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PANAMANIAN TRUSTS

 

 

A Trust is a contract...
a private legal agreement...
an expression of an understanding.
An offshore trust is the same.

The major difference is that it's constituted abroad, beyond the laws of the country where you live... OFFSHORE.

The Common Law Trust has served for centuries as a favourite vehicle in financial planning and asset protection. The Trust is finding even greater life in today's increasingly complex society as we see our privacy diminished by the very cyberworld you're travelling right now!

Making a Trust work for you
Some Information about A Trust
Types of Trusts
For Asset Protection
Speed Where Speed Is Important
The Advantages of an Offshore Trust

 

 

MAKING A TRUST WORK FOR YOU
The use of a Trust for asset protection and estate planning dates back several centuries. Trusts were common in England early in the 11th century. Recent development in the offshore world where more and more jurisdictions adopt effective laws, the Trust has become an instrument available to people of lesser means. For nominal costs, minimal formalities and on short notice, a Trust can come into being.

SOME INFORMATION ABOUT A TRUST
In general, a Trust involves:

A Settlor or Grantor - The person, company or other entity placing property into a Trust.

A Trustee - The individual, company, another trust or other entity who receives the property to be managed for the benefit of those individuals, companies, trusts, or other entities named as Beneficiaries.

The Beneficiary or Beneficiaries: The individual, individuals, company or companies, trust or trusts or other entities named to benefit from the trust property.

The Trust Document - The Deed or Declaration of Trust is the written instrument which details the duties of the Trustee, Names the Beneficiaries and Lists the Property in the Trust Corpus or body of assets.

TYPES OF TRUSTS
There are four types of Trusts which are employed in offshore asset protection systems. These are the Collection Trust, the Holding Trust, the Accumulation Trust and the Maintenance Trust.

The Collection Trust is generally set up as a fixed trust in which the Trustees have extremely limited authority. They are required to hold the property and income placed in the Trust and to disburse that income to the beneficiaries at stated periods.

The Holding Trust is also generally set up as a fixed trust. The Trustees are required to hold the property placed in the Trust, which will be in the form of company shares and to vote those shares for the benefit of the beneficiaries.

The Accumulation and Maintenance Trust is set up as a Discretionary Trust, that is, the Trustees have much wider powers under the Trust Deed. The Trustees will manage the Trust property in a manner determined by the Settlor, and will be required to provide for the maintenance of named persons, if and when such assistance be required, whether because of retirement, health problems, or financial reverses.

The Asset Protection Trust can be set up either as a fixed or discretionary Trust. In every case, the APT is drafted to meet the specific needs and wishes of the client.

As already referred to, under current tax laws and regulations in the high tax or "sophisticated" countries where the Common Law trust is known, if the beneficiaries are known, there might be a decision to claim taxes due, even though there has been no distribution.

The confidentiality laws of most offshore jurisdictions take this into account. With the confidentiality feature, there is not chance that anyone can get information as to who beneficiaries are.

To fill in the gaps where beneficiaries are not named in the Trust Deed or Trust Instrument, a Letter of Wishes filed with the Trustee to specify the Beneficiaries and their interest trust property will suffice.

Also, where the Trust Deed does not specify details relative to distributions, a letter of wishes may be filed at any time by the beneficiary. Laws in most jurisdictions allow for this while not revoking the irrevocability feature of the trust.

A Letter of Wishes may be filed at the time of initiating the Trust or at any time thereafter.

The Trust is one of the most flexible financial instruments and entities to ever come about.

We offer the establishment and management of these offshore Trusts primarily under the jurisdiction of Panama. We can provide them in many other jurisdictions as well.

 

FOR ASSET PROTECTION
In litigious countries such as the United States, it has become common practice for individuals to seek offshore Trusts for protection against:

· Malpractice claims in the case of Medical Doctors and other professionals
· Products liability
· Creditors, either Business or Personal Judgements
· Problematic divorces

The Trust must be Irrevocable to qualify in many cases as a true asset protection device. If the Beneficiary or Settlor have ready access to trust property, tax authorities can "demand" compliance with local laws and tax regulations of the beneficiaries or settlor.

A Trust cannot be all things to all people in all situations. Multiple Trusts might be called for: One for tax reduction, another for minimising liability by holding physical assets.

SPEED WHERE SPEED IS IMPORTANT
A Trust can be established in minutes, literally. While it might take longer to have property transferred into a Trust, time can be a factor as to the dating of the Deed. Generally, a Trust Deed is not registered with any tax jurisdiction. A Trust is a private arrangement.

Normally, there is no requirement for accounting reports to any agency. On the contrary, there is no access provided to the activities of the Trustee except as arranged by the parties or through the courts, and that is not easy.

THE ADVANTAGES OF AN OFFSHORE TRUST
· Tax savings, avoidance and deferral: You can save, avoid and defer many taxes in many ways. You don't owe tax until you "repatriate" your assets, whether they are cash or the very house you're sitting in now. Any asset can be designated Trust Property. And if the Trust is in another jurisdiction, chances are those assets can earn interest, or accrue whatever pertinent value without being subject to domestic taxes.
· Safety: Keeping assets offshore provides you a financial reserve should disaster strike at home, or in your domestic financial life.
· Protection Against Judgement: In a lawsuit-happy world it's nice to have reserves that can't be "seized", "liened" or "attached" with the stroke of the Court's pen or the phone call of a tax authority. Though not impossible for them to get at, it's much much harder for them to attach your assets, when they're held in Trust, offshore, by a Trustee who isn't beholden to anyone but the wishes and the good of the beneficiaries.
· Confidentiality: A private contract, a legal agreement, and the business of no one but yours, the trustee's, and whomever else you think needs to know. The offshore Trustee is required to say nothing to external inquisitors.
· Ease of Transfer of Interest to Heirs or others: Wills, living trusts, and domestic trusts invariably pay taxes - especially when assets are transferred. An offshore trust does not.
· Earnings and a Faster Accumulation of Wealth: Trusts can own companies, have bank accounts, own portfolios, and hold trading accounts. and not pay taxes.

The Trust is one of the most flexible financial instruments and entities to ever come about. We offer the establishment and management of these offshore trusts primarily under the jurisdictions of Belize and the Jersey Islands in the English Channel. We can provide them in many other jurisdictions as well.

 

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