Offshore Trusts - Asset-protection for individuals via Jersey trusts


Offshore trusts for asset-protection

Offshore trusts is a unique feature of the Jersey finance industry and, as its name implies, is defined as an entity that are created for the common benefit of one individual or a group of individuals (the beneficiaries). They are created by the settler who hands over its entire management to a trust company. This includes the management of bank accounts, property management, legal documents and any payments to the beneficiaries or any third party. Any such payments have to be authorised by the trust company beforehand and are done purely following the guidelines that were set down by the settler. Creating a trust brings many benefits, such as the non-existence of any inheritance tax, etc…
The Trusts (Jersey) Law, 1984 is widely regarded as having established the standard for offshore trusts legislation. The Act is a codification of common law trust principles and is held in high regard by international advisors.
The Act contains the following provisions of note:
The Royal Court of Jersey will have jurisdiction where the proper law of a trust is Jersey, where the trustee of a foreign trust is resident in Jersey, trust property of a foreign trust is situated in Jersey, or the administration of any trust property of a foreign trust is carried out in Jersey.
Neither the settler nor the beneficiaries under Jersey offshore trusts need be residents of Jersey. The beneficiaries must be identifiable by name or ascertainable by reference to a class. The maximum duration of a Jersey proper law trust is one hundred years. The proper law of a Jersey trust may be changed to the law of another jurisdiction. Offshore trusts may not be created over immovable property situated in Jersey. Income of the trust may be accumulated. There is no restriction on who may or may not be appointed as trustees of a Jersey trust. Directors of a corporate trustee which commits a breach of trust are each personally liable for any damages and costs which might be awarded against the corporate trustee.
No government duties or fees are payable with respect to the execution of a Jersey trust. Trusts are not required to be registered.