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Wealth Advisor Insights


Delaware Trusts: Safeguarding Personal Wealth

A leading jurisdiction for flexible trust laws

> Download the white paper [PDF]

The situs of a trust often results in significant administrative and tax advantages. For decades, Delaware has been recognized as a leading jurisdiction for flexible trust laws. This is largely due to its sophisticated trusts and estates bar, experienced Delaware Court of Chancery, established body of fiduciary law, and a progressive and flexible legislative process. Delaware began to attract wider attention as a trust jurisdiction in 1986 when its General Assembly completed a massive overhaul of its trust laws including enactment of a directed trust statute. Since 1986, Delaware has continued its progressive path with the repeal of the rule against perpetuities, adoption of a self-settled spendthrift trust, decanting and pre-mortem validation statutes and, most recently, a non-judicial settlement agreement statute. 

Northern Trust continues its commitment to collaborate with advisors to develop and implement wealth management strategies. We are pleased to share the latest version of our paper, Delaware Trusts: Safeguarding Personal Wealth. Our updated Delaware Trusts paper builds upon its original in-depth discussion of the benefits that may result from selecting a Delaware trustee, including expansion of existing laws and  now offers new analyses on such topics as modification of trusts under Delaware law and the Consent Petition Process in the Delaware Court of Chancery.

By establishing an irrevocable trust in Delaware, clients may be able to employ strategic advantages, such as:

  • Elimination or minimization of tax on trust income
  • Transfer tax savings with dynasty trusts
  • Confidentiality, non-disclosure and maximum freedom of disposition
  • Creation of directed trusts in a jurisdiction with a history of administering directed trusts
  • Creation of self-settled asset protection trusts
  • Ability to notify individuals of the existence of a trust during lifetime and limit the period during which they can challenge the validity of a trust

Given the benefits of establishing a trust in Delaware, Northern Trust has expanded its personal trust business in Wilmington over the last nine years to serve those who want to establish a trust in Delaware or wish to move an existing trust to Delaware. With 16 devoted fiduciary professionals now on staff and more than $16 billion of assets under administration, Northern Trust helps our clients, and their advisors, feel confident in our expertise and experience.

To learn more about Delaware Trusts, read the paper now, or call Laura Mandel, President, The Northern Trust Company of Delaware, at 302-428-8703.

The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Northern Trust Corporation or its subsidiaries. The information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy and completeness are not guaranteed. Any opinions expressed herein are subject to change at any time without notice. Any person relying upon this information shall be solely responsible for the consequences of such reliance.
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