Robins Kaplan LLP: Quiet Trusts: The Benefits of Privacy in Estate Planning (Winter 2021)

Myleah Wiedmann and Tim Billion of Robins Kaplan LLP have made available for download their article, “Quiet Trusts: The Benefits of Privacy in Estate Planning”, The article begins as follows:

In the wake of the “Pandora Papers,” the use of secret trusts has come under fire. The media has depicted secrecy in trust administration as a tactic to allow the wealthy to conceal their riches and avoid tax obligations. With coverage and public outrage focused on the worst examples, less attention has been paid to the value of privacy in estate planning for average individuals. This article will explore “secret” or “quiet” trusts, how they can be used, and some of the reasons for those trusts.


State laws usually require that trustees provide certain trust information to beneficiaries of a trust. For a variety of reasons, though, a person may not want to share information about a trust—or even the fact of its existence—with a beneficiary. Often, this occurs when the beneficiary is a child. Enter the “quiet” or “silent” trust.

Quiet trusts enable a trustee to avoid giving certain trust information to beneficiaries. Quiet trusts can also allow the trustee to delay the time that trust details are given to a beneficiary (i.e., when the beneficiary reaches a certain age). They can also allow the trustee to provide information to only one beneficiary, or to some other individual who is designated to receive the information, like a trust protector or some other trusted advisor.

Click here to see the full article: “Quiet Trusts: The Benefits of Privacy in Estate Planning”

Posted by Anthony Tran, Associate Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal

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