KENDRIS TRUSTEES (USA) LLC is a South Dakota public trust company offering trusteeship for U.S. trusts governed by the law of South Dakota, U.S.A. Our clients include international and domestic individuals, families and companies as well as family offices, financial institutions and law firms. We offer our clients tailored solutions which help them achieve their long-term planning objectives. By combining expertise with independent thinking, we create value for our clients that will stand the test of time.

As an independent U.S. trust company, fully owned by KENDRIS Ltd., KENDRIS TRUSTEES (USA) LLC is free to pursue the best interests of its clients.

With its vast experience in international clientele, and its ability to offer U.S. solutions, KENDRIS TRUSTEES (USA) LLC connects the complexity of global-oriented clients with a variety of well-recognized succession planning tools such as South Dakota trusts.

We specialize in trust administration of U.S. trusts established in South Dakota and trusts of other jurisdictions which move to South Dakota.

Thanks to our international expertise in dealing with, and administering foreign trusts, we have a long history of serving international clients with ties to the U.S., be it through U.S. investments such as real estate projects, or family members who have moved to the U.S.

Helping our clients from a U.S. base completes our wide range of services which we are able to offer to our international clients.

KENDRIS TRUSTEES (USA) LLC provides a wide range of U.S. trust services, with the exception of asset management, ranging from directed and delegated trust administration services to U.S. trusts with financial and non-financial assets.

Our objective is to assist you in your long-term planning targets and to facilitate the flexible and individualized transfer of your wealth to the next generation or in accordance with your wishes. We are committed solely and completely to your interests.

U.S. Trust in South Dakota

The benefits of a South Dakota Trust are:

Unlimited perpetuity period (trust duration)

No state trust income tax

Directed and delegated trust statute (trustee delegates investment responsibility, but keeps selection of investment advisors and performance monitoring responsibilities)

Low state premium tax for life insurance premiums

Court records are sealed in perpetuity and therefore not available to the public

Trust Services

U.S. trusts are well recognized succession planning vehicles in the U.S. They provide for very flexible means of structuring of wealth and may be used to hold all types of assets and rights without restrictions. While the U.S. Federal tax law defines a U.S. trust for U.S. tax purposes, the substantive laws of the 50 U.S. States govern the use of U.S. trusts and the powers, duties and liabilities of U.S. trustees.

There are a variety of reasons why a client may want to establish a U.S. trust in South Dakota. Amongst others, the main reasons are:

Succession planning vehicle for U.S. beneficiaries

International families require for their U.S. family members established vehicles that are well recognized in the U.S. and which offer maximized benefits of succession planning. A U.S. trust is commonly used to implement a variety of legitimate succession planning techniques. U.S. tax law recognizes the trust as a valid instrument for such purposes.

Domestication of a foreign trust into the U.S.

In order to avoid negative income tax consequences and onerous reporting requirements for U.S. beneficiaries of «foreign trusts», it may be more advantageous to domesticate a foreign trust into the U.S. By bringing the foreign trust into the regulated U.S. environment, benefits exclusive to U.S. structures are made available to the U.S. beneficiary.

Recipient of income from a foreign trust

U.S. beneficiaries may prefer to receive their beneficial interest in a foreign trust directly to their own U.S. trust. This will allow them to take advantage of the succession planning benefits available to them in the U.S.

Pre-immigration planning tool

A settlor intending to move to the U.S. may establish a domestic U.S. trust prior to formal emigration. Depending on the settlor’s home country, the trust may provide more testamentary freedom and easier administration than in the settlor’s home country or in the country where the settlor’s assets are situated.

Modern South Dakota trust law

South Dakota trust law offers a variety of advantages beneficial to the planning objectives of an international family: unlimited perpetuity period, no state income tax levied on trusts, low state premium tax for life insurance premiums, and trust records sealed in perpetuity.

Recognized structure for U.S. situs investments

U.S. trusts are very often used by foreign investors to structure investments in U.S. situs assets. In addition to protecting the foreign settlor and foreign beneficiaries from U.S. federal estate tax a U.S. trust, if structured properly, may provide further unique benefits.

There are different types of South Dakota trusts which KENDRIS TRUSTEES (USA) LLC offers. The most important ones are the following:

South Dakota dynasty trust

The South Dakota dynasty trust is a perfect vehicle for passing assets to a U.S. beneficiary while avoiding probate procedures in the U.S. The South Dakota dynasty trust protects the U.S. beneficiaries from U.S. gift taxes upon the establishment of the trust by the foreign settlor as well as from U.S. estate or generation-skipping transfer tax. It can continue perpetually for the U.S. beneficiaries without time limitation.

Foreign grantor trust

A foreign grantor trust is established by a non-U.S. settlor for the benefit of U.S. and non-U.S. beneficiaries. Despite the fact that it has a U.S. trustee and is subject to South Dakota law, it can be structured to remain «foreign» for the lifetime of the non-U.S. settlor and thus retain all the benefits of an offshore trust.

Non-grantor trust

A non-grantor trust offers its beneficiaries a variety of advantages: the U.S. beneficiaries are taxed only on what they receive from the trust; it protects the U.S. beneficiaries from U.S. estate tax; if structured properly, it also protects them from future creditors (2-year fraudulent conveyance claw back period).

Directed trust

A directed trust allows an international family to appoint an external investment advisor/manager to take responsibility for the trust’s investment management and directs the trustee on how to invest the trust assets, usually pursuant to a defined investment policy. As this trust relieves the trustee from all investment responsibilities and is recognized by South Dakota statute, it permits greater investment freedom than would ordinarily be permissible in a «regular» trust.

Delegated trust

In principle, a trustee must personally perform the responsibilities of the trusteeship. Under South Dakota law a trustee may delegate its fiduciary authority in the administration of a trust to other persons. However, the trustee must act diligently when selecting the person to whom it delegates certain powers and remains responsible for monitoring such person.

Life insurance trust

A life insurance trust acquires a U.S. life insurance for the benefit of its beneficiaries. A properly structured life insurance can defer federal income tax and allow U.S. beneficiaries to make federal and state income tax-free withdrawals. South Dakota has the lowest rate of state insurance premium tax in the U.S.

Charitable and purpose trusts

South Dakota trust law allows trusts to be established for charitable, educational, religious or other public purposes. The grantor of the trust maintains the power to enforce the charitable trust or may designate persons for such purposes. In the event of default, the attorney general ensures the enforcement of such trusts by proper proceedings in the courts. Trusts for lawful, non-charitable purposes can be created in South Dakota, as there is no legal provision against perpetuity nor is there a rule limiting the duration of trusts without charitable purpose.

Qualified domestic trust

A qualified domestic trust is a unique instrument for preserving the marital deductions on transfers from a testator to his/her surviving spouse which are otherwise unavailable if the receiving spouse is not a U.S. citizen. A «QDOT» permits a deferral of U.S. estate tax, but it does not permit tax avoidance.



212 S. Main Avenue, Suite 139,
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
Phone: (+1) 605 271-5144



1221 Brickell Ave., Suite 930
Miami, FL 33131
Phone: (+1) 605 271-5144



Wengistrasse 1
8021 Zürich


Contact Persons

Christian Lyk

+41 58 450 59 46

Khaled Rezaie

+41 58 450 52 40

Gordana Tisljar

+41 58 450 51 07

Maria Soler Terradez

+41 58 450 58 23