Seychelles International Trusts

Seychelles trusts are provided for by the International Trusts Act 1994. A trust is a legal arrangement where the owner of assets (usually known as the settlor) transfers ownership of those assets to a trustee to hold and administer under the terms of a Trust Deed for the benefit of other persons (known as the beneficiaries). A trust is not a separate legal entity, and may only operate and hold property through a trustee. As the assets of a trust are not the property of the settlor, trusts provide significant scope for tax planning and minimisation, “outside estate” succession planning, wealth management and asset protection.

Establishment & features

  • Although a Seychelles International Trust (“Trust”) is required to be registered, the Trust Deed is not filed with any Seychelles Government Registry.
  • There is no requirement to file, with any Seychelles Government Registry, details of the settlor or the beneficiaries (except for any beneficiaries who are Seychellois citizens).
  • A Trust must have a Seychelles resident corporate trustee, which holds a trustee service providers licence issued by the Seychelles' Financial Services Authority. Non-resident co-trustee/s and/or protectors are permissible.
  • A Trust may own property world-wide (except for land in Seychelles, although it can own shares and/or maintain bank accounts in Seychelles).
  • The settlor can be a beneficiary under a Trust (but not a sole beneficiary).
  • The settlor cannot at any time during the duration of a Trust be a resident of Seychelles.
  • A Trust may exist for a maximum of 100 years as from the date when it came into existence and it will then terminate (with a final distribution of trust assets being made to the remaining beneficiaries), unless terminated earlier either pursuant to the terms of the Trust Deed or for any other reason (except for charitable trusts or purpose trusts, which may have an indefinite duration).
  • The beneficiary under a Trust must be identifiable by name or ascertainable by reference to either: (i) a class; or (ii) a relationship to another person, whether or not living at the time of the creation of the trust or at the time by reference to which, under the terms of the trust, members of a class are to be determined.
  • There is no Seychelles taxation on the foreign income of a Trust.

Strong Asset Protection & Trust defence provisions

  • Under Seychelles law, neither a Trust nor any transfer or disposition of property to a Trust can be invalidated by any foreign rule of forced heirship, nor because the trust concept is unknown to or not admitted by the laws of a foreign jurisdiction.
  • A Trust shall not be void by reason of the settlor’s bankruptcy or liquidation of the settlor’s property or in any legal action against the settlor by the settlor’s creditors (except where the Seychelles Supreme Court finds beyond reasonable doubt that the Trust was made with the intent to defraud creditors of the settlor or the settlor was insolvent at the time when the property was vested in the trustee. The onus of proof as to intent to defraud rests on the creditor claimant)
  • A legal claim by a creditor of the settlor shall not be permitted against a trustee of a Trust after 2 years from the date of transfer of assets into the Trust
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