A trust is established when a person (the settlor) transfers some or all of his assets to trustees. The trustees become the legal owners of the assets and they are responsible for managing those assets in accordance with the terms of the trust deed (the terms of which are agreed between the settlor and the trustees) and for the benefit of beneficiaries (who are named or identified in the trust deed – often the settlor’s family and heirs). Trusts can be formed under the laws of a wide range of jurisdictions, including Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands.
The services we offer include:
- trust formation
- acting as a professional trustee
- acting as a trust protector or enforcer (a person who supervises the management of a trust)
- administration, accounting and the management of trust assets
Benefits of trusts
Trusts can be used to consolidate assets and provide for continuity of ownership.They can also assist with the legitimate avoidance of taxes and the formalities and inheritance restrictions that may arise on the death of the settlor (for example, estate/inheritance tax).Trusts are therefore useful vehicles for the efficient transfer of the settlor’s wealth to chosen beneficiaries.
Trusts can be used to reduce the tax burden on settlors and beneficiaries – not just in relation to taxes that arise on death – but also in relation to taxes payable during their lifetimes.
Settlors living in countries suffering from political unrest or instability can protect their assets by putting them into a trust. In such cases, the trustee will be located, and the assets held, in a stable jurisdiction (for example, Switzerland).
The settlor and beneficiaries are afforded an increased level of anonymity and privacy – the trustee, and not the settlor or the beneficiaries, will be the registered owner of the trust assets.
Please see our short guide to trusts and their uses in the Library for more information.