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Chetcuti Cauchi advises extensively in the use of trusts in the international context. Chetcuti Cauchi’s trust company, is today one of Maltas foremost fiduciary companies. Chetcuti Cauchi provides assistance in tax planning and in the setting up and management of trusts in Malta or elsewhere as well as the recognition in Malta of foreign trusts.
Although the identity of shareholders of Malta companies is publicly available at the public Register of Companies, shareholders may opt to have their shares held confidentially by a trust or fiduciary company which is authorised by the Malta Financial Services Authority to provide trust and fiduciary services. Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates’ fiduciary company can also act as nominee shareholder to hold shares in a company incorporated by us if we are satisfied that the underlying reasons are legitimate.
Escrow Services in Malta
Parties which are in the process of completing a transaction may benefit from escrow agency services whereby a third party such as Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates’ licensed trust company can hold assets or financial instruments on behalf of the contracting parties while the transaction is still underway, in accordance with specific instructions and conditions as set out by them. Through the use Escrow services both contracting parties can eliminate risk by ensuring that all the conditions precedent are carried out prior to an exchange.
We offer our Escrow Services to parties involved in local or international private or commercial transactions. This service is ideal for independent parties seeking to transact commercial business together but who are unsure of their respective business practice or cultural background.
Trusts in Malta
The setting up of trusts in Malta is regulated by the Trusts and Trustees Act. The Act provides for the creation of trusts and for the authorisation and supervision of trustees. In this regard, the MFSA is the competent authority for the purposes of the Act. The Act incorporates within its provisions the Hague Convention on the Law Applicable to Trusts and on their Recognition which Malta has ratified.
Trust Companies in Malta
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, trust companies are now authorised and regulated by the Trusts and Trustees Act.
Act XI of 2014 introduced the notion of a Private Trust Company for family trusts with the addition of Article 43B to the Trusts and Trustees Act. The Private Trust company is a privately owned corporate trustee acting as the trustee of trusts holding the assets of a wealthy family. It is considered as an attractive option for family estate planning since the process by which it is registered is highly straightforward and simple and it allows the family members to influence the administration of a trust.
Trusts, particularly Unit Trusts, are highly efficient vehicles for businesses as well. Unit trusts allow several persons, both legal and natural, who are unable to accumulate large pools of moneys individually, to merge their resources and funds in order to access more substantive investment opportunities.