Frequently Asked Questions

What is the mission of NATSD?
The mission of NATSD is to support trusted advisors and their clients with flexible, individualized, service-oriented, cost-effective trust administration services that take advantage of South Dakota’s progressive trust and tax laws.  NATSD’s trust options make it easy for advisors to help clients pass their wealth on to future generations securely and efficiently, and retain clients through multiple generations.

What makes NATSD different from other corporate trustees?
NATSD was created to support advisors with the fiduciary needs of their high net worth clients who prefer to continue to maintain their professional relationship with a financial advisory firm. Unlike traditional banks and trust companies, NATSD works exclusively with and through the client’s professional advisor.

For what types of trusts does NATSD serve as trustee?
NATSD will serve as trustee for the following:

  • Charitable Remainder Trusts
  • Revocable Living Trusts
  • Marital and Bypass Trusts
  • Gifting Trusts
  • Rabbi Trusts
  • Dynasty Trusts

How do Investment Advisors obtain the authority to manage the investments of a Trust?
The investment advisor should be named by the grantor in the trust document to manage the trust investments. Sample language is available for designating an investment advisor to manage the trust’s investments.

If the trust does not provide for anyone other than the trustee to have investment management, NATSD will require that the trust be judicially reformed to name an investment advisor; or that all current and remainder beneficiaries of a trust sign an indemnity and hold harmless agreement bifurcating investments from administration, designating an investment advisor to manage the investments, and relieving NATSD of responsibility and liability for investment management.

What are the advantages of having a trust at NATSD?
There are a number of advantages, including: 

•    NATSD provides trust services only and does not have competing depository, mortgage, or commercial lending divisions.
•    Broad based trust services 
•    A business model that is inclusive of a client’s professional relationships, including but not limited to the investment advisor, 
     attorney, CPA, and other advisors
•    A dedicated Trust Officer assigned to each trust account with total accountability for the administration of the trust
•    Administration of sophisticated estate plans, and trusts with more than normal administrative complexity
•    Access to lending platforms for trust accounts
•    NATSD is inclusive of co-trustees, trust protectors, and other trust advisors.
•    Ability to hold fee simple interests in real estate.
•    Ability to hold alternative investments.

How does NATSD work with attorneys?
NATSD realizes the critical importance of sound legal advice and requires that a client’s new trust document be drafted by the client’s attorney. NATSD does not draft trust documents. In addition, when a client dies, it is our policy to use the drafting attorney as the attorney for the trust. The trust’s attorney is also consulted for advice on administrative matters, including but not limited to:

▪   The decedent’s administrative trust requirements
▪   Changing situs of the trust
▪   Amending the trust
▪   Reforming the trust
▪   Sale and purchase of non-standard trust assets, if needed.
▪   Termination of a trust pursuant to state law
▪   Family settlement agreements

Will NATSD serve as co-trustee?
Yes. NATSD will act as co-trustee, whether trust governance requires co-trustee unanimity regarding decision making, or whether a co-trustee’s powers and obligations are separate and specifically set out in the trust document. With an open architecture approach to trust governance, NATSD will also accommodate the inclusion of third party trust advisors.

Why South Dakota?
South Dakota has been offering high net worth individuals a trust haven for over 30 years. The progressive trust code in South Dakota offers benefits not available in many states. These include:

▪   Creditor protection for self-settled trusts
▪   No state income or capital gains tax on trusts
▪   Total privacy of the trust terms and assets
▪   Perpetual trust duration
▪   Ability modify the trust to respond to changes in circumstances

Does South Dakota only service those who live there?
No. The trust only needs to be administered in the state of South Dakota to fall under South Dakota jurisdiction.

How does South Dakota handle privacy matters?
South Dakota is rated the top rated privacy state in the United States for trusts. The issue of privacy of court documents is very important to many families as potential court cases may involve family disputes, wealth and/or other issues that the family does not want made available to the public. This is not only important with disputes, but also with modifications, reformations or decantings of trust documents.

By statute South Dakota indefinitely seals trust records, thus avoiding these issues and protecting the privacy of families who have established either a court supervised or non-court supervised trust with regard to any court proceeding concerning the administration of a trust.


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