A difficult decision faced by many ultra-affluent families is the selection of a trustee to administer the family's wealth. This role is typically filled by individual or institutional trustees, either of which may entail drawbacks for families who seek to exercise significant control over trust administration.  Fortunately, the Wyoming legislature has provided families the ability to employ either an unregulated Private Family Trust Company or a regulated Chartered Family Trust Company to serve as trustee over the family's trusts.  Sometimes you will see these referred to simply as Private Trust Companies ("PTCs").


These entities serve as trustee for specific families, while permitting those families to retain significant control over trust administration, policies and procedures, and, ultimately, their family wealth. This is accomplished by inserting family members into the governing board and committees that preside over the activities of the Family Trust Company in a manner that capitalizes on the family's human capital.


Some of the benefits for ultra-affluent families that utilize Family Trust Companies include the following:

  • Retention of family control;

  • Flexible governance;

  • Family on committees;

  • Leverage human capital;

  • Trustee succession;

  • Family selection of professional advisors;

  • Improved ability to hold concentrated positions and unique assets;

  • Reduction of trustee liability;

  • Family privacy; and

  • Access to Wyoming law for trust law and administration.


We believe that the Family Trust Company is an excellent vehicle to serve as the foundation for ultra-affluent families to become enterprise-centric in managing their risks and opportunities.  Too often we see that families manage their Family Trust Companies and Family Offices as separate and distinct activities (with the costs and burdens of managing separate infrastructures).  In our experience, we believe the better practice is to construct a Family Enterprise that directly integrates the Family Office into the Family Trust Company.


To schedule a consultation or for any further questions, contact The Grupp Law Firm LLC.

    Family Trust Companies
    Family Trust Companies