According to The Trust Advisor Blog, Alaska, Delaware, Nevada and South Dakota remain the top states for establishing trusts. My home state of Tennessee is in the second tier of states with favorable trust powers. This list is reproduced from the blog.
The table provides three tiers of states based on relative attractiveness for trusts. The post noted:
Last year, uncertainty about the future of the tax code drove a lot of middle-market families to move their money into trusts. But since the eleventh-hour Congressional compromise raised the exemption to $5 million — well above the level where it could apply to any but the wealthiest Americans — the trust industry’s priorities are rotating. The logic here is fairly simple. While raising the estate tax exemption from $1 million to $5 million lets all but 3,500 families a year off the estate tax hook, the number of affluent doctors, entrepreneurs and potential divorcees out there who could benefit from asset protection trusts remains fairly constant.
For readers in my home state of Tennessee (or elsewhere if looking for another attractive domicile), Bryan Howard, writer of the Tennessee Estate Planning Blog, notes that Tennessee is a Tier 2 state in a recent post. That means that Tennessee is also a good state in which to establish trusts. Howard concludes:
Our legislature has made a concerted effort to keep our trust laws at the forefront. In addition to our comprehensive Tennessee Uniform Trust Code, our laws permit asset protection trusts, decanting, community property trusts, unitrust conversions, directed trusts, equitable adjustments, and a long perpetuities period.
It is a good idea for valuation professionals and other business advisers to be at least generally aware of facts like where and why trusts are established.