The first step is to select the best jurisdiction for your trust. For reasons explained elsewhere, our number-one choice is the Cook Islands.
Whatever country you settle on, you will have to sort out the local trust companies. Here’s what to look for.
Your trust should be administered by a real institution. In many instances, what looks like a trust company turns out to be just a filing cabinet belonging to a law firms, accounting firm or company formation service. Your trust is unlikely to be administered properly and at reasonable cost unless you select a trust company with its own professional staff and whose primary business is providing trust services to international clients.
Be cautious about selecting a trust company that is affiliated with an offshore bank or investment management company. It might turn out to be a good choice, but you should consider whether it is just a device for selling investment products for its affiliate.
Select a trustee that is serious about exercising its discretionary powers thoughtfully and about maintaining a record of its decisions for your trust. Hiring a trustee that will give rubber-stamp approval to your wishes makes your trust easy to attack as a sham. A conscientious trustee is mindful of the purposes of the Grantor and puts great weight on the advice it receives from the Protector, but it never says “Yes” without thinking through its decisions and recording the reasons for its actions.
When you identify a candidate, do an Internet search on its name, to see what shows up. If there is something seriously wrong with it, some unhappy ex-client will be eager to tell you about it.
The easiest and least expensive way to gain the safety of a lawful offshore trust is with the Passport Financial Offshore Trust Kit. The Kit will introduce you to the number-one licensed trust company in the Cook Islands.
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