Risks of a Prenuptial and Advantages of a Trust

Not Your Grandmother's Trust: Women with Assets


Ann Zuraw of Zuraw Financial Advisors and David Warren of Bridgeford Trust talk about the advantages of a trust situs in South Dakota.


AZ: Hello. Welcome. I’m Ann Zuraw, President of Zuraw Financial Advisors, a registered investment advisor with SEC in Greensboro, North Carolina. And we’re here today to talk about why you as a woman should consider a trust in South Dakota. We have David Warren of Bridgeford Trust here. David, you want to introduce yourself?

DW: Absolutely. It’s great to be here with you, Ann. I am David Warren, Co-founder of Bridgeford Trust Company which is an independent trust company with trust powers in South Dakota. We’ve been active in working in that space for over five years now, recently celebrating our five-year anniversary we’re very excited about, with two offices in South Dakota, locations in Pennsylvania and also planned locations in New York City, Miami, and southern California.

AZ: I’ve been so excited to really understand how this potential would work because I see women in their 70’s wanting to get remarried, and they’ve got a family already, and they have assets, and the answer is, “Oh, just do a prenuptial.” But, in this day and age, if you marry someone who has Alzheimer’s, that prenuptial agreement is not going to protect you. And, so, Alzheimer’s, $10,000 a month. That’s in North Carolina. It’s a lot more in California. A hundred and twenty thousand a year, 20 years. I mean, that could use up a lot of those assets which were either for the woman’s benefit or for her kids. And it didn’t matter if it’s in a prenuptial agreement. That’s an example that I think would work. The other one is just from a liability perspective. Maybe you see it in different cases with different careers. I think you mentioned earlier, a construction company, or if you…

DW: Absolutely. I mean, the idea of a domestic asset protection trust, and we’re talking about in the context of how a woman of wealth can use it to protect themselves but, generally speaking, the idea of this asset protection is something that you can only get if you went off shore to jurisdictions like the Cook’s Island and the Bahamas. For a myriad of reasons, those off shore solutions are considered to be less fashionable and less practical. So, about 15, 20, years ago, Delaware and South Dakota were both the first to create basically the same thing in the United States with respect to the type of asset protection that we’re talking about. So, really, anybody with any kind of risk, and you don’t even have to have an articulated risk, but if you’re concerned about someday being sued, just like you would have insurance, people don’t necessarily have to know you’re going to be sued or you’re going to need an insurance policy, but feel better often to put these domestic asset protection trusts in place. And, they can do it to hold real estate. They can do it to hold stock. It’s not just for investable assets, which is a really important planning point. And, as I said earlier, which is so unusual, and especially when you juxtapose them with an off-shore solution, is that you have so much more control over how these assets are managed. So, in this example, under the directed trust structure, which is something we would create as part of a domestic asset protection trust for a client, your firm can be named as the asset manager. At Bridgeford Trust, we don’t manage money. We do not want to manage money. It just gives infinitely more control to your clients and to you as an advisor. You, as the closest family advisor, can be very much involved with that document and with the execution of the trust. So, not only is there the protection, but you don’t lose the control, and it gives you and your clients, and you particularly, the ability to do a lot more for them in an overall planning capacity than, frankly, a lot of your competitors.

AZ: Well, we just thought we’d talk briefly today. So, we appreciate you guys joining us. Thank you. Or, “Y’all,” I should say. I’m from the south. And just to really focusing on women with assets and, again, how you define assets is another subject for another day. But, again, don’t hesitate to call myself. I’m Ann Zuraw. azuraw@zurawfinancialadvisors.com. Or, David…

DW: Don’t be afraid to give us a call. You’ll see at the end all of our contact information. But, we’d love to work with you in any capacity we can help.

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