Given the Ohio Family Trust Company Act recently became effective in late 2016, the concept is new to many advisors and family members.  Unlike a family office, a family trust company has fiduciary powers to act as Trustee of family trusts to assist a family with its wealth and/or family business shareholder transition to future generations. However, it can also offer family office services and initiate a governance structure for the family. Identifying families that may want to understand the solution a family trust company can provide as part of their family legacy is the first step.  Below is a short list of some family characteristics when exploring a family trust company would be a worthwhile endeavor:

  • Families having the goal of keeping the economic benefit of the family legacy for family members across generations
  • Families doing multi-generational estate planning and taking advantage of the window of opportunity with the highest gift & estate tax exemption ever
  • Families concerned about trustee succession & adapting to family changes over time
  • Families wanting opportunities to keep family members ‘engaged’ outside of the family business
  • Families interested in educational opportunities – particularly for the rising generation
  • Families wanting to infuse their mission, vision & values through a flexible governance structure tailored for the family
  • Families at a transitional point in passing family wealth and/or a family business asset to future generations
  • Families looking to maintain shareholder control & related decisions over family business assets
  • Families interested in keeping the family cohesive & working together across generations
  • Families with a family-owned business, real estate holdings, or partnership interests held in trusts
  • Families desiring privacy & confidentiality
  • Families striving to concentrate oversight of the family assets
  • Families currently having trusted advisors in place, but looking to establish structure & cohesiveness to bring them together
  • Families seeking liability protection for individual decision makers
  • Families looking to better manage trustee fees and administrative costs