Trustscape LLC


My aim is simple....

To help you unravel this riddle: Family trusts commonly preserve a family's financial assets, but fail to preserve either family or trust.                                                                                              Hartley Goldstone                             

Hartley Photo

I can help you build a flourishing trustscape...

Hartley serves as executive coach and consultant for Trustees and adult Beneficiaries. He has guided many who are living with trusts successfully adapt to key roles, while deepening their understanding of trust-related relationships and responsibilities.

Hartley has been retained by senior executives of family offices and private family trust companies, trust officers, distribution committee members, and individual trustees. Also adult beneficiaries ranging from young adult through senior family members.

Clients hire Hartley to ignite new perspective and performance. They learn practical skills and gain the confidence to actively contribute to the long-term success of intergenerational wealth transfer. 

Confidential coaching and individually-tailored education is in person, by telephone, or video conference - so there are no geographic limitations.

Everyone involved benefits from a trust whose trustee/beneficiary relationship is mutually fulfilling. A skilled trustee is better able to exercise “practical wisdom” while fulfilling the fiduciary role. A well-informed beneficiary understands both the possibilities and the limitations of his/her trust to support positive, life-shaping decisions. Each will experience the satisfaction that comes from aligned expectations with a common goal.

While most trustees and beneficiaries would say that optimizing their trust-related relationships is best achieved through a deliberate process, rather than a random one – the majority lack such a process. 

Beneficiaries most often enter the relationship with little or no explanation or training. Education typically consists of informal meetings where the trustee or an attorney explains how the trust works, and an investment advisor explains investments. Perhaps the beneficiary takes a class to learn about personal financial planning.

Understanding how the trust works and a basic knowledge of investments and financial planning is important to a beneficiary, but do not address the fundamental issue: Successfully integrating the trust into his or her life.

For their part, trustees are usually sound at managing the technical aspects of trusts – but often downplay relational components, like whether the method of trust administration heightens beneficiaries' lives.

If you are curious about how my work could help you with your situation, let’s set up a 30 minute conversation. We can use that time to see if we are a good fit for each other. Please email to schedule a call with Hartley.

“As both a beneficiary and a family trustee for multiple trusts over many years, I approached Hartley to help me navigate a tricky succession process. His unflagging support, knowledge and networks were absolutely invaluable.”― D.F., San Francisco


Hartley is associated with Wise Counsel Research, a charitable think-tank producing award-winning educational resources. 

Hartley is an Associate of Wise Counsel Research, a charitable think-tank producing award-winning educational resources. 

"Trusts will survive into the 21st century only so long as they are administered by persons of principle. As a practical matter, what does that mean? Family Trusts does an admirable job of answering that question."  Prof. Charles Rounds, Suffolk University School of Law

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“You will not think about trusts in the same way again.”
                 Charles W. Collier, Retired Senior Philanthropic                                Advisor at Harvard University, on reading                                            TrustWorthy – New Angles on Trusts from                                                      Beneficiaries and Trustees (Trustscape 2012), by                                          Hartley Goldstone and Kathy Wiseman, available at                              

Strength-Based Approach

Hartley's approach is to recognize and build upon strengths – that is, to begin with a look at what's already working well, and go from there. He draws upon nearly four decades of professional trust-related experience, coupled with extensive training from leaders in the fields of positive psychology, appreciative inquiry, and research-based coaching.

In 2010, Hartley launched the ongoing Beneficiary and Trustee Positive Story Project to collect stories told by beneficiaries and trustees who – with compassion and wisdom – have successfully navigated challenges in the midst of complexity. Two years later, he published TrustWorthy – New Angles on Trusts from Beneficiaries and Trustees (Trustscape 2012), a collection of 25 such real-life stories. In 2013, the Positive Story Project became the theme of his online column for the journal Trusts & Estates

Most recently, Hartley co-authored Family Trusts: A Guide for Beneficiaries, Trustees, Trust Protectors, and Trust Creators (Wiley 2016), which is a practical guide to passing on wealth in ways that enrich the lives of all who are involved.


Hartley's talks bring to life flourishing trustscapes. His talks are built around stories and practices of successful families.

He regularly speaks at family-only events, and has presented at conferences hosted by the Family Office Exchange, Institute of Private Investors, Society of Trust and Estate Professionals, Purposeful Planning Institute (where he serves on the Counsel of Deans), Attorneys for Family Held Enterprises, Private Wealth Network (Australia), American College of Trust and Estate Professionals (ACTEC), and many others.

Hartley has been a guest lecturer at the American Banking Association's National Trust School.

"The evening was a great success.  We really liked the way he engaged the audience. Everything felt very natural and relaxed."
—W.N., Denver

"By steadfastly holding and articulating a positive vision of an evolved trustee-beneficiary relationship, he moves the entire field decisively forward.
—G.S., Chicago


Trustee workshops. Fill gaps in your knowledge and practice hands-on skills. A sampling of topics: how to prepare for and conduct successful meetings with beneficiaries; explain the trust instrument in plain words; make clear how to request distributions, and how requests will be evaluated; when and how to step into the role of mentor and/or "chief learning officer."

Beneficiary workshops. No one is born knowing about trusts, or learns about them in school. In our workshops, beneficiaries reduce trust-related anxiety and feelings of powerlessness by gaining solid information. Also learn to form productive relationships with trustees.  

Whether virtual or in person, learners are actively engaged every step of the way, from the moment they walk into the room until the end of the training.

"I am grateful for the kind consideration and directness with which Hartley addressed my questions and for the thought-provoking questions he asked. It’s a comfort to listen to the thoughts of someone who is interested in my well being."
—C.W., Colorado Springs

Custom Programs

Programs targeted to clients’ specific needs take place in smaller, more intimate settings such as family gatherings or staff training. 

  • At a retreat bringing together mutiple family branches for the first time, the theme of a program for members of the rising generation was: Getting to know each other, while learning about trusts, and having fun.
  • A Private Family Trust Company requested a 1-day training to help new Distribution Committee members understand the ins-and-outs of their duties. 
  • Vanderbuilt University hosted a 2-day seminar for Family Office leaders.
  • Hartley is regularly a guest lecturer at a seminiar for third-year law students trusts at the University of Colorado College of law.

“Hartley’s presence of mind, relevant experience, and deep relational wisdom helped me forge a burgeoning new relationship with my trustees and leave behind the daunting confrontations I had feared.”—B.K., New York

Email to schedule a speaking engagement, workshop, or seminar.