Offshore Trust Services
Offshore Universe provides a bespoke offshore fiduciary service involving the creation of an offshore trust structure for multiple purposes, maintenance of trustees’ records, the completion of trustees’ UK tax returns and forms 50 (FS) where necessary, as well as advice to beneficiaries of trusts regarding the UK tax implications of their assets and interests held in an offshore trust structure.
Why an Offshore Trust Service?
Trusts are confidential, tax efficient and highly flexible financial planning instruments which can be used in a range of different ways primarily to help protect high value assets.
An offshore trust is a private agreement made between parties to a trust. The trust deeds for offshore trusts do not need to be publicly registered and/or kept in a given location. The privacy which offshore trust structures provide therefore favours individuals or companies to hold assets in a confidential and secure trust deed not publicly accessible.
The privacy of a trust also favours use in succession planning. The contents of a will are on public record, but the contents of a trust are not.
Trusts are a legally binding documents recognised in almost every jurisdictions based on common law. Trusts can be used to protect assets from claims of future creditors up to a certain extent permitted by the common law which the trust is based upon.
They may also be used to preserve the wealth of assets against external uncertainties, for example political instability and financial fluctuations.
When a trust is established in a suitable offshore jurisdiction, provided that residents of the offshore jurisdiction are excluded from receiving benefit from the offshore trust, there will be no local taxes levied against the assets and income derived from the trust.
Trusts are a convenient means of consolidating various worldwide assets under one holding vehicle, simplifying both asset management and centralised financial reporting.
Which assets can be held in an Offshore Trust?
- Shares and stocks in both private and public companies
- Real Estate and intellectual property
- Bank deposits
- Life insurance policies issued on the life of the Settlor
- Most other types of high value assets
Establishing an Offshore Trust Structure
In order to establish an offshore trust, a trust deed is drawn with one signatory needed as the settler (the client who is having the trust created), and the other signatory as the trustee. The Trust document may also name a Protector who whilst having no responsibility for the day to day running of the Trust, can have the power of veto over Trustee’s decisions and also the power to dismiss and appoint new Trustees.
POINTS OF CONSIDERATION
1. The jurisdiction chosen to establish an offshore trust in is critical especially for the trust be located in a jurisdiction that
favors foreign beneficiaries and in a country that is politically stable.
2. The settlor and beneficiaries of an offshore trust must disclose all liabilities on their tax returns and provide all relevant information regarding the trust to HMRC. Under the inheritance Tax Act 1984 (IHTA 1984) HMRC possess wide information gathering powers.
3. An excluded property trust (EPT) as defined by IHTA 1984, s 48(3) as any trust (whether UK or offshore) created by a settlor non-UK domiciled at the time of the trust’s creation and containing non-UK (foreign) assets are outside of the UK IHT legislation regardless of the residence or domiciliary status of beneficiaries of that trust.
Why choose Offshore Universe?
Setting up an offshore trust is a carefully performed engagement and should only be conducted with a qualified trust lawyer. There are many provisions that need to be included in the trust in order for the asset protection provisions to stand strong under legal scrutiny and for assets to be protected securely. Offshore Universe has an expert team of highly qualified lawyers on hand to establish, help maintain and advise on the provisions of an offshore trust.