Bridgeford Trust Company is excited to once again be sponsoring the STEP LatAm Conference taking place this year on October 4-5 in Mexico City! The theme of the conference is “Where Common Law and Civil Law Converge: The Crossroads of the Future” ...

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Bridgeford Trust to Sponsor STEP’s 2018 LatAm Conference

Bridgeford Trust Company is excited to once again be sponsoring the STEP LatAm Conference taking place this year on October 4-5 in Mexico City! The theme of the conference is “Where Common Law and Civil Law Converge: The Crossroads of the Future” and the two days feature cutting edge speakers and a program designed to inform and engage wealth structuring and trust and estate practitioners.

David A. Warren, Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder of Bridgeford Trust Company and President and CEO of Bridgeford Advisors, along with Terry L. Harris, Managing Director of Bridgeford Advisors, will be attending the conference. If you are going to be there as well, we would love to see you so please stop by Bridgeford Trust Company’s booth, or reach out to us in advance so we can be sure to connect.

STEP is a global professional association for advisors specifically specializing in family inheritance and succession planning in the international space. STEP works to improve public understanding of issues facing international families, promote education, and strongly encourage very high professional standards among their members and practitioners. To learn more about STEP, click here.

If you would like additional details about the event, visit the conference website at

The post Bridgeford Trust to Sponsor STEP’s 2018 LatAm Conference appeared first on Bridgeford Trust Company.


The Merger of Two South Dakota Trust Companies: Revolutionizing the Trust Industry

Bridgeford Trust Company, LLC (Bridgeford Trust Company) and Delta Trust Company of South Dakota, Inc. (Delta Trust Company), two independent South Dakota chartered trust companies, are very proud and excited to announce the completion of their merger. 

Founded in 1992, as a private trust company, Delta Trust Company was established by the descendants of James Ford Bell, the founder of General Mills, to serve the various and complex trust and fiduciary needs of one of America’s largest and most prominent families. Delta Trust Company subsequently evolved into a public trust company, serving the fiduciary needs of a select and limited number of very large families, quickly earning a reputation for providing excellent technical fiduciary expertise, attention to detail, and outstanding client service.  

Founded in 2012, as a public trust company, Bridgeford Trust Company provides trust and fiduciary services to domestic and international families across the country and around the world, leveraging South Dakota’s very progressive and industry leading modern trust laws. Powered by its entrepreneurial, creative, and extremely responsive approach to education and client service, Bridgeford Trust Company works with many of the nation’s top advisors serving large families, including several on the Forbes 400 list, and has been recognized as one of South Dakota’s fastest growing trust companies.

David A. Warren, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of Bridgeford Trust Company and President and Chief Executive Officer of Bridgeford Advisors states,

“The ‘New Bridgeford Trust’ is a perfect marriage of two exceptional trust companies bringing together very powerful and complementary strengths and many years of experience, positioning the company to be a leading provider of South Dakota fiduciary services while delivering direction and control to settlors of trusts, beneficiaries, and their advisors across the country and around the world.”

Todd J. Bernhard, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bridgeford Trust Company adds,

“Our team of trust professionals, with over 125 years of combined South Dakota trust administrative experience, will continue Delta Trust Company’s tradition of providing outstanding personal service, excellent responsiveness, and attention to detail while leveraging Bridgeford Trust Company’s strong focus on education, flexibility, collaboration, and creativity around planning, problem solving, and getting to ‘yes’ in the trust planning process.”

The completed merger brings a new and sophisticated structure to Bridgeford Trust Company, bifurcating service and business development functions supporting the Company’s focus on education, creativity, and organic growth while ensuring the very best personal service and attention to detail.

Bridgeford Trust Company

Led by Todd J. Bernhard, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Linda M. Voller, President of Domestic and Global Fiduciary Services, all trust administration and corporate governance functions will be performed and executed through offices in Pierre and Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Bridgeford Advisors

Led by David A. Warren, JD, President and Chief Executive Officer, all consultative, planning, business development, and marketing activity will be coordinated through Bridgeford Advisors, Inc., a legally distinct sister company of Bridgeford Trust Company, with imminently planned locations in New York City; Los Angeles, California; Miami, Florida; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in addition to our current office locations in Pierre and Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Central Pennsylvania.



South Dakota has consistently been ranked as the top U.S. dynasty trust state, and its decanting statute has been ranked as the most progressive in the nation by Nevada Attorney, Steve Oshins. In addition, South Dakota has the strongest privacy provisions and one of the most powerful domestic asset protection statutes in the nation, as recently observed by Trusts & Estates Magazine. Consistently recognized as an innovator in the trust industry, South Dakota is also one of only three states with a Community Property Trust statute, a very powerful tax planning tool, and the only state in the nation with the Family Advisor role, referred to as a “trust protector light.” Click here to view a chart comparing the leading U.S. trust jurisdictions, with a particular emphasis on areas that clearly distinguish South Dakota as the superior U.S. trust jurisdiction.

For more information on this exciting merger and Bridgeford Trust Company, please visit our brand new website at You can also follow Bridgeford Trust Company online by visiting us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

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Directed Trusts: Revolutionizing the Trust Industry

Directed Trusts, only available in a handful of states across the country, including South Dakota, have drastically changed the trust world by putting control back into the hands of settlors, beneficiaries, and their advisors. Through bifurcating liability, the directed trust model creates a legal framework allowing trustees and beneficiaries to work with asset managers and independent trust companies of their choosing.

The directed trust concept:

  • Unbundles functions (asset management and trust services) that have been and are traditionally bundled together by large bank-based corporate trustees.
  • Provides a family with maximum flexibility and control regarding the trust’s asset allocation, diversification, investment management, and distributions. This is particularly ideal for a settlor who wants to fund an irrevocable trust with a closely held company or a specialized asset, while maintaining control.
  • Allows the settlor to appoint an administrative trustee of their choosing and to appoint a trust advisor or an investment trustee/committee, who in turn may select outside investment advisor(s) and/or manager(s) to manage the trust’s investments.

South Dakota’s directed trust statute has been recognized as among the best in the nation. As a South Dakota chartered trust company, Bridgeford Trust can work collaboratively with clients and their long-time trusted advisors while delivering industry leading fiduciary capabilities.

Click here for a detailed discussion around how the directed trust concept works to empower settlors, beneficiaries, and their advisors while revolutionizing the trust and wealth management industry. You can also read about Bridgeford Trust’s extensive work in the directed rrust space in an article that appeared in Worth Magazine here.

For resources on this topic and other progressive modern trust law concepts, be sure to visit Bridgeford Trust’s YouTube channel. And of course, please contact Bridgeford Trust via our contact page if you have questions.

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Trust Situs Matters: The Insurance Premium Tax

The Insurance Premium Tax is a commonly missed state tax planning opportunity when utilizing insurance, particularly private placement insurance (PPLI). Essentially, the Insurance Premium Tax is a tax that is levied upon insurers, both domestic and foreign, for the privilege of engaging in the business of providing insurance in the state. The tax is passed to consumers through the payment of insurance premiums and it varies dramatically among states. Significant tax savings can be realized simply by purchasing a policy within a trust sitused in a state with a low Insurance Premium Tax such as South Dakota.

Most states in the country have an Insurance Premium Tax between 150 and 250 basis points.

  • Nevada = 350 bps
  • New York = 200 bps
  • Pennsylvania = 200 bps
  • California = 233 bps
  • Wyoming =75 bps

While Delaware boasts 0 bps on policies owned in trust, it is very important to note that policies held within an LLC owned by the trust (which is the typical structure) are subject to a 200 bps Insurance Premium Tax.

South Dakota has the LOWEST Insurance Premium Tax in the nation at 8 bps that applies BOTH to policies owned directly by a trust AND a policy within an LLC owned within trust.


This powerful state tax planning opportunity involving insurance, available by simply selecting a low premium tax jurisdiction like South Dakota, is particularly compelling when considered in conjunction with the fact that South Dakota…

  • Is generally regarded by most practitioners and academics, including Steve Oshins, as being the best Dynasty Trust state and having the strongest Decanting Statute in the nation.
  • Unequivocally has the most robust privacy laws in the country, as pointed out by an article appearing in the January 2018 edition of Trusts & Estates Magazine comparing U.S. trust jurisdictions wherein the author noted, “Of the top tier trust jurisdictions, South Dakota has the best trust privacy laws.”
  • Is one of only two states with a Community Property Trust, a compelling tax planning tool for spouses.
  • Is the only state in the country with the Family Advisor, referred to as a “Trust Protector Light.”

For more information on the Insurance Premium Tax and how this tax planning strategy can work in your favor, please reach out to us via our contact page.

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Bridgeford Trust Company Named a Finalist for’s 2018 Industry Awards

Bridgeford Trust is very proud and honored to announce that we have been named a finalist for’s 2018 Industry Awards., considered the leading resource for wealth advisors and planners, is the only awards program of its kind to honor outstanding achievements by companies and organizations that support financial advisor success. The 2018 Industry Awards received a record number of nominations – this year, more than 600 entries were received from nearly 250 companies.

David A. Warren, Bridgeford Trust Co-Founder, President, and CEO states:

“Bridgeford Trust is thrilled to be recognized this year, among many excellent providers, for our leadership and outstanding work with domestic and international families seeking sophisticated and progressive trust solutions.”

Bridgeford Trust’s nomination recognizes its “Coming to America” initiative over the past 18 months, which focused on serving the trust planning needs of large international families seeking U.S. trust solutions. The initiative was carefully planned and executed to support international families coming to the U.S. in need of sophisticated trust solutions around privacyasset protection, control, flexibility, and tax planning available under U.S. trust law, specifically South Dakota trust law, which has been recognized as the leading U.S trust jurisdiction by planners and commentators and across the nation and around the world. In addition to building a strong internal infrastructure to serve international families, Bridgeford Trust simultaneously launched an aggressive, multi-faceted educational campaign that included:

  • Whitepapers
  • Blogs
  • Videos
  • Webinars
  • Social media
  • Presentations across the country and around the world educating advisors on important trust planning nuances around working with international families coming to the U.S. 

A panel of independent judges made up of top names in the industry will determine the 2018 award winners, who will be announced at a black-tie gala event on September 13, 2018, at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City. For more information about the event or Bridgeford Trust, please reach out to us via our contact page.

The post Bridgeford Trust Company Named a Finalist for’s 2018 Industry Awards appeared first on Bridgeford Trust Company.


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