The new Guernsey Trusts Law will come into effect from Monday 17 March.
Some of the most significant changes to the Islands trust legislation include:
- The introduction of (non-charitable) Purpose Trusts
- Removal of limits on the length of a trusts duration allowing perpetual trusts
- Clarification of the position of retiring trustees, making the transfer process more streamlined
- Clarification of the circumstances under which information has to be given to beneficiaries
- Abolishment of the liability of directors of corporate trustees based in Guernsey or acting as trustees of Guernsey law trusts, particularly as a way to encourage greater use of Private Trust Companies (PTCs)
- Revision of arrangements regarding limitation periods and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
The Trusts (Guernsey) Law, 2007, was passed by the Islands parliament, the States of Guernsey, last July and was given Royal Assent by the Privy Council on Tuesday 12 February. It was registered with Guernseys Royal Court on Monday 18 February and commences operation on the 28th day after this date.
"Guernseys fiduciary practitioners are very much looking forward to the enactment of the law. The changes it is set to make to the Islands trust legislation are expected to give us enhanced flexibility in providing solutions to meet the ever-evolving needs of our international client base," said Gavin St Pier, Director of Barclays Wealth (Guernsey).
The new law has its roots in a series of proposals made in the Evans Report. It was published following a root and branch review of the Islands trust legislation by a working party under the chairmanship of Guernsey advocate Rupert Evans.
"This is yet another example of how the Guernsey government, the Islands financial regulator and its industry practitioners, continually work together to maintain an environment that maximises business flows," said Peter Niven, Chief Executive of GuernseyFinance the promotional agency for the Islands finance industry.
Guernsey has more than 50 years experience in providing trust and corporate services. Today, the Island hosts more than 140 licensed fiduciaries, ranging from large organisations to independent, boutique operations. Together, they hold between £200 and £300bn worth of assets in trust.
Mr Niven added: "Guernseys fiduciary industry has built a reputation for professionalism and expertise in using the modern structures that are available on the Island for the preservation of both institutional and individual/family wealth and assets. The amendments to Guernseys trust legislation include several significant changes like the introduction of Purpose Trusts that will particularly enhance the Islands fiduciary environment.
"However, we are far from resting on our laurels and work continues to introduce legislation that will allow the establishment of Foundations. The addition of this innovative tool will ensure that the Islands practitioners are able to offer their internationally mobile clients the widest spectrum of products and services."
A copy of the new law is available at www.guernseyfinance.com and is in the publications section of the media centre.
For more information about Guernsey's finance industry please visit www.guernseyfinance.com.
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