BOOK REVIEW: The Trident Practical Guide To International Trusts
The use of international trusts for cross-border estate and tax planning and wealth management on an international scale continues to grow as individuals and wealth become increasingly mobile. There must now be few professional advisers who do not advise clients with interests or family members in more than one jurisdiction.
The Trident Practical Guide to International Trusts is an important tool for professionals advising on issues relating to international estate and tax planning and international trusts. It is a valuable reference work which will enable advisers to quickly and easily assess whether a particular jurisdiction is likely to meet their client's requirements and to compare the different jurisdictions.
The Guide is compiled by professional trust practitioners with hands-on experience of the relevant jurisdictions' trust law and practice. As the title states, this is a practical guide and as such it deals with the practical issues that face trust advisers on a daily basis, such as, whether, in a particular jurisdiction, it is possible to add beneficiaries to a trust and, if so, how this can be done, who has power to remove the trustees of a trust and whether the trustees have the power to borrow.
The Guide is split into chapters each covering a single jurisdiction and deals, in relation to each jurisdiction, with questions on the types of trust and their uses, the creation of a trust, the rights of settlors and beneficiaries, perpetuity rules, trustees' powers and duties and their appointment and removal, the powers and obligations of protectors, formalities, administration, confidentiality and taxation.
Each chapter includes a brief summary of the history and legal system of the relevant jurisdiction and touches on the development of the jurisdiction's trust law as well as providing details of the applicable legislation. They are structured around a standard format so the individual sections can be easily cross-referenced between jurisdictions. For example, one can easily compare the extent of trustees' powers or the perpetuity rules of two or more jurisdictions when considering in which jurisdiction it may be appropriate for a particular client to establish a trust. Given the differences in the legislation of the various jurisdictions and the fact that each chapter has been compiled with the assistance of a different practitioner, the detail provided in the individual sections obviously varies to a degree.
It is worth noting that, for the first time, this fourth edition of the Guide includes a chapter dealing with the implications for trust administration of new international compliance regimes. A number of international reports and initiatives, such as the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) report, Behind the Corporate Veil - the Misuse of Corporate Entities for Illicit Purposes, have highlighted the ability of trusts to be used to facilitate money laundering and anti-money laundering compliance has now become a matter of extreme importance for the international financial services industry.
Each of the jurisdictions covered in the Guide has enacted anti-money laundering legislation which applies to trustee operations in the relevant jurisdiction. Many have also enacted Codes of Conduct or Guidelines setting out the compliance obligations of trustees. The Guide highlights international anti-money laundering initiatives of which trustees should be aware and details the procedures which trustees should put in place and the factors they should consider in accepting and conducting trust business.
The Guide also includes a chapter on the Hague Convention on Trusts, setting out the background of the Hague Conventions, giving details of the individual provisions of the Convention and providing a commentary on the practical implications of the Convention. New chapters covering the trust laws of England, New Zealand and Singapore are also included to reflect the growing interest in establishing trusts in these jurisdictions.
The Guide provides practitioners with a well laid out and useful reference guide to the trust rules of 18 of the major offshore jurisdictions which will enable them to make an informed initial assessment as to the suitability of a particular jurisdiction for their clients or the legitimacy of a potential course of action.
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