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Trusts & Estate Planning

Trusts - Protecting Property for Centuries

Trusts were used by Crusaders to legally protect their land & property

Trusts were an early device developed by crusaders in the 12th & 13th centuries to ensure their legal ownership in land and property was re-conveyed to them upon their return from the holy wars.

A similar concept was enshrined in Roman law known as fidei-commissa.

Traditionally, Trusts have been a conventional vehicle used by wealthy individuals to structure their estate and succession planning.

The law of trusts has evolved as a mechanism by which both individuals and corporations benefit in the manner of:

  • Tax mitigation
  • Protection of Assets
  • Succession planning
  • Ease of Asset transfer

A picture of a tree growing out of a pile of money

For tax purposes, where a Trust is created by a non-resident of Gibraltar (non-resident settlor) for the benefit of non-resident beneficiaries, such trusts are exempt from all taxes in Gibraltar.

Gibraltar Trusts need not be registered and thus remain confidential and private arrangements.

Protection of Family Assets

Trusts provide a flexible structure for protecting family assets and are often used for constructive tax planning. Additionally, they may have equal purpose in preserving family assets:

  • Children not yet sufficiently mature
  • Fragile marriages
  • Physical and mental deterioration with age
  • Unexpected windfalls

Most types of property can be put in trust: land, shares, money, insurances, chattels and other personal assets. There can be wide flexibility as to who are the beneficiaries, when or whether they are to receive any benefit, and how much that benefit will be.

A beneficiaries entitlement can be limited to the right to receive trust income or occupy trust property, so that the underlying trust capital is preserved within the trust; trusts of this sort are known as "life interest" or "interest in possession" trusts.

The initial structuring of a trust needs care, skill and experience. It must achieve the underlying purpose, provide the right flexibility, avoid constraints imposed by law and stay within complicated tax requirements.

We have considerable experience in this field and will work with our clients to ensure that an appropriate trust structure is devised to meet required objectives. Speak to us today about your requirements.