Meristem Trust Company has a range of service offerings to meet your family’s trust needs.

We can fulfill the role of trustee, co-trustee, or directed trustee.

Meristem Trust Company

as Trustee.

In this role, Meristem Trust Company provides the full array of trustee services.

Meristem Trust Company

as Co-trustee.

As co-trustee, Meristem Trust Company along with others, such as a family member, share the various trustee responsibilities.

Meristem Trust Company

as Directed Trustee.

In this role, Meristem Trust Company provides administrative services while other individuals assume distribution and investment responsibilities.

To gain a sense of our capabilities, please consider these hypothetical case studies:

Decanting Solution


A client’s estate creates a series of trusts for her five children. In addition, there are two GST exempt trusts that are divided and passed down to her children.

The net result is fifteen trusts with limited flexibility from the named corporate trustee. The costs to administer the fifteen trusts is burdensome.

The trusts have situs in a state without favorable decanting laws.


In an effort to change situs and secure the favorable decanting statutes of South Dakota, Meristem Trust Company is appointed as corporate trustee.

Once appointed, Meristem Trust Company assists legal counsel to complete the decanting procedure.


The decanted trusts have expanded and flexible language.

The result is simplification. The number of trusts drops from fifteen to five and the related trustee fees drop accordingly.

Meristem Trust Company serves clients and counsel as a nimble fiduciary focused on collaboration and simplification.

Special Asset / Situs


A large privately held S Corporation owned by three GST grantor trusts is in need of a successor trustee.

The existing individual South Dakota administrative trustee is no longer able to serve as fiduciary because of a change in his residency.


Meristem Trust Company explores the risk factors of the special asset by reviewing legal documents, prior trustee files and speaking with grantors, the chief executive officer and chairman.

The trust officers are able to get comfortable with the risks associated with the special assets and the trusts.

The individual South Dakota trustee resigns and Meristem Trust Company accepts the appointment.


Meristem Trust Company offers a flexible trustee solution for the special asset. With Meristem Trust Company’s location in South Dakota, the trusts are able to keep the favorable situs.

Meristem Trust Company seamlessly assumes the role as administrative trustee.

With a South Dakota trustee in place, the client and counsel can feel assured that the trusts and special asset will be served in a favorable statute environment.

Complex Wealth Transfer


A client and their counsel are engaged in estate planning whereby many entities and structures are created using techniques including:

  • Gift/sale to a defective grantor trust
  • Grantor retained annuity trusts
  • A qualified residence trust
  • An LLC for holding real estate investments
  • The creation of a family foundation


Meristem and Meristem Trust Company work alongside the client and the client’s legal and tax counsel to coordinate and handle the aspects of this planning.

Meristem and Meristem Trust Company are able to assist with the details involved with the transactions, interrelated entities and administration.


Significant amounts of wealth are transferred in a deemed tax efficient manner that satisfies the client’s goals and objectives.

Information is efficiently coordinated between counsel, professionals and the corporate trustee and is smoothly ushered through the process.

Counsel and professionals are able to attend to the high level complexity of the planning knowing the details are presented and cared for by Meristem and Meristem Trust Company.

Meristem Trust Company and Meristem are well versed in multi-faceted and sophisticated planning. By working alongside legal and tax advisors, we team to provide effective and value-added solutions.