A trust is created by a settlor placing assets under the control, including transfer of legal ownership, of another person (the trustee) for the benefit of specified persons (the beneficiaries) or for specified purposes such as education or other charitable purposes. The trustee has the obligation to then manage those assets for in accordance with the trust deed, out in the trust deed.
Trusts may be used for:
Inheritance and Tax Planning
Protection of (e.g. young) Beneficiaries
For Various Purposes
Trusts may be Discretionary or
Fixed Interest in nature:
Trusts may also be set up for charitable or other purposes.
Primasia Corporate Services Ltd. can assist with the set-up of a traditional trust, in the BVI or elsewhere. In addition to tradition discretionary, fixed interest, and purpose trusts, the British Virgin Islands offer the following specialised trust vehicles.
BVI VISTA Trusts
“VISTA” refers to the British Virgin Islands Special Trusts Act. VISTA trusts offer a solution to the requirement for trustees to act as “prudent investors” when managing trust assets, whilst managing at the same time planning for succession. These two duties may be in conflict, for example where the trust assets are comprised of an interest in a family business, which by nature may require more risk taking than a “prudent investor” would take.
A VISTA trust avoids this potential conflict by not requiring (or even permitting) the trustee to actively manage and invest the trust. The trustee still has a statutory right to information about the company’s affairs, but the management of the company will be the responsibility of its directors.
A VISTA trust may, nevertheless, still be a discretionary, fixed interest, or purpose (charitable or non-charitable) trust.
BVI Private Trust Companies
A further option in the BVI is the Private Trust Company (PTC). This is a company which is established for the purpose of acting as trustee of a trust, or a group of family trusts.
A PTC is managed by its director or directors, who in their capacity as such administer the trust. The settlor himself may be sole director of the PTC, or the directors might be other family members, family advisors and others normally involved and familiar with the day to day business. A PTC thus permits the settlor of the trust to retain effective ownership and control over the assets settled in the trust, i.e. to avoid passing control to a third party trustee.