What are the benefits of a Saint Vincent Trust?

  • Privacy - Trust Deeds, unlike wills, are confidential under Saint Vincent law
  • Spendthrift protectionTrusts can protect family or personal wealth from those whose control of the assets might be damaging
  • Trusts assist in wills and estate planning by being the vehicle for the wishes of the Settlor and enabling different Beneficiaries to receive different benefits confidentially
  • Trusts separate ownership of assets from the enjoyment of them which can provide wealth and asset protection for the Settlor
  • Meeting other charitable, social or commercial goals
  • An SVG Trust cannot be challenged in any court of law outside this jurisdiction
  • A Trust can be used instead of a pre-nup agreement

What are the restrictions of a Saint Vincent Trust?

Trustees in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are regulated under the International Trustees Act, 1996, and the International Trustees (Amendment) Act, 2002, which specifically relates to Trustees that satisfy the definition of an International Trustee.

The conditions to be satisfied under Saint Vincent law are quite simple as follows:

  • At the time of the creation or settlement of the Trust or any new disposition to the Trust neither the Settlor nor the Beneficiary must be a Resident (but they can become so later on)
  • The Trust must be set up in writing signed by the Settlor or his nominee and by a Registered Trustee (verbal intentions are not accepted);
  • At least one of the Trustees must be licensed under the Saint Vincent Registered Agents and Trustees Licensing Act
  • The Trustee property must not include any real property or an interest in any property situated in Saint Vincent.

Important facts concerning St. Vincent and the Grenadines Trusts

  • Trust deeds are registered in a confidential government Trust Registry, which is not open to the public, whereupon an official Certificate of 'Registration is issued to the Settler/Grantor.
  • A duly registered Trust will not become unenforceable because it was invalid under the laws of the Settler/Grantor's country of domicile or residence and forced heirship law and community property regimes can be avoided.
  • The traditional rule against perpetuities and the rule against accumulations are modified and clarified.
  • Purpose Trusts, which are created for a specific purpose but without named Beneficiaries, are allowed and statutorily prescribed.
  • The role and duties of Protectors are specifically set out and clarified to account for recent case law.
  • Choice-of-law and conflicts-of-laws issues are anticipated and resolved in favor of the provisions of the International Trust Act.
  • A foreign (non-Vincentian) judgment against a registered International Trust (or its settler or beneficiaries) is not enforceable in Saint Vincent if the judgment was based on law inconsistent with the International Trust Act, 1996.
  • Actions against registered international Trusts must be commenced within two years from the date of creation of the trust.
  • A complaining creditor may satisfy his claim against the property of a registered international Trust only if that creditor can show both that the settlor/grantor's principal interest in creating the trust was to defraud him, that the disposition of property to the trust rendered the settler/grantor insolvent.
  • Traditional fraudulent conveyance laws (Statute of Elizabeth) are not applicable to a registered international Trust.
  • The bankruptcy or insolvency of the settler/grantor under the laws of his residence or domicile will not affect a registered international trust.
  • An international Trust may own one or more Saint Vincent International Business Companies.
  • Registered Trustees fall within the definition of 'financial institutions' of the Proceeds of Crime Money Laundering Prevention Act 2001 and are subject to its anti money laundering requirements.

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