Humanizing the experience of trust creators, trustees, and beneficiaries.
My goal is to help take the mystery out of how skilled trust creators, trustees, and beneficiaries think about the human side of trusts. What I offer is practical insight for new – as well as seasoned – trust creators, trustees, and beneficiaries. Together, we will build dynamic, positive trust cultures equipped to endure for generations.
Visitors to this website may be surprised that I don't address the operational side of trusts, specifically trust administration (keeping records, creating statements, filing taxes) and trust investing. While these are often the focus of other trust specialists, mine is not - and doesn't aim to be - a conventional approach to trust education.
Lively programs – workshops, training seminars, keynotes – humanize the experience for trust creators, trustees, and beneficiaries.
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.
So, for example, we might look at
- Turning trusts into positive opportunities for communication, education and growth;
- Applying lessons learned from the Positive Story Project to add new insight when confronting the inevitable challenges faced by trust creators, trustees, and beneficiaries.
- Building sound trustee/beneficiary practices
- Breaking down why trusts break down
- Being proactive before, during, and after meetings
- How trustees and beneficiaries can collaborate to make distributions life-enhancing (and not subsidizing!)
Along the way, we’ll also tackle other common trust-related questions – tough questions that every trust creator, trustee, or beneficiary needs help with from time to time.
“You will not think about trusts in the same way again.”
Charles W. Collier, Former Senior Philanthropic Advisor at Harvard University, on reading TrustWorthy, by Hartley Goldstone and Kathy Wiseman (Trustscape 2012).
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
Email Admin@NavigatingTheTrustscape.com to schedule a free telephone consultation with Hartley to walk through your needs, explore your goals, and consider your next steps.
Hartley's talks bring to life flourishing trustscapes. 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.
Whether virtual or in person, what we won’t talk about: taxes, compliance, the latest regulations, jurisdictional issues, and related topics that other experts handle.
What we will explore: An approach that gives full weight to the proposition that trusts first and foremost create a vibrant web of human relationships that Hartley calls the "trustscape."
Learners do not show up and passively listen. They are actively involved 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
- The theme of a Seminar created
for members of multiple branches of an extended family was: Getting to know each other, while learning about trusts, and having fun.
- A Private Trust Company requested a Seminar to help new members of its Distribution Committees 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
Hartley helps implement the Model for a Humane Trustscape described in Family Trusts - A Guide for Beneficiaries, Trustees, Trust Protectors, and Trust Creators (Wiley 2016). Particular attention is paid to building robust, life-enhancing distribution functions.
Clients include family offices, private trust companies, and distribution committees.
And 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 by telephone, so there aren’t 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