Family Trusts: Beyond Technical Proficiency

This keynote/workshop/webinar gives proper weight to the proposition that trusts are a relationship among human beings in a legal setting, and NOT a legal relationship that happens to involve human beings. By viewing trusts as relationships rather than simply as repositories for assets, trustees can better position themselves for success -- even as they mitigate risk for themselves and their organizations.

The principles and exercises in "Beyond Technical Proficiency" are adapted from Family Trusts: A Guide for Beneficiaries, Trustees, Trust Creators and Trust Protectors (Bloomberg Press 2015) by Hartley Goldstone, James E. Hughes Jr., and Keith Whitaker.

The above presentation, in varying formats, was made to

  • ABA National Trust School. Plenary session. (2015)
  • Vanderbilt Executive Development Institute, Vanderbilt University. Two-day program for family members and family office executives. Principal instructors: Hartley Goldstone and Keith Whitaker. (2015)
  • American College of Trusts and Estates Counsel (ACTEC). (2015)
  • Purposeful Planning Institute Rendezvous. (2015)
  • Fidelity Family Office Services, as a webinar for family office executives. Presented with Keith Whitaker. (2015)
  • Upstate New York Family Office Group Meeting. Presented with Keith Whitaker. (2015)
  • Trusts & Estates―The Journal for Estate Planning Professionals. Webinar. Presented with John A. Warnick. (2015)

Lessons Learned from the Trustee and Beneficiary Positive Story Project

This session will elicit your best thinking about what’s at play when beneficiary/trustee relationships are working very well. Attendees will be inspired by new ideas arising from true stories of beneficiaries who have successfully integrated beneficial interests into their lives.

"Lessons Learned..." is based on true stories from TrustWorthy―New Angles on Trusts from Beneficiaries and Trustees (Trustscape LLC 2012) by Hartley Goldstone and Kathy Wiseman.

And this presentation, in varying formats, has been made to

  • North Dakota Bankers Assn Tri-State Trust Conference. (2014)
  • The Redwoods Initiative. (2014)
  • Spring Family Forum. Keynote. Undisclosed Family Office. (2014)
  • Purposeful Planning Institute Rendezvous. (2012)


Navigating the Challenges of the Trustee/Beneficiary Relationship

Significant numbers of trust beneficiaries are dissatisfied—many calling their trusts a burden. Litigation is proliferating. Given this turmoil, where can trustees look for guidance to enhance personal relationships with beneficiaries? This presentation will equip attendees with field-tested solutions.

This presentation, in varying formats, was made to

  • Fidelity Personal Trust Company. Staff training. (2014)
  • Spring Family Forum. Undisclosed Family Office. Staff training. (2014)
  • Annual Trust Forum. American Bankers Association Trust Management Association. (2012)
  • Family Business Seminar. University of Colorado Law School. (2012)
  • Trust Tax and Estate Planning Forum. Opal Financial Group. (2012)
  • UBS Family Forum. (2012)


On the Road to Practical Wisdom: Analyzing a Challenging Distribution Request

This one-hour workshop will stimulate your thinking about requests for distributions from trust. Think of all the time, energy, tools and tactics you've seen devoted to tax-avoidance and asset-growth. On the other hand, what kind of help have you ever been offered when it comes to requests for a business helicopter in Africa, two years of art studies in Paris, or a settlement with the IRS?

Experience your analysis deepening as you, along with your “trust committee” of fellow program participants, wrestle with a beneficiary’s challenging request.

This workshop was incorporated into larger programs by:

  • Family Office Exchange (2012)
  • Purposeful Planning Institute Rendezvous (2012)
  • EisnerAmper Private Wealth and Family Office Summit (2012)