As Told By Douglas J. Blattmachr, President and CEO of Peak Trust Company
A number of years ago, I took off from Lake Hood, Anchorage’s well-known seaplane base, with my brother, Jonathan Blattmachr, a noted estate planning attorney, and Richard Thwaites, a life-long Alaskan and estate-planning attorney. During our excursion, Richard commented that Alaska could really use an organization that is committed to trust services and thus we began to discuss the formation of a trust company and why people would use an Alaska trust company. This industry could help to diversify the Alaska economy from its heavy dependence on oil and mining with an industry that would have no negative impacts on the environment. It was during this trip that Jonathan said, “If we can get the Alaska Legislature to make some changes in its trust statutes, Alaska could become the premier jurisdiction to have trusts established and administered.” With that, a major effort was made.
Even though Alaska had 40 years’ worth of statutes on its books for the formation of a trust company, we needed to draft legislation that would make Alaska the premier trust jurisdiction and thus Jonathan drafted the Alaska Trust Act. After nearly two years, we were able to create a trust company and, with hard work and the foresight of both the Legislature and the governor’s office, the law was enacted. The Alaska Trust Act made changes to Alaska’s trust statutes making it a premier jurisdiction for trust services. The Alaska Trust Act was the first to provide for self settled trusts (aka Domestic Asset Protection Trust). Over the next several years and continuing today, additional and unique pieces of legislation have been passed in the Alaska Legislature that build upon the Alaska Trust Act. Since the passing of the Alaska Trust Act, Nevada has adopted similar legislation, making it a top tier jurisdiction.
Since 1997, we have been committed giving our clients the highest level of service and choice when it comes to their trust and investment management needs. We believe that our independent, unbundled, flexible and cost-efficient business model has contributed to this success. In building on our commitment to offering our clients options, we recently opened an office in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our new location will offer clients the ability to chose the jurisdiction that best suits their individual needs.