a directed trust is another.

    November 13, 2020

    The Power of the Marital Deduction

    When a large amount of wealth is being transferred, it is essential to understand what taxes can occur. This blog will cover the importance of understanding the federal estate tax, the power of the marital deduction, and South Dakota's Special Spousal...

    October 26, 2020

    South Dakota trust law - 25 reasons ranked #1 [Checklist]

    This blog post will provide 25 reasons why South Dakota trust law ranks #1 in America. A leader in anything creates a naturally occurring set of healthy and repeatable habits. Being in the mid-west, South Dakota prizes freedom and innovation. And here...

    October 20, 2020

    Are Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts taxable? [Guide]

    Are Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts taxable - when and why? With a new presidential debate on the horizon, wealthy individuals are looking at every option available to shelter their assets.

    October 16, 2020

    Smarter faster financial advisor business plan - 5 tips [Checklist]

    This blog post will provide five simple financial advisor business plan ideas to serve clients faster and smarter around non-core items. This post will cover:

    October 9, 2020

    How Financial Advisors avoid losing control to Estate Attorneys [Tips]

    You are the financial thought leader and implementer for your clients. Working collaboratively with an estate trust attorney on your client estate legal issues can be daunting. Here are a few tips where you remain the financial thought leader when...

    September 30, 2020

    Estate Planning for Millennials [New Guide]

    This blog post addresses two audiences on estate planning for millennials: (1) financial advisors; and (2) millennials themselves. The information came from an August 2020 presentation Wealth Advisors Trust Company gave uber-successful Millennials...

    September 21, 2020

    Purpose of an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts – Where, When,and How

    The purpose of the Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust Creating an estate plan can be as easy as 1-2-3 or as complex as the science to send a man to the moon. 

    August 21, 2020

    Biden tax plan & estate / trust planning election 2020 [New Guide]

    In this blog post you are going to learn ideas and suggestions to potentially limit the “hit” from Joe Biden’s tax plan. This post will include:

    August 17, 2020

    Changing a Life Insurance Trust

    What is a Life insurance trust?

    A Life insurance trust holds a life insurance policy. 

    At the death of the creator, it will pay out a death benefit. In order to receive the death benefit, the owner of the policy must pay a premium. A life insurance...

    May 18, 2020

    What is a trust?

    What is a trust? A trust is a legal entity to which an individual titles property and assets for the benefit of another. Every trust contains a grantor, family trustee, and beneficiary. There are many different types of trusts to choose from.

    May 13, 2020

    Washington vs South Dakota trust law

    Perhaps you are a Washington resident and the thought of using an outside fiduciary is unappealing. Using an outside fiduciary can offer a risk, but also considerable benefits. Creating a trust is an important step in protecting assets and providing for...

    February 26, 2020

    America's Advisor Friendly Trust Companies for 2020

    In this post you are going to learn the secret sauce to picking a trustee and learn of America's most advisor friendly trust companies for 2020.

    This post also includes lots of:

    • Infographics
    • Ideas for asking the best interview questions
    • Innovation...
    January 9, 2020

    Trust Protector vs. Trustee

    Trust protectors are a result of evolving new developments in the trust industry. The role of a trust protector is still relatively new in modern day trusts. A big difference with a trust protector and a trustee is that a trust protectors’ role might not...

    December 13, 2019

    Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust | What Does a Trustee Do?

    Trustees have an array of responsibility when executing an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT). Knowing how to choose the right Trustee to manage the ILIT will save a lot of frustration,time, and money. In order to make that decision easier, this...

    November 27, 2019

    Thanksgiving can cause a Trust Agreement change

    Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays of the year. It is a time for families to gather for a hefty meal and look back on all the things they have been thankful for. It is also a time that most estate planning attorneys say is a busy time of the year....

    November 4, 2019

    Is It Time To Fire Your Trustee? | Wealth Advisors Trust Company

    Do you need to fire a trustee? Trustees control everything. If you are the beneficiary of a trust it is important for you to have easy access to your funds. Unfortunately, some trustees make it difficult for beneficiaries to access their funds.

    October 28, 2019

    Easy Trustee Distributions | Wealth Advisors Trust Company

    The right trust document, paired with an easygoing beneficiary, creates easy trustee distributions. A trustee has two main responsibilities when administering a trust. The first is investment management and the second is distributions.

    October 21, 2019

    Financial Advisor Risks with Delegated & Directed Trusts | Wealth Advisors Trust Company

    Any time someone takes on a fiduciary duty, there is risk involved.

    Financial advisors’ risk will very. Trust assets offer an opportunity for advisors to further assist their clients. Often, advisors will be asked to manage trust assets of a client or...

    October 15, 2019

    Delegated vs Directed Trusts - Changing a Trustee

    Delegated and Directed trust are the most common types of trusts. When deciding to make changes to a trust, for instance changing a trustee, depending on the type of trust this can sometimes be difficult. Understand that not all trust law is created...

    October 4, 2019

    Texas vs. South Dakota: Who Has Better Trust Law?

    Creating a trust is an important step in protecting assets and providing for future beneficiaries. A states trust law is just as important. Living in Texas offers an array of benefits and tax advantages. However, when it comes to trust law, Texas falls...

    October 2, 2019

    Types of Trustee

    There are different types of trustees. Over the next decade, trillions of dollars will be passed to future generations. Trusts have become a common strategy for estate planning. Naming the right trustee is crucially important. This should be a business...

    September 30, 2019

    Definitive Guide on a Delegated or Directed Trust

    Delegated trust or directed trust? Everyone wants to know the pros and cons of each.

    Directed trusts are newish (e.g. last 30 years). Delegated trusts have been around since the 1300's.

    Neither a delegated nor directed trust should be defined as good...

    September 13, 2019

    Trustee Services Explained | Wealth Advisors Trust Company

    Trustee services are important to making sure your trust is administered correctly. It can be difficult to give up the control of your trust money to an outside company.  The extra trustee fees gives people doubt. Often, individuals will hire friends or...

    September 6, 2019

    What is a Bank Trust Company? | Wealth Advisors Trust Company

    A bank trust company is a corporation that acts as an agent, fiduciary, or trustee. It is a trust company within a bank. Almost every city has a bank trust company.

    Examples of a bank trust company are CoAmerica, JP Morgan Trust Company, SunTrust, and...

    September 4, 2019

    Do You Write Your Own Blog? | Wealth Advisors Trust Company

    Do you write your own blog? I do.


    At my core, I am a geek/nerd who loves to learn, especially about why's and how's.

    Connecting the dots that are not obvious fascinates me. I always wanted to be a history professor.

    The Q&A below acts as a template...

    August 26, 2019

    Definitive Guide on Trustee Fees | Wealth Advisors Trust Company

    Finding cost efficient trustee fees frustrates many people. Wealthy and affluent people find using trustee services daunting.


    Nobody understands the process of how corporate trustee fees calculations. Nobody understands exactly what a trustee...

    March 7, 2019

    Advisors in Transition - 3 Easy Tips [Checklist]

    Advisors in transition have reached a pain point needing a solution. They want a natural and easy solution to solve that pain point.

    Examples of those pain points: Large wirehouses taking 50% or more of the revenue; stale RIA firms with no succession...

    February 6, 2019

    Top Choice for an Advisor Friendly Trust Company

    The independent journalists at The Wealth Advisor, the voice of the financial advisor community, has selected Wealth Advisors Trust as one of their top choices for an advisor friendly trust company in 2019.

    October 7, 2018

    How a Bank Trustee Must Understand Millennials

    A bank trustee works with clients from the WWII to millennial generations. They generally each have a unique set of characteristics. Of course, no generation is the same.

    There are variances based on geographic, social, and economic factors. What makes...

    August 10, 2018

    Definitive Guide on Trust Law | Wealth Advisors Trust Company

    Advisors have the option to use a trust fund company that does not compete against them. There will be an avalanche of asset transfers between generations over the next 30 years. This blog provides information on the past, present, and future of trust...

    July 3, 2018

    Online Trust Distribution Requests | Wealth Advisors Trust Company

    Asking for money from a corporate trustee usually becomes an unhappy experience. It does not have to be.

    Everybody has stories about these situations. These trust distribution requests usually become complicated by corporate trustees. It does not have to...

    April 5, 2018

    Directed Trust Statutes : The Ins and Outs

    Directed trust statutes separates who manages the trust assets and who administers the trust assets.  This rule gives everyone loads of flexibility for anyone using a trust under South Dakota trust laws.  Not every state offers directed trust law. It...

    March 25, 2018

    Understanding South Dakota’s Dynasty Trusts | Wealth Advisors Trust Company

    South Dakota’s dynastic trust laws allow every family to potentially become wealthy among the leagues of the ultra-rich. Why limit yourself to keeping up with the Jones when you can be the Jones?

    The attractive benefits of South Dakota dynastic trusts...

    March 18, 2018

    South Dakota Trust Law Benefits: 5 Reasons They Make Sense For You [250+ Happy Clients Served]


    A marker of wealth is often the reluctance to talk about it. Don’t talk about it, be about it. The benefits of South Dakota trust law come from the obvious to the subtle. 

    South Dakota trust benefits allow for exactly that. South Dakota’s lawmakers...

    March 17, 2018

    South Dakota trust law: Rated Top Location | Wealth Advisors Trust Company

    South Dakota trust law focus on innovation and leadership continues yet again.

    Annually, Trusts  & Estate Magazine reviews trust jurisdictions around the country.  Furthermore, their objective measurements reviewed the following factors:

         (1) Rule...

    March 11, 2018

    Last Will & Testament | Wealth Advisors Trust Company

    A few days ago, I finished reviewing and approving my third Will & Testament.

    I have revised my Will three times — at 25, 42 and 50.  It's just part of the normal process we all need to go through.

    We all have the same worries about taking care of our...

    February 27, 2018

    Testamentary Trust and Mistakes You Should Avoid | Wealth Advisors Trust Company

    A testamentary trust is a legal trust that is created through precise instructions laid out in a deceased person’s Will. A testamentary trust is irrevocable and goes into effect at an individual's death. In other words, when this individual dies they...

    February 23, 2018

    How to Choose a Financial Planner | Wealth Advisors Trust Company

    There are two types of people in the world financially — (1) Those that spend first and save last, and (2) those that save first and spend last; If you’re the type of person who falls into the latter group, then it may be time for you to choose a ...

    February 20, 2018

    Benefits to Knowing How to Use a Trust | Wealth Advisors Trust Company

    A strong advisor-client relationship is important to understanding how to use a trust and getting the most benefits out of the financial framework. Wealth Advisors Trust has lifted the fog on trust services secrets and is helping its clients understand...

    February 16, 2018

    Trust Administration Handbook | Wealth Advisors Trust Company


    Preparing a Trust Administration Handbook for guidance as to the efficient handling of tax issues and long-term goals of the grantor can be the difference between financial success or destitution.

    February 12, 2018

    Trust Administration Fees Explanation [New Guide]

    In this blog, you'll learn about trust administration fees.

    You can control trustee fees around trust administration. Part of the answer centers on streamlining the trust document for trust administration. The other part rests on controlling how a...

    February 7, 2018

    Trust Administration, The Secret Sauce | Wealth Advisors Trust Company

    Trust administration provides the key ingredient or secret sauce to any trust experience.

    In this blog, I will briefly go over the key pieces to great trust administration. As a co-founder of an advisor-friendly trust company, we understand the...

    January 31, 2018

    Top Five Things To Consider Before Establishing A Trust

    What one does with their wealth is as personal as deciding what church to attend.

    There are several options for protecting your lifelong work or inheritance, passing assets to the future generations of your family, or simply securing what wealth exists...

    January 28, 2018

    Trust Distribution: Goals, Priorities & Purpose | Wealth Advisors Trust Company

    Trust distribution guidelines in the trust document create the foundation of success or failure. Parents and grandparents must consider how trust distribution definitions fall under the supporting or enabling type.  Having some plan leads to a balanced...

    January 16, 2018

    Definitive Guide to Directed Trusts [Guide]

    Most financial advisors and clients are well aware of what directed trusts can do for them — mainly, provide flexibility on management of trust assets. There is a lot of 'noise' about directed trusts and explaining the hows, whys, why nots etc. is...

    January 16, 2018

    Client Focused Agency Trustee Services | Wealth Advisors Trust Company

    Creating a trust requires people to surrender control of that wealth to someone else. For those who worked hard for the money or simply withstood the temptation to spend every dollar, handing the assets over to the trustee represents a tremendous leap of...

    January 16, 2018

    The Dirty Business of Asset Management | Wealth Advisors Trust Company

    The dirty business of asset management is an open secret.

    Asset management firms research, buy, and sell marketable securities. Financial planners and wealth management firms allocate investors money to asset management firms. Asset management firms,...

    January 12, 2018

    Advisor Friendly Trust Company Top Pick | Wealth Advisors Trust

    The Wealth Advisor, the voice of the financial advisor community, has announced  Wealth Advisors Trust as one of their top picks for advisor-friendly trust companies for 2018.

    As the financial world lurches up and down, progress continues in the trust...

    December 13, 2017

    Advisor vs Adviser - Google Ranks One Higher

    Recently, we had a silly dispute on our weekly marketing call, Advisor vs Adviser, that sent us down a rabbit hole. It started with an argument on whether or not our recent email had spelling errors.

    "Pretty sure its ER"

    "It says OR in the company name,...

    December 1, 2017

    New Fed Chairman Jerome Powell Answers To Trump or Us?

    Monday, President Trump's nominee for the new Fed Chairman Jerome Powell exceeded expectations from investors.

    If confirmed, Jerome Powell replaces Janet Yellen as the new Federal Reserve Chairman. The markets expect a smooth path to Mr. Powell's...

    November 26, 2017

    Kids That Code Will Get Fired | Wealth Advisors Trust Company

    Kids that code do not have a sure-thing future.

    However, over the past 15 years, parents have really pushed their kids to learn how to code.  Unfortunately, parents who believe coding is the future are driving through the rearview mirror and asking the...

    November 19, 2017

    Definitive Guide on Picking a Trustee | Wealth Advisors Trust Company

    In this blog post, I will walk you through the process step by step through picking a trustee with a few little surprises so you can choose the right one. 

    November 3, 2017

    Tax Reform - Who Pays More? | Wealth Advisors Trust Company


    The recent tax reform proposal, introduced yesterday, has both some pretty big winners and losers.

    In the first place, the bill, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, is 429 pages and surprisingly lean. Of course, this kicks off the negotiations with both sides of...

    October 31, 2017

    Are Millennials the best and toughest clients?

    Millennials will challenge you. This is a good thing. If you don't adapt to different generations, wants and needs, you have a fuzzy problem. Traditional companies have a hard time marketing to millennials and Gen Z-ers.

    In our opinion, we believe...

    July 16, 2015

    Are Your Wealth Management Clients Happy? | Wealth Advisors Trust Company

    We all like to think we are the biggest and brightest stars in the wealth management universe, but the truth is, there is a lot of competition out there. Much focus is given to adding new clients. However, it is equally important to keep those hard won...

    October 24, 2014

    Winner Declared in South Dakota Best Trust Company Faceoff

    The best South Dakota trust company is not who you expect. 

    It's not Citi or Guggenheim, and they're not “too big to fail” after an independent trust company beats them in the ranking of best client trustee service in South Dakota.

    At Wealth Advisors...

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