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U.S. Trust Situs Selection: Comparing “Top-Tier” Jurisdictions

Given changes in tax code, concerns around asset protection and privacy, and the huge influx of international families coming to the United States, selecting the proper U.S. trust jurisdiction in the trust planning process is more important now than ever. The founders of Bridgeford Trust Company selected South Dakota, over other top-tier U.S. trust jurisdictions, because South Dakota is consistently ranked among the best trust jurisdictions in the United States by industry publications, law review articles, white papers, and surveys of leading trust and estate professionals.

South Dakota fiduciary law gives families access to some of the most advanced asset protection and dynasty trust capabilities in the United States as well as the ability to hold non-traditional assets in trusts. In addition, South Dakota’s privacy trust laws and directed trust statutes are among the best in the country, allowing a client to confidentially work with financial advisors or investment managers of their choosing in the administration of trust assets while delivering tremendous direction and control back to settlors of trusts, beneficiaries, and their advisors.

Additional Advantages of South Dakota Trust Law

You can learn more about the South Dakota Advantage relative to trust planning and access a chart comparing the leading top-tier U.S. trust jurisdictions, with a particular emphasis on areas that clearly distinguish South Dakota as the superior trust jurisdiction in the overall analysis at:

You can also watch this video to learn more about these additional advantages of South Dakota trust law:

  • Regarded by most practitioners and academics, including Steve Oshins (a Nevada attorney), as having the best decanting statute in the nation.
  • Is one of only two states with a Community Property Trust, a compelling tax planning tool for spouses.
  • Is the only state with a Special Purpose Entity statute, a powerful planning nuance used in conjunction with directed trusts and trust protectors.
  • Is the only state in the country with a Family Advisor statute, a non-fiduciary role similar to the trust protector but referred to as “Trust Protector Light” because of its non-fiduciary status and limited powers.
  • Has one of the lowest insurance premium taxes in the nation at 8 basis points, which applies to both policies held by individuals and policies held within an LLC. (While Delaware boasts 0 basis points on policies held by individuals, policies held within an LLC – which is typically the case – are taxed at 200 basis points.)
  • Is the most fiscally sound among all top-tier trust jurisdictions.

For more information about the progressive and cutting-edge trust laws that consistently rank South Dakota as one of the best U.S. trust jurisdictions, contact Bridgeford Trust Company’s team at (605) 224-9189 or online.


McKonly & Asbury is able to offer an extension of trust and fiduciary services to our clients and friends of the firm through our partnership with Bridgeford Trust Company. As a fully independent trust company chartered in South Dakota, Bridgeford Trust Company provides conflict free and innovative fiduciary services and progressive U.S. modern trust law solutions around asset protection, privacy, and tax planning to domestic and international families across the country and around the world.

You can learn more about Bridgeford Trust Company and the South Dakota Advantage at

About the Author

McKonly & Asbury

McKonly & Asbury is a Certified Public Accounting Firm serving companies across Pennsylvania including Camp Hill, Lancaster, Bloomsburg, and Philadelphia. We serve the needs of affordable housing, construction, family-owned businesses, healthcare, manufacturing and distribution, and nonprofit industries. We also assist service organizations with the full suite of SOC services (including SOC 2 reports), ERTC claims, internal audits, SOX compliance, and employee benefit plan audits.

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