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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

The History of Offshore Trusts
Development of Professional Competence in the Jurisdictions
What Future for the Trust?
The New Age of Transparency
The Swiss Association of Trust Companies
The Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners

Offshore Trusts Guide: Jurisdictions

Bahamas

Bahamas: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bahamas: 2006 Private Trust Companies Legislation

Barbados

Barbados: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Barbados: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Bermuda

Bermuda: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bermuda: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
British Virgin Islands: Special Trusts Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: The Trustee Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: :Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees
British Virgin Islands: New Laws on Private Trust Companies
British Virgin Islands: New Private Trust Company Regulations

Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cayman Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cook Islands

Cook Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cook Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cyprus

Cyprus: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cyprus: Supervision, Licensing and Tax

Gibraltar

Gibraltar: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Gibraltar: Legislation, Regulation and Supervision

Guernsey

Guernsey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Guernsey: Trusts Law 2007

Isle of Man

Isle of Man: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Isle of Man: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Isle of Man: Uses Clients and Tax Treatment

Jersey

Jersey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Jersey: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Jersey: Trusts Amendment Act 2006
Jersey: Foundations

Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Liechtenstein: Regulation Supervision and Transparency
Liechtenstein: Characteristics of Liechtenstein Trusts
Liechtenstein: Foundations

Madeira

Madeira: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Malta

Malta: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Malta: The Trust and Trustees Act 2004

Mauritius

Mauritius: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Mauritius: Characteristics of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Additional Provisions of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Tax Treatment

Monaco

Monaco: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Nevis

Nevis: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

New Zealand

New Zealand: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
New Zealand: Review of the Law of Trusts
New Zealand: Taxation of Trusts

Panama

Panama: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Panama: Requirements for Acting as Trust Company in Panama

Seychelles

Seychelles: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Turks & Caicos

Turks & Caicos: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Turks & Caicos: The Voidable Dispositions Ordinance

Vanuatu

Vanuatu Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

 


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.