Guernsey’s popularity as an historic location for establishing family and business trusts is well known and there are numerous trust and fiduciary companies located on the island. Many are Channel Islands based companies with associations and parent
companies in other
Trusts have been in existence in Britain from the Middle Ages when knights departing for the crusades used them to protect their interests and look after their wives and children.
These objectives have been no less a priority for families and individuals in more recent times, commonly being used in Wills and frequently wrapped around life assurance policies.
However, trusts are controversial and politicians of all colours have made promises to prevent them from being used as vehicles for tax avoidance. As with other asset owning structures, trusts are best managed by professionals who understand the compliance requirements of record keeping and filing returns, keeping up with new legislation and other anti-avoidance crackdowns.
The 2017 BBC exposure of the ‘Paradise Papers’ comprising some 13.4 million documents which appeared to highlight the world of offshore finance and included examples of using trusts connected to tax evasion was the latest onslaught against companies and trusts registered offshore. Many of these were historic arrangements set up with the perfectly legal aim of managing and protecting family assets for future generations but the named parties of many have led to investigations where it is essential to obtain legal advice at the earlier opportunity.
Raymond Ashton is a member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists and also a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and is therefore well versed to advise on matters of trust and family law.
The Association of Contentious Trust and probate Specialists