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Trusts - Legal Arrangement


In order to create a valid trust the intention of the settlor to create it, the trust property and the beneficiaries or purpose must be certain.  A trust is usually created in writing in a document (known as a trust instrument) which records the terms of the trust and is often drafted by a Guernsey advocate.   A unit trust, a trust established to provide persons with the facility to invest and participate in the profits or income from investments, must be created in writing.  Non-charitable purpose trusts must also be created in writing.

Corporate service providers ('CSPs'), which hold a full fiduciary licence issued by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission ('GFSC') can provide trust formation and administration services. The Guernsey Registry has a directory of CSPs available here.

The Guernsey Registry does not maintain a register of trusts, there is therefore no requirement to register a trust with the Guernsey Registry for it to be created. However, if a trust has been created for tax planning purposes for the benefit of Guernsey residents it will often need to be approved by the Director of the Revenue Service.