Trust Services

Oak Trust (Guernsey) Limited and Oak Trust (Mauritius) Limited are licensed to provide trust formation and administration services.

A trust involves the separation of the legal title, or ownership, of assets from the right to benefit from those assets.  Trusts involve a person (settlor) transferring assets (trust fund) to another (trustee) to hold for the benefit of another person (beneficiary) or purpose. England and its affiliated Crown Dependencies, such as Guernsey, and Commonwealth countries, such as Mauritius, have been at the forefront of the development of trusts and they are now a concept particularly associated with common law jurisdictions.

Trusts are typically formed to achieve the following:

  • Asset protection - placing worldwide assets in one holding vehicle can simplify financial management and control and centralise financial reporting.
  • Succession planning - trusts allow for greater flexibility when determining how an estate is distributed.
  • Tax planning - may be used to reduce tax liabilities in some circumstances e.g. inheritance tax.
  • Probate planning - the deceased settlor's assets are legally held by trustees and so do not form part of their estate on death.
  • Confidentiality - assets are held in the name of the trustees, thereby keeping the identity and interests of the beneficiaries confidential.
  • Protect the interests of minors - trustees can look after assets of minors until they are old enough to deal wisely with their finances.

There are several types of trust we commonly setup and administer:

  • Discretionary Trusts - this is the most widely used type of offshore trust.  The trustees are under a duty to use their discretion to apply the income and capital of the trust assets for the benefit of a class of beneficiaries.  The trustees decide which beneficiaries benefit, and what proportion of the trust fund they receive.  The settlor can give guidance, via a letter of wishes to the trustees, as to how they would like the trustees to exercise their discretion, but ultimately cannot control the decisions of the trustees.
  • Life Interest or Interest in Possession Trusts - one or more specified beneficiaries (Life Tenants) have a right to receive a fixed share of trust income for a specified period (usually life).  Capital is held either on fixed interest trusts or at the discretion of the trustees for specified beneficiaries to benefit after the Life Tenant's death.  This type of trust is commonly used to grant the right to live in the property to a Life Tenant, but that on the death of the Life Tenant the property falls into the estate of another beneficiary.
  • Charitable Trusts - setup for charitable purposes, which commonly enjoy certain tax benefits.
  • Pension Trusts - a tax efficient way of retirement planning.

We typically form discretionary trusts in Guernsey and Mauritius, but other jurisdictions and other types of trust can also be used. Legal advice is sought in drafting the trust deed. We act as corporate trustee and will manage and conduct the day-to-day administration of your trust, ensuring all regulatory requirements are met. We pride ourselves in providing regular financial reporting which will help you monitor and assess your affairs. Our extensive knowledge and experience in trust administration will ensure your affairs are managed to the highest standard. Forward planning is at the forefront of what we do and this will ensure the best solution is delivered in a timely manner.