By ELRIDGE GLASFORD
Look past the tropical rain forests, the array of white, gold and black sand beaches, and at the epicentre of the Leeward Islands is the English speaking island of Nevis, queen of the Caribbean. This circular 36 square mile island is one of the best jurisdictions in the world for trust and company formations. The Nevis International Exempt Trust Ordinance (“NIETO”) is the governing legislation for international trusts. The NIETO allows for the creation of various types of international trusts (this includes Charitable Trusts, Non-Charitable Trusts, Spendthrift or Protective Trusts and Qualified Foreign Trusts).
Why those in the know flock to Nevis to set up a Nevis asset protection trust?
• There is no rule against perpetuities, allowing the trust unlimited duration provided the trustee has unrestricted power to sell all the trust assets. This provision makes it possible to establish a dynasty trust that can last forever.
• The trust cannot be declared void, voidable or defective by reason of any forced heirship rules of the Settlor’s domicile, residence, place of incorporation, formation or establishment.
• Foreign judgments are not enforceable against a Nevis trust and it is not easy to bring action against the trust. A creditor would have to bring a fresh claim and in order for any action to commence the creditor must first deposit a security bond of US$100,000.00. This provision discourages frivolous claims from being brought against trust property under the trust.
• Confidentiality pertaining to the information of the trusts. A third party/creditor has no automatic right of access to any information on the trust without a court order.
• A Protector may be appointed who is responsible for monitoring the operations of the international trust. This gives the protector the power to ensure that the purpose of the trust is being fulfilled at all times.
• The trustee being an international company under Nevis laws also enjoys privacy of information so that information about the beneficial owners and officers is not filed with the official registry and is therefore not available to the public.
• The entity is exempt from local taxes including income, withholding, capital gains etc. This means you can pay your taxes in your home country and are not double taxed.
• NIETO is innovative, regularly updated and modern trust law.
• Nevis is an independent sovereign nation that enjoys a stable political environment. Pre-requisites for forming a Nevis asset protection trust:
• At least one trustee must be a Nevis international corporation or registered agent.
• The Settlor and Beneficiaries must at all times be non-resident of the island.
• The trust assets must not include any property situated in the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis.