Estate planning: Trusts in Guernsey

Guernsey Trusts are established under the Trusts (Guernsey) Law, 2007 which in particular codifies the duties and obligations of the Trustees and gives the Court certain powers which it will exercise on application from a Settlor, Trustee, Beneficiary or Protector. The law and its subsequent amendments contain the following provisions:
• Trusts are not registrable on any public or private register in Guernsey and are not subject to any stamp or other duty in Guernsey.
• There is no requirement for details of trusts or accounts to be made available to any authority, other than the courts of Guernsey.
• Neither the Settlor nor the Beneficiaries under a Guernsey trust need be residents of Guernsey.
• The creation of the trust and the transfer of disposition of assets to that trust are not invalidated by any foreign rule of forced heirship or by reason of the fact that the concept of trusts is unknown to or not admitted by the law of a jurisdiction other than Guernsey.
• A Guernsey trust does not need to have a fixed termination date.
• The new trust law permits the establishment of trusts for non-charitable purposes, as such trusts to hold property or exercise functions without conferring a benefit on any person are valid.

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