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Financial Intermediary
Learn about asset management solutions designed for Retirement Plan Advisors, TAMPs/Outsourcing Providers, Subadvisory Program Sponsors, RIAs/Financial Advisors and Trust Institutions.
Learn about asset management solutions including: global index management, active equity and fixed income, target retirement date funds, and manager of manager programs.
Get answers to your investment challenges with asset management capabilities including alternatives, exchange traded funds, fixed income, mutual funds and tax-advantaged equity.
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LGBT Individuals and Non-Traditional Families


Life driven solutions that make all the difference


Solutions for LGBT Individuals & Non-traditional Families We understand the unique needs of LGBT individuals or same-sex couples and have the knowledge and experience to help you focus on achieving your life’s goals. Our financial experts have years of dealing with the special considerations of LGBT individuals and nontraditional families, from co-owned or commingled assets in marriages, civil unions or domestic partnerships to relationship dissolutions, death of a partner, and complex family dynamics.

While success can bring added financial complexity Northern Trust can help you clearly navigate a path to achieving your financial goals.

Read the IRS ruling on same-sex marriage federal benefits:
United States v. Windsor and Revenue Ruling 2013-17
The impact on Same-Sex Relationship Recognition and Wealth Transfer Planning

This is a constantly evolving landscape, and a new ruling from the Supreme Court is expected in Summer 2015. Northern Trust will issue new guidance follow the ruling, but in the meantime, please contact your Relationship Manager to address your unique situation.

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Tim Bresnahan

Tim Bresnahan

Vice President, Wealth Planning Advisory Services
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Tim Bresnahan

Tim Bresnahan

Vice President, Wealth Planning Advisory Services

Tim Bresnahan is a Vice President in the Wealth Planning Advisory Services group at Northern Trust. Tim assists with the delivery of Northern Trust’s wealth planning services, with a focus on philanthropy and planning for LGBT individuals.

Prior to joining Northern Trust in 2010, Tim practiced law in a litigation firm in Chicago. During law school, he served as a Mayoral Fellow in the Office of Mayor Richard M. Daley and spent a semester as a judicial extern for the Honorable Samuel Der-Yeghiayan, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Prior to law school, Tim worked in the nonprofit sector, including The Nature Conservancy’s Illinois Chapter and the Human Rights Campaign.

Tim earned a J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law and a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He is a past board member of the Human Rights Campaign, and a current member of the board of directors for Rivendell Theatre in Chicago. He is also affiliated with the Chicago Community Trust’s Young Professional Advisory Committee, the Donors Forum, the Chicago Council on Planned Giving and the Point Foundation.


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The Situation

Our client wanted to ensure that his partner of more than 20 years was well provided for should he predecease him. He owns a successful landscaping business — where his partner’s adult daughter works — and a significant investment portfolio.  Knowing that his partner is not financially sophisticated, and that his business lacked a plan for the future, this client turned to Northern Trust for help.

Customized, integrated solutions

Meeting with Northern Trust financial professionals helped our client clarify both his immediate and long-term goals. Financial security for his partner was the priority, but he also wanted to make his partner’s daughter his successor in the business, support his favorite charities during his lifetime and minimize his wealth transfer taxes. Our team of experts devised an integrated wealth management strategy driven by the clients’ objectives. We assisted by:

  • Working with his estate planning attorney to fund a Charitable Lead Annuity Trust (CLAT) with assets from his individually held investment portfolio. Northern Trust was selected to invest those assets. The client may take an immediate income tax deduction, and the CLAT will pay named charities each year over the client’s remaining lifetime. At his death, all remaining assets distribute to a trust for the benefit of his partner, with Northern Trust named as trustee.
  • Creating a succession plan with his estate planning attorney that funds a five-year Grantor Retained Income Trust (GRIT) with 49 percent of his business units. During the GRIT’s five-year term, he is entitled to receive the income, if any, from the trust; at the end of the five-year term, his partner’s daughter will receive the units, including the value of any appreciation over those five years.
The funding mechanisms for these sophisticated trust vehicles as well as the relatively rate environ low interest rates allowed our client to reduce his income taxes AND to take advantage of the lifetime federal gift tax exemption to make more than $5 million in TAX-FREE transfers to his partner and his partner’s daughter. He achieved peace of mind, knowing his priorities had been addressed and his wealth transfer objectives had been satisfied.