Whereas domestic trust legislation provides only for the creation of express trusts, the Offshore Trust Act 1992 [as amended] ["the Act"] provides for the registration of several types of offshore trusts. The Act provides that an offshore Trust may be a protective or discretionary trust, an asset protection trust, a charitable offshore trust, a purpose offshore trust, a commercial or trading trust or a unit trust.
CHARITABLE OFFSHORE TRUST:
An offshore trust is considered to be a charitable trust where the trust has as it main purpose or object one or more of the following:
the relief of poverty
the advancement of education
the advancement of religion
any other purpose beneficial to the public in general
PURPOSE OFFSHORE TRUST:
An offshore trust other than a trust with beneficiaries being either specified or a class of natural persons or bodies corporate whether or not immediately ascertainable or whose beneficiaries being some aggregate of natural persons or bodies corporate ascertained by reference to some personal relationship, is a purpose trust.
The terms of a purpose trust which is not a perpetual trust, or which may be terminated shall:
a) specify the events upon which the trust terminates; and
b) provide for the disposition of the net assets of the trust upon termination.
An offshore purpose trust may be enforced by the settlor or his personal representative of by any person specified in the instrument establishing the trust as being the person appointed to enforce the trust.
A purpose trust may be formed for a commercial purposes including for the purpose of:
trading [commercial trust];
dealing with life insurance [life insurance trust];
managing cash deposit [cash deposit trust]
managing provident fund, pension fund, employee and service benefit
The legislation provides that the terms of an offshore trust may protect the interest of any beneficiary. The trust document may include provisions that render a beneficiary's interest:
a) liable to terminate,
b) subject to a restriction or alienation on dealing; or
c) subject to diminution or termination,
in the event of the beneficiary becoming bankrupt or any of his property becoming liable to arrest, seizure, forfeiture, expropriation or similar process of law.
A foreign trust is a trust the proper law of which is a law other than the law of Mauritius. A foreign trust is unenforceable in Mauritius if it purports to do anything which is an offence under the laws of Mauritius or is immoral or contrary to public policy.
The content of this article is intended to provide general information on the subject matter. The reader should therefore obtain professional advice specific to their circumstances.
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