Gibraltar

3. TRUSTS

a. Introduction

Although powers, duties and obligations of trustees under Gibraltar law are essentially the same as under English law, some statutes deal with issues of trust law that are obsolete in England but that have statutory force in Gibraltar because of the English Law (Application) Act.

b. Types of trusts

Discretionary trusts and interest in possession trusts are the most commonly used trusts in Gibraltar.

The Bankruptcy Act, in defined circumstances, allows settlors to protect assets from claims by future creditors.

c. Creation of a trust

Gibraltar trusts are established either by deed of settlement between settlor(s) and trustee(s) or by declaration of trust by trustee(s) alone. Validity of Gibraltar trusts follows English law regarding presence of the three certainties: intention, objects (beneficiaries) and subject matter (trust property).

d. Governing law

Settlors may choose the governing law of the trust that usually applies to administration of the trust, although administration may be governed by laws of another jurisdiction.

e. Registration

Under the Registered Trust Act 1999, the Registrar of Companies maintains a register for voluntary registration of trusts. The trust document is not filed, and minimal information on the trust is provided, but an index is maintained and a certificate of registration is issued. Except in cases of registered dispositions under the Bankruptcy Act and certain charitable trusts, there is no requirement to register a private Gibraltar trust.


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