Family Office and Private Trust Companies

Overview

Family Office Representation

Family Offices are an important conduit between family members and BakerHostetler’s Private Wealth lawyers. We understand that one of the principal functions of a Family Office is to promote efficiencies with outside service providers, and we believe this is best achieved through a collaborative effort. For example, a Family Office may be better suited to carry out certain necessary functions such as financial analysis, tax return preparation, insurance monitoring, and other administrative matters, all of which provide an important foundation for legal counsel to provide creative and effective advice. Our Private Wealth lawyers also serve as the gateway to the full array of legal services BakerHostetler brings to bear. Understanding the role of a Family Office has allowed us to maintain meaningful and longstanding relationships with the managers of our Family Office clients.

We often help our clients set up the proper structure and ownership of their Family Offices. Clients rely on our securities law experience to work within the new “Family Office” exception under the federal Investment Advisers Act. Likewise, for those families who manage their own investments through partnerships or limited liability companies, we advise on how to comply with the many facets of the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Securities Act of 1933, and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. We have also worked with Family Offices to develop template estate planning documents tailored specifically to a family’s unique values, and traditions. This not only creates long-term efficiencies, but it also provides a platform for unified family estate planning principles which can be applied throughout many generations, regardless of family geography.

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Private Trust Companies

In recent years, many families have formed their own Private Trust Company (PTC) to install a permanent, family-controlled entity as Trustee of family trusts. A PTC can be structured as a stand-alone entity, or it can be incorporated into the structure of a Family Office. We advise clients on choosing the most favorable state of formation, assist in developing creative ownership structures that meet family objectives, and provide ongoing counsel regarding the operation of a PTC.

We have been a thought-leader in the PTC area for decades. Our Private Wealth lawyers formed one of the first PTCs in the State of Wyoming many years ago and we have obtained several private letter rulings from the IRS regarding the income, estate, and generation-skipping tax consequences of forming a PTC. We also obtained a cutting-edge ruling just prior to the IRS moratorium on issuing further IRS rulings.

We work with local counsel in several states, including Wyoming, Nevada, South Dakota, Delaware, and others, to provide efficient representation of PTCs in those states. Our understanding of the PTC laws in different states allows for sophisticated trust planning, often resulting in a change to the state situs of trusts for the purpose of increased administrative flexibility.

Family Office/Private Trust Company Team

Due to the unique issues involved with Family Offices and PTCs, and our firm’s longstanding work in this area, we have a team of lawyers who provide these specific services. Our Family Office/PTC team includes not only Private Wealth attorneys, but also experienced attorneys in securities law, corporate law, and partnership taxation.

Professionals

Name Title Office Email
Partner Washington, D.C.
Associate Denver
Partner Orlando
Partner Washington, D.C.
Partner New York
Partner Cleveland
Counsel Cleveland
Staff Attorney Washington, D.C.
Associate Denver
Partner Columbus
Partner Washington, D.C.
Partner New York
Partner Cleveland
Associate New York
Partner Denver
Partner Denver
Partner Denver
Partner Denver

Recognition

  • “Best Law Firms” 2014: National Tier 1 Ranking in the area of Trusts & Estates Law from U.S. News – Best Lawyers®.
    • Regional Tier 1 rankings were earned in Trusts & Estates Law in Cleveland, Colorado, Columbus and Washington, DC.
  • The Best Lawyers in America© 2014: Twelve partners were selected by their peers for inclusion in various private wealth-related fields.
  • Recognized as one of the top law firms for client service, BakerHostetler was named to the 2019 BTI Client Service 30 for the fifth consecutive year.

Blog

In The Blogs

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WealthDirector
The Three Most Important Provisions for S Corporations Under PATH Act
January 21, 2016
It has become a tradition that at the end of each year, Congress passes legislation to extend previous legislation. In late 2015, Congress passed Public Law 114-113, which contains the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act (“PATH”)...
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WealthDirector
New Basis Reporting Requirements (and Penalties) for Decedents’ Estates
January 4, 2016
On July 31, President Obama signed into law the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act (the “Act”) to reauthorize the Highway Trust Fund’s spending authority for another three months. To offset the...
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WealthDirector
Donors and Charities Benefit Under New Tax Legislation
December 31, 2015
While most provisions of the Internal Revenue Code (“Code”) do not automatically expire, there are dozens that do. Included among the expiring provisions have been several intended to enhance charitable giving. Each has been hostage to the...
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WealthDirector
Use of a Limited Liability Company for Charitable Purposes
December 21, 2015
On December 1, Mark Zuckerberg wrote a letter to his newborn daughter, Max, and shared it with the world (on Facebook, of course). The letter announced the commitment of Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, to improve the world in...
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WealthDirector
Family Trust Company Legislation Passes Ohio House
December 16, 2015
On December 9, 2015, House Bill 229 was passed by the Ohio House of Representatives by a vote of 84-8. The bill, which was almost two years in the making, allows an Ohio family to establish its own trust company to serve as trustee for its...
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