South Dakota Again Ranked as Top U.S. Dynasty Trust Jurisdiction

For the 7th consecutive year, South Dakota is again ranked as being the top Dynasty Trust state in the nation while Delaware, long considered a top tier trust jurisdiction, slips again in the rankings to the 8th position. A Dynasty Trust, not available in all states, is a powerful planning tool that essentially allows a trust to live in perpetuity (forever), therefore never subjecting the assets to federal estate taxation through a forced distribution. South Dakota was the first state in the nation to abolish the Rule Against Perpetuities in 1983, clearing the way for the creation of the first Dynasty Trust.

The rankings chart, an annual ranking of Dynasty Trust states from across the country published by Nevada attorney Steve Oshins, is an excellent resource for advisors and clients because of the methodical and objective approach to evaluating the factors that impact the viability of Dynasty Trust states, such as whether they have an asset protection statute and how effective it is in comparison to other states. In addition, the chart considers state taxation on trusts and whether the state has a decanting statute. The chart accentuates the vital importance of considering alternative trust jurisdictions in the wealth and trust planning process to ensure that clients are availing themselves of the most progressive trust laws in the country, particularly in the area of Dynasty Trust formation, which continues to be a very hot topic.

A very important factor to consider relative to whether a Dynasty Trust state is the best for clients, which is not considered in Steve Oshins’ chart, is privacy. States have different privacy provisions protecting information contained in a trust from becoming public. Most states have no privacy provisions and in Delaware, after 3 years, sealed trust information can become public. South Dakota is the only Dynasty Trust state that has a total seal on trust information forever, prompting Trusts & Estates Magazine to observe,

“Of the top tier trust jurisdictions, South Dakota has the best trust privacy laws.”

Clearly, this is also an important factor to consider when determining where to place a trust in the wealth planning process. Click here for more information about South Dakota’s powerful privacy provisions.

Other important factors not considered in Steve Oshins’ chart are the availability of the Special Purpose Entity, as well as the newly created Community Property Trust and Family Advisor, powerful planning tools not available in other U.S. trust jurisdictions that deliver far more direction and control over trust creation and administration to settlors of trusts, beneficiaries, and their advisors than ever before. Learn more about these very progressive and cutting edge trust laws offered by South Dakota, and view an objective chart comparing top tier trust jurisdictions by clicking here.

Steve Oshins’ chart can be viewed by clicking on the image below.

For more information regarding Dynasty Trusts, please contact Bridgeford Trust via our contact page.


Bridgeford Trust to Co-Sponsor and Speak at McKonly & Asbury’s Collaborate 2018 Conference – November 8

Bridgeford Trust is excited to once again co-sponsor McKonly & Asbury’s upcoming Collaborate Conference. McKonly & Asbury is a public accounting and consulting firm that provides advisory, assurance, entrepreneurial, internal audit, professional placement, and tax services to many of Central PA’s largest and most well-known companies and organizations. Their 6th annual conference features a variety of topics and speakers, customized to past participant feedback, as well as to what’s trending in the business community. It will take place on Thursday, November 8, 2018, at the Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey Hotel from 8:00am-5:00pm.

David A. Warren, Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder of Bridgeford Trust Company and President and CEO of Bridgeford Advisors, will be presenting a breakout session entitled “Individual Wealth Tax Planning.” The presentation will explore changes in the federal tax code that make state tax planning more compelling now than ever, even in a relatively low tax state like Pennsylvania. The discussion will include trust planning strategies to avoid federal estate tax over multiple generations as well as strategies to potentially avoid state taxation on undistributed trust income and avoid state capital gains upon the sale of assets with low cost basis, such as a closely held business or public stock position.

Highlights of this conference include:

  • Tom Ridge, first Secretary of Homeland Security and former Governor of Pennsylvania, current Chairman of Cybersecurity and Technology at alliantgroup, as the keynote speaker! In today’s environment, businesses need to stay ahead of malicious trends and cyberattacks and this requires the need for constant innovation in the cybersecurity sector. During this keynote session, Governor Ridge will review increased threats as well as steps necessary to ensure your business does not fall victim to a cyberattack.
  • Dynamic general sessions focused on current issues that attendees face every day, including a Mergers & Acquisitions Market Update, a Market & Economic Overview, and common business mistakes that appear in Business Litigation Matters.
  • Afternoon breakout sessions for attendees to choose from, including tracks focused on BusinessTechnical, and Non-Profit topics.
  • A total of 7 Continuing Professional Education Hours and 6 Continuing Legal Education Credits are available.
  • Breakfast, lunch, and reception after the day’s sessions.

For more information on the day’s events, including the full agenda and how to register, please visit


Bridgeford Trust Webinar – Modern Trust Laws: Delivering Direction and Control

Bridgeford Trust Company invites you to join us for a free webinar on Wednesday, October 17 at 2pm EST.

Modern trust laws, including directed trust, trust protector, and the newly created family advisor, have revolutionized the trust industry in the United States. During this webinar, David Warren, Chairman of the Board/Co-Founder of Bridgeford Trust Company and President/CEO of Bridgeford Advisors, will highlight how these modern progressive trust laws, found only in a handful of states including South Dakota, have drastically changed how trusts are created and administered, delivering far more control and direction to settlors of trusts, beneficiaries, and their advisors than ever before.

This webinar will:

  • Examine the directed trust, trust protector, and family advisor role in detail and how these concepts combine to deliver tremendous control and direction to settlors of trusts and beneficiaries over many important aspects of trust administration, including investment and distribution decisions.
  • Consider South Dakota’s Special Purpose Entity and how this unique planning nuance, only available in South Dakota, can provide even more control and protection for settlors of trusts and the advisors that serve in various fiduciary roles within the directed trust structure.
  • Explore the concept of decanting in the context of the direction and control this powerful planning tool brings to beneficiaries of trusts and their advisors looking to “breathe new life” or otherwise modernize older trusts.


Additional Details

Wednesday, October 17 at 2pm EST


This free, one hour-long webinar will take place on Wednesday, October 17 at 2:00 p.m. EST. Check out the video below for a quick look into what David will be discussing during the webinar.


We look forward to you joining us for this webinar! Remember to visit our insights page to explore the many avenues of information Bridgeford Trust Company offers to keep you updated on developments regarding modern trust law and providing practical discussion on powerful planning opportunities available to advisors around the country and the world.

Bridgeford Trust to Sponsor STEP’s 2018 LatAm Conference

Bridgeford Trust Company is excited to once again be sponsoring the STEP LatAm Conference taking place this year on October 4-5 in Mexico City! The theme of the conference is “Where Common Law and Civil Law Converge: The Crossroads of the Future” and the two days feature cutting edge speakers and a program designed to inform and engage wealth structuring and trust and estate practitioners.

David A. Warren, Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder of Bridgeford Trust Company and President and CEO of Bridgeford Advisors, along with Terry L. Harris, Managing Director of Bridgeford Advisors, will be attending the conference. If you are going to be there as well, we would love to see you so please stop by Bridgeford Trust Company’s booth, or reach out to us in advance so we can be sure to connect.

STEP is a global professional association for advisors specifically specializing in family inheritance and succession planning in the international space. STEP works to improve public understanding of issues facing international families, promote education, and strongly encourage very high professional standards among their members and practitioners. To learn more about STEP, click here.

If you would like additional details about the event, visit the conference website at

The Merger of Two South Dakota Trust Companies: Revolutionizing the Trust Industry

Bridgeford Trust Company, LLC (Bridgeford Trust Company) and Delta Trust Company of South Dakota, Inc. (Delta Trust Company), two independent South Dakota chartered trust companies, are very proud and excited to announce the completion of their merger. 

Founded in 1992, as a private trust company, Delta Trust Company was established by the descendants of James Ford Bell, the founder of General Mills, to serve the various and complex trust and fiduciary needs of one of America’s largest and most prominent families. Delta Trust Company subsequently evolved into a public trust company, serving the fiduciary needs of a select and limited number of very large families, quickly earning a reputation for providing excellent technical fiduciary expertise, attention to detail, and outstanding client service.  

Founded in 2012, as a public trust company, Bridgeford Trust Company provides trust and fiduciary services to domestic and international families across the country and around the world, leveraging South Dakota’s very progressive and industry leading modern trust laws. Powered by its entrepreneurial, creative, and extremely responsive approach to education and client service, Bridgeford Trust Company works with many of the nation’s top advisors serving large families, including several on the Forbes 400 list, and has been recognized as one of South Dakota’s fastest growing trust companies.

David A. Warren, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of Bridgeford Trust Company and President and Chief Executive Officer of Bridgeford Advisors states,

“The ‘New Bridgeford Trust’ is a perfect marriage of two exceptional trust companies bringing together very powerful and complementary strengths and many years of experience, positioning the company to be a leading provider of South Dakota fiduciary services while delivering direction and control to settlors of trusts, beneficiaries, and their advisors across the country and around the world.”

Todd J. Bernhard, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bridgeford Trust Company adds,

“Our team of trust professionals, with over 125 years of combined South Dakota trust administrative experience, will continue Delta Trust Company’s tradition of providing outstanding personal service, excellent responsiveness, and attention to detail while leveraging Bridgeford Trust Company’s strong focus on education, flexibility, collaboration, and creativity around planning, problem solving, and getting to ‘yes’ in the trust planning process.”

The completed merger brings a new and sophisticated structure to Bridgeford Trust Company, bifurcating service and business development functions supporting the Company’s focus on education, creativity, and organic growth while ensuring the very best personal service and attention to detail.

Bridgeford Trust Company

Led by Todd J. Bernhard, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Linda M. Voller, President of Domestic and Global Fiduciary Services, all trust administration and corporate governance functions will be performed and executed through offices in Pierre and Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Bridgeford Advisors

Led by David A. Warren, JD, President and Chief Executive Officer, all consultative, planning, business development, and marketing activity will be coordinated through Bridgeford Advisors, Inc., a legally distinct sister company of Bridgeford Trust Company, with imminently planned locations in New York City; Los Angeles, California; Miami, Florida; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in addition to our current office locations in Pierre and Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Central Pennsylvania.


South Dakota has consistently been ranked as the top U.S. dynasty trust state, and its decanting statute has been ranked as the most progressive in the nation by Nevada Attorney, Steve Oshins. In addition, South Dakota has the strongest privacy provisions and one of the most powerful domestic asset protection statutes in the nation, as recently observed by Trusts & Estates Magazine. Consistently recognized as an innovator in the trust industry, South Dakota is also one of only three states with a Community Property Trust statute, a very powerful tax planning tool, and the only state in the nation with the Family Advisor role, referred to as a “trust protector light.” Click here to view a chart comparing the leading U.S. trust jurisdictions, with a particular emphasis on areas that clearly distinguish South Dakota as the superior U.S. trust jurisdiction.

For more information on this exciting merger and Bridgeford Trust Company, please visit our brand new website at You can also follow Bridgeford Trust Company online by visiting us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Directed Trusts: Revolutionizing the Trust Industry

Directed Trusts, only available in a handful of states across the country, including South Dakota, have drastically changed the trust world by putting control back into the hands of settlors, beneficiaries, and their advisors. Through bifurcating liability, the directed trust model creates a legal framework allowing trustees and beneficiaries to work with asset managers and independent trust companies of their choosing.

The directed trust concept:

  • Unbundles functions (asset management and trust services) that have been and are traditionally bundled together by large bank-based corporate trustees.
  • Provides a family with maximum flexibility and control regarding the trust’s asset allocation, diversification, investment management, and distributions. This is particularly ideal for a settlor who wants to fund an irrevocable trust with a closely held company or a specialized asset, while maintaining control.
  • Allows the settlor to appoint an administrative trustee of their choosing and to appoint a trust advisor or an investment trustee/committee, who in turn may select outside investment advisor(s) and/or manager(s) to manage the trust’s investments.

South Dakota’s directed trust statute has been recognized as among the best in the nation. As a South Dakota chartered trust company, Bridgeford Trust can work collaboratively with clients and their long-time trusted advisors while delivering industry leading fiduciary capabilities.

Click here for a detailed discussion around how the directed trust concept works to empower settlors, beneficiaries, and their advisors while revolutionizing the trust and wealth management industry. You can also read about Bridgeford Trust’s extensive work in the directed rrust space in an article that appeared in Worth Magazine here.

For resources on this topic and other progressive modern trust law concepts, be sure to visit Bridgeford Trust’s YouTube channel. And of course, please contact Bridgeford Trust via our contact page if you have questions.

Trust Situs Matters: The Insurance Premium Tax

The Insurance Premium Tax is a commonly missed state tax planning opportunity when utilizing insurance, particularly private placement insurance (PPLI). Essentially, the Insurance Premium Tax is a tax that is levied upon insurers, both domestic and foreign, for the privilege of engaging in the business of providing insurance in the state. The tax is passed to consumers through the payment of insurance premiums and it varies dramatically among states. Significant tax savings can be realized simply by purchasing a policy within a trust sitused in a state with a low Insurance Premium Tax such as South Dakota.

Most states in the country have an Insurance Premium Tax between 150 and 250 basis points.

  • Nevada = 350 bps
  • New York = 200 bps
  • Pennsylvania = 200 bps
  • California = 233 bps
  • Wyoming =75 bps

While Delaware boasts 0 bps on policies owned in trust, it is very important to note that policies held within an LLC owned by the trust (which is the typical structure) are subject to a 200 bps Insurance Premium Tax.

South Dakota has the LOWEST Insurance Premium Tax in the nation at 8 bps that applies BOTH to policies owned directly by a trust AND a policy within an LLC owned within trust.

This powerful state tax planning opportunity involving insurance, available by simply selecting a low premium tax jurisdiction like South Dakota, is particularly compelling when considered in conjunction with the fact that South Dakota…

  • Is generally regarded by most practitioners and academics, including Steve Oshins, as being the best Dynasty Trust state and having the strongest Decanting Statute in the nation.
  • Unequivocally has the most robust privacy laws in the country, as pointed out by an article appearing in the January 2018 edition of Trusts & Estates Magazine comparing U.S. trust jurisdictions wherein the author noted, “Of the top tier trust jurisdictions, South Dakota has the best trust privacy laws.”
  • Is one of only two states with a Community Property Trust, a compelling tax planning tool for spouses.
  • Is the only state in the country with the Family Advisor, referred to as a “Trust Protector Light.”

For more information on the Insurance Premium Tax and how this tax planning strategy can work in your favor, please reach out to us via our contact page.

Bridgeford Trust Company Named a Finalist for’s 2018 Industry Awards

Bridgeford Trust is very proud and honored to announce that we have been named a finalist for’s 2018 Industry Awards., considered the leading resource for wealth advisors and planners, is the only awards program of its kind to honor outstanding achievements by companies and organizations that support financial advisor success. The 2018 Industry Awards received a record number of nominations – this year, more than 600 entries were received from nearly 250 companies.

David A. Warren, Bridgeford Trust Co-Founder, President, and CEO states:

“Bridgeford Trust is thrilled to be recognized this year, among many excellent providers, for our leadership and outstanding work with domestic and international families seeking sophisticated and progressive trust solutions.”

Bridgeford Trust’s nomination recognizes its “Coming to America” initiative over the past 18 months, which focused on serving the trust planning needs of large international families seeking U.S. trust solutions. The initiative was carefully planned and executed to support international families coming to the U.S. in need of sophisticated trust solutions around privacyasset protection, control, flexibility, and tax planning available under U.S. trust law, specifically South Dakota trust law, which has been recognized as the leading U.S trust jurisdiction by planners and commentators and across the nation and around the world. In addition to building a strong internal infrastructure to serve international families, Bridgeford Trust simultaneously launched an aggressive, multi-faceted educational campaign that included:

  • Whitepapers
  • Blogs
  • Videos
  • Webinars
  • Social media
  • Presentations across the country and around the world educating advisors on important trust planning nuances around working with international families coming to the U.S. 

A panel of independent judges made up of top names in the industry will determine the 2018 award winners, who will be announced at a black-tie gala event on September 13, 2018, at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City. For more information about the event or Bridgeford Trust, please reach out to us via our contact page.

Incomplete Non-Grantor Trust

An Incomplete Non-Grantor Trust (“ING”) is a powerful vehicle, particularly for low cost basis assets with a contemplated future sale, that potentially eliminates state income/capital gain tax while taking advantage of Domestic Asset Protection and other progressive modern trust laws. It is an incomplete gift that never leaves the settlor’s estate, which means there is no gift tax. In addition, the trust has a Non-Grantor status, meaning the income is taxed at the trust level, not the individual level, thereby potentially avoiding state income tax on assets within a trust if sitused and properly administered in a no-tax jurisdiction.

Watch this video to learn when to use the ING and to hear more about other state tax planning opportunities that exist by simply creating or moving a trust to a no-tax jurisdiction like South Dakota.

For more information on INGs and how this tax planning strategy can work in your favor, please reach out to us via our contact page.


Bridgeford Trust to Sponsor Step Miami’s 9th Annual Summit on June 1st

On June 1st, Bridgeford Trust will be back in Florida to sponsor STEP Miami’s 9th Annual Summit! The Summit, taking place at the Four Seasons Hotel in Miami, is an excellent opportunity to review the latest issues concerning international private client planning and includes presentations by leading professionals in the area. Last year’s Summit attracted more than 250 professionals from around the globe, so you won’t want to miss this one!

The financial services industry has seen a tremendous influx of international families coming to the United States for many reasons, and to South Dakota in particular because of the power and sophistication of its trust laws. South Dakota’s progressive and industry leading trust laws allow families to avail themselves of very strong privacy and asset protection provisions, and to take advantage of South Dakota’s status as a no state income tax state. To learn more about the South Dakota Advantage, click here.

David A. Warren, Co-Founder, President, and CEO of Bridgeford Trust, will be attending the Forum and if you are going to be there as well, we encourage you to visit Bridgeford Trust’s table and talk with us about how we may be able to collaborate to best serve the international community. 

For additional details about the Forum and to register, click here.

We hope to see you there!