I help build flourishing trustscapes.*
Hartley has guided many who are living with trusts successfully adapt to key roles, while deepening their understanding of trust-related relationships and responsibilities. Trust creators, trustees and beneficiaries learn practical skills and gain the confidence to actively contribute to the long-term success of intergenerational wealth transfer.
Lively interactive programs – workshops, training seminars, keynotes –unravel the riddle: Family trusts most often succeed at preserving family financial assets, but most often fail to preserve either family or trust.
Advisory engagements – for those who are looking to navigate the chasm between theoretical understanding and practical, real life implementation – take place in smaller, more intimate settings.
In 2010, Hartley launched the 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, 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.
*A trustscape is the web of interpersonal relationships that includes everyone connected by a family trust. I liken a trustscape to a seascape. Both have currents and cross currents on the surface and below. On sunny days the trustscape may be placid and easy to navigate. Other days fog rolls in or a squall may arise, making navigating the trustscape challenging.
“You will not think about trusts in the same way again.”
Charles W. Collier, Retired Senior Philanthropic Advisor at Harvard University, on reading TrustWorthy, by Hartley Goldstone and Kathy Wiseman (Trustscape 2012).
Hartley is associated with 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
Email Admin@NavigatingTheTrustscape.com to schedule a free telephone consultation with Hartley.
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, 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."
"By steadfastly holding and articulating a positive vision of an evolved trustee-beneficiary relationship, he moves the entire field decisively forward.
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
Seminars targeted to clients’ specific needs take place in smaller, more intimate settings such as family gatherings or staff training. Seminars are available in half-day, full-day, and 2-day formats. Recent examples
- At a retreat bringing together mutiple family branches for the first time, the theme of a 2-morning program for members of the rising generation was: Getting to know each other, while learning about trusts, and having fun.
- A Private 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 trust education Seminar for Family Office leaders.
“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
Engage Hartley for one-off or ongoing trust-related projects. Clients include family offices, institutional trust companies, private family trust companies, and beneficiary relations (distribution) committees.
For those in need of a personal consultant for a single hour or something more than that—trustees and beneficiaries seeking to gain insight and raise personal awareness hire Hartley to ignite new perspectives and performance.
Personal consulting is either in person, by telephone, or using Skype, so there are no geographic limitations.
“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