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Offshore Trusts Report: Liechtenstein

Characteristics of Liechtenstein Trusts

Some of the characteristics of Liechtenstein Trusts are as follows:

  • a trustee can be an individual or a corporation or association; one trustee must be a Liechtenstein-resident individual with appropriate professional qualifications; trustees have various specified duties of care towards the trustor and the trust property; trustees who carry on business as such must keep an inventory of their trusteeships and must keep each trust's assets separate from other assets; if trust assets are deposited with banks they must again be kept separate;

  • trustees are liable for breach of trust to the full extent of their assets; joint trustees must normally act jointly and are jointly liable; supervision of the trust is ultimately under the Court, even if the Trust Deed specifies alternative supervision;

  • the trustee must keep a schedule of trust assets and update it yearly, submitting trust accounts as specified in the Trust Deed or to the Court;

  • the interests of named beneficiaries can be embodied in trust certificates, which if registered are transferable securities;

  • being a civil law jurisdiction, trust assets are vulnerable to forced heirship provisions, although there are time limitations on such claims;

  • in general, there is a limitation of one year on creditors' claims; the trustee's creditors have no access to the trust assets; the trustor's creditors have access to trust property only under certain defined circumstances, one of which is under law of succession; the beneficiaries' creditors have access to the trust assets only if the beneficiary has a claim to payment, and if the trust deed does not bar distraint; the trust property's creditors have limited access to the trustee but only to the trust property if the trustee enjoys specific liability cover from the property.

  • trust documents, including the Trust Deed, can be in any language.

Trusts may be set up under foreign law, but may not have more favourable treatment than would apply under Liechtenstein law. Liechtenstein law applies to a foreign trust if the trustee, or more than half of the trustees, are resident in Liechtenstein, if the trust property is in Liechtenstein, or if the Trust Deed says so.

Unlike common law trusts, Liechtenstein trusts can accumulate income, and are subject to no rule against perpetuities. The trust law generally is extremely flexible as regards the powers of settlors (trustors).

As long as the original trust documentation is deposited with the Registrar of Trusts within 12 months, there is no public information about the trust, and later trust documention, eg naming beneficiaries, does not have to be deposited; the level of confidentiality is therefore very good. Trust documents can be in any language.

The Report

Offshore Trusts Guide: Introduction

Offshore Trusts Guide: Jurisdictions

Bahamas Barbados Bermuda British Virgin Islands Cayman Islands Cook Islands Cyprus Gibraltar Guernsey Isle of Man Jersey Liechtenstein Madeira Malta Mauritius Monaco Nevis New Zealand Panama Seychelles Turks & Caicos Vanuatu

Liechtenstein News

Guernsey Welcomes Migration Of First Foreign Foundation
Wednesday 8/10/2014
Guernsey's company registry has approved the first ever migration of a foundation from another jurisdiction to Guernsey.

Liechtenstein, Malta Sign DTA
Friday 4/10/2013
Liechtenstein's Foreign Minister Aurelia Frick and her Maltese counterpart George Vella have recently signed in New York a bilateral double taxation agreement between the two countries in respect of taxes on income and on wealth.

Liechtenstein Congratulated On Successful Tax Policy
Thursday 19/9/2013
Standard and Poor's has maintained Liechtenstein's triple A rating, alluding to a stable outlook and highlighting the fact that the Principality's fiscal and financial policies have very much contributed to Liechtenstein's reputation and strength as a safe, reliable, and attractive economic location.

Austria Eyes US FATCA Deal
Friday 10/5/2013
Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann has announced plans to enter into talks with the US and with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, aimed at combating tax fraud and tax evasion.

Austria Willing To Negotiate With EU On Banking Secrecy
Wednesday 1/5/2013
Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann and Deputy Chancellor Michael Spindelegger have recently confirmed Austria's willingness "to participate constructively" in negotiations between the European Union and third states on an automatic exchange of banking information.

LGT Headquarters Middle East Business In Dubai
Tuesday 19/2/2013
LGT Group, the international private banking and asset management group, owned by the royal family of Liechtenstein, has chosen Dubai as the headquarters of its new subsidiary, LGT (Middle East) Limited, following regulatory approvals to operate in the Dubai International Financial Center.

Liechtenstein, Austria Close To Tax Agreement
Friday 18/1/2013
Liechtenstein’s Prime Minister Klaus Tschütscher has confirmed plans to conclude a tax package with Austria shortly.

Austria To Agree Swiss-Style Tax Deal With Liechtenstein
Tuesday 15/1/2013
During an upcoming working visit to Vienna, Liechtenstein’s Prime Minister Klaus Tschütscher is due to hold talks with key ministers from the Austrian chancellery and from the finance ministry, with the discussions focussing on the "imminent conclusion" of a bilateral tax agreement between the two countries.

Liechtenstein, UK DTA In Force
Wednesday 2/1/2013
Following the exchange of relevant notifications, the agreement pertaining to the avoidance of double taxation and tax evasion in the area of taxes on income and on wealth between Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Principality of Liechtenstein has now entered into force.

Liechtenstein, Austria Eye Swift Conclusion Of Tax Deal
Wednesday 12/12/2012
Negotiations between Liechtenstein and Austria on a tax deal aimed at resolving the issue of Austrian citizens' undeclared bank accounts in the Principality are said to be in full swing.