An offshore trust is one that a settlor establishes in a jurisdiction which is different from the one in which they reside. Offshore trusts are very similar to traditional trusts, with one substantial difference: they don’t have to comply when a judge in separate jurisdiction makes a demand. In other words, judges in one country don’t have jurisdiction over another. Due in part to that fact, offshore trusts can be very useful for mitigating tax liabilities and offering asset protection from court actions, as well as predatory creditors.
In general, a trust company is a licensed legal entity which offers services connected to the formation of trusts and their administration to clients. It is a separate corporate entity owned by a bank, law firm, other financial institution, or independent partnership. Trust companies act in a fiduciary capacity as trustees for their clients.
An offshore trust company holds a license in a specific jurisdiction that allows them to establish and administer offshore trusts for international clients. A number of leading banking companies have established trust companies in some of the traditional offshore centers such as the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, and Switzerland. Offshore trust companies are like banks, but they provide different types of financial services to their clients.
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An offshore trust company can provide the following services to its clients:
- Establishing and administration of a trust per the settlor’s instructions
- Providing beneficiaries and settlors with legal and administration services
- Providing beneficiaries and settlors with trustee services
- Providing investment advisory services
- Providing fiduciary services
- Providing financial services and consulting
- Accepting deposits as well as administering assets for third persons
- Providing trusts with banking services which can include trust management and all accompanying banking and financial services
Finding an offshore trust company that fits your specific needs may provide you with the perfect solution to managing all of your financial affairs.
Offshore trusts are one of the strongest options when it comes to protecting your assets from creditors, divorce, and judgments. Moreover, the modern asset protection trusts are self-settled: the beneficiary and the settlor are one and the same. Thus the individual that sets up the trust retains access to it. (This type of control can serve as an extra level of protection. For example, the Cook Islands have very advantageous self-settled trust laws.)
Though the benefits can be enticing, the implementation is critical. Setting up an offshore trust requires a realistic assessment of the intent and goals of the settlor. Therefore, choosing an offshore trust company with experience and knowledge is very important.
At Jeffrey M. Verdon Law Group, we help our international clients with comprehensive estate planning as well as developing a customized strategy in order to protect their assets and legacy. With offices located throughout California, we have over 30 years of knowledge and experience when it comes to providing solutions for ultra-high-net worth individuals and their estate planning needs. Contact Jeffrey M. Verdon Law Group today.