The use of the international trust has become increasingly imaginative and prolific and remains an important feature of estate planning and asset protection.
The Nevis International Exempt Trust Ordinance provides for the creation of various types of international trusts including Charitable Trust, Non-Charitable Trust, Spendthrift or Protective Trust and Qualified Foreign Trust. The assets and income of an international trust are exempt from all exchange controls and all forms of taxation and stamp duty in Nevis.
To qualify as an international trust under the Nevis International Exempt Trust Ordinance, the following criteria must be met:
There are many important asset protection features of the Nevis International Exempt Trust Ordinance including:
Note that the Ordinance provides for the appointment of a Protector, who is responsible for monitoring the operations of the international trust. This provision allows the Protector to ensure that the purpose of the international trust is fulfilled. The Ordinance was recently amended to clarify the role of the Protector who has the authority to direct a trustee to make and approve distributions made by a trustee or direct the trustee to make particular investments. Statutory protection is also given to the trustee for acting in accordance with the directions of a Protector absent the trustee’s own willful misconduct.
The Proper Law of the international trust is the law of the jurisdiction expressed by the terms of the trust, or failing that, with which the trust at the time it was created had the closer connection. Failing either, then the proper law of the international trust shall be the law of Nevis.
The Ordinance also provides for there to be confidentiality with respect to the trust. Though an international trust register is maintained, it only records the name of the international trust and the date of settlement and is not a public document available for inspection. The only exception is where a trustee of a specific international trust gives written authorization allowing the inspection of the entry of that trust on the register.
However, AML/CFT Regulations mandate that the Registered Agent responsible for the registration of that international trust is under an obligation to maintain accurate and updated information on their customers and third parties on behalf of whom the customer is acting. This includes information on the settlor and beneficiaries of the trust. Additionally, the Ordinance provides that all non-criminal judicial proceedings relating to the international trust shall be heard in private and that no details may be published without leave of the court.
Trusts: Related Downloads
Financial Services Regulatory Commission, Nevis Branch
P.O. Box 689, Main Street
Tel: (869) 469 - 1469
Fax: (869) 469 - 7739