As a result of SDPC and SDTC’s extensive international experience, 15% of SDTC’s clients are international families, representing countries all across the globe.

South Dakota maintains its status as one of the best jurisdictions for international families as a result of its trust statutes (i.e. trust protector, directed trust, privacy, reformation/modification/decanting, forced heir-ship, etc.) no income taxation, low premium tax, and many other favorable statutes.

Some of the more specific and common reasons why international families are looking for U.S. trust situs and a U.S. trustee include:

  • Improved U.S. trust and tax laws – Including forced heirship statutes
  • Blacklisting of offshore jurisdictions by resident country
  • Political stability/protection of property from resident country
  • Global transparency
  • Ownership in residential and/or commercial property in the U.S.
  • Ownership of U.S. securities
  • Purchasing U.S. life insurance
  • Family members in the U.S.
  • Marriage by a U.S. citizen to a non-U.S. resident
  • Foreign resident coming to the U.S. to work or live

Some of the popular domestic trust planning options for international families are:

  • South Dakota Foreign Grantor Trust with SDTC® as the U.S. Trustee
  • South Dakota Foreign Non-Grantor Trust with SDTC® as the U.S. Trustee
  • South Dakota Non-Resident Alien (NRA) Domestic Dynasty Trust
  • South Dakota Stand-By Domestic Dynasty Trust
  • Change of Situs: Offshore Foreign Trust to a Domestic South Dakota Trust
  • South Dakota Pre-Immigration Domestic Trust
  • South Dakota Private Family Trust Company

For more information on South Dakota as a trust situs for international and cross-border families, please visit

*Please see: “International Families Increasingly Want U.S. Trusts ” Trusts & Estates Magazine, July 2018; “Domestic Trust Situs Opportunities for International Families” Trusts & Estates Magazine, October 2015.