LOCAL & FOREIGN TRUSTS UNDER
Malta's legislation allows for the settlement of Maltese trusts, provided
that foreign aspects prevail. Under the Trusts Act, the applicability of
which is in effect decided upon by a settlor, non-residents can create a
trust by way of a written instrument in favour of identified or
identifiable beneficiaries who are also non-residents. Maltese trusts must
be registered, but registered trusts enjoy the benefit of being virtually
tax exempt. Foreign trusts are recognised in Malta pursuant to the Hague
Convention on the Law Applicable to Trusts and their Recognition. A
foreign trust may be registered in Malta if it is capable of being
recognised and some further requirements are satisfied. These ensure that
foreign aspects prevail in the trust, and that the trust is more or less
subject to the same requirements as Maltese trusts. The advantage of
registering a foreign trust in Malta is that it will enjoy the same
beneficial fiscal status and exemptions as a Maltese trust. As a result,
both Maltese and foreign trusts in Malta are exceedingly suitable for tax
and estate planning purposes.
The concept of trust companies has also found its way into the Maltese
legal system. Trust companies, often confused with trusts, are companies
which are capable of holding participations in their own name but on
behalf of third parties. In Malta, the Companies Act provides for nominee
companies, which must be licensed and satisfy certain criteria. A licensed
nominee company can shield the identity of the beneficial owners on whose
behalf shares are held in other companies. It should be noted, however,
that the professional secrecy to which licensed nominees are bound is
pierced in certain cases.
CCA's trust company, DALTRUST Nominee Ltd., is today Malta’s second
largest trust company, accounting for 12% of all Maltese trusts.
Chetcuti Cauchi Adwokaci provides assistance in the setting up of trusts
in Malta or elsewhere, and in the recognition in Malta of foreign trusts.
We can also arrange for our licensed nominee company to hold shares in a
company incorporated by us if we are satisfied that the underlying reasons
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