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Helping Family-Owned Businesses Transition Wealth to the Next Generation

Helping Family-Owned Businesses Transition Wealth to the Next Generation

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I work with Chad Halbur at Cornerstone Trust to assist my clients in creating a family trust that helps to protect their assets and furthers their goals. Every family is unique and my clients work hard to manage their wealth according to their own unique values. I really appreciate Cornerstone’s focus and attention to detail when it comes to working with high net-worth individuals as well as business owners.

Cornerstone is a boutique trust company that works with families and individuals to help implement their estate planning goals and transition wealth from one generation to the next. We’re specialized, responsive and provide highly personalized service designed to meet the individual needs of each of our clients.

Our Clients 

Our clients spend a lifetime building successful businesses or accumulating wealth and want their families to benefit from their years of hard work. These clients want to preserve their wealth in a way that is consistent with their values and provides measurable benefits to their family.

Our clients appreciate the advantages that come from an independent and neutral, third-party trustee. As experienced corporate trustees, we oversee and manage the trust assets to ensure they meet the objectives of the trust in addition to serving as the point-of-contact for each of the beneficiaries. This gives families who own businesses the freedom to keep their finances and relationships segregated.

The Process  

We approach our work with the understanding that every client is unique. The amount of money they have, the amount they intend to part with, their values and aspirations for their family members, all combine to make each trust situation distinct. We begin the process by asking questions: about the client, their life’s work, their philosophy towards wealth and their estate planning goals. We also discuss specific parameters for how his wealth should benefit others after they’re gone.

After we understand these desires, we analyze the pros and cons of different scenarios, providing our client with the information they need to make an informed decision. We then translate that information into a strategy—working closely with their attorneys and accountants to implement the plan.

The Cornerstone Advantage 

Cornerstone is positioned to provide unique offerings and services. Being established as a trust company in South Dakota provides additional advantages, including unlimited trust duration, modern trust laws, and tax benefits.

We enjoy leveraging our expertise as trust specialists and welcome the opportunity to work with your team of trusted professionals. We believe that collaboration with your investment advisor, attorney, and tax professional will elevate the process and drive towards an advantageous outcome.

As an independent public trust company, we provide many services other trust companies will not. In addition to working with your personally selected team of professionals, we also serve international clients and those with non-marketable securities. We can create a trust funded with business holdings and other non-traditional assets.

We can serve as trustee for any type of trust to support your family interests. In addition to trust expertise, we also create and manage retirement programs for the family business.

Dynasty Trusts: A dynasty trust is a vehicle used to allow a settlor to pass his or her wealth from generation to generation by insulating the trust assets from transfer taxes like estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax, creditor claims, and beneficiaries who are unable to responsibly manage their finances.

Domestic Asset Protection Trusts: A domestic asset protection trust is a specific type of trust that may be established by a settlor under state law in a limited number of states, including South Dakota. A South Dakota DAPT provides significant wealth preservation and transfer benefits by allowing the settlor to protect the trust assets against certain types of creditor claims. 

401k Retirement Plans: Small business owners often keep most of their wealth tied up in their business. A 401k is more liquid, keeps your wealth protected, and should be a part of your financial strategy. As your 401k provider, we specialize in an open investment offering where we can select the best money managers to provide plan participants access to the highest quality investment options.

At Cornerstone, our goal is to ensure that our clients’ wealth is protected and their values and intentions are honored long after they’ve passed on. To be successful, we take the time to understand our clients’ values and objectives as we help them implement their estate planning goals.

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About the Author

Eric Gustafson delivers results. Over the past two decades, Eric has quietly become a go-to authority for helping owners to elevate their small businesses in the Twin Cities… Read full bio >

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