Monaco: Offshore Trusts Guide
Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
The concept of a trust in Monaco can be best understood in terms of its historical development. As a civil law jurisdiction the Principality enforced its internal laws governing strict heirship rules on any dispositions made by Monegasque residents. Consequently some British and United States nationals residing in Monaco appealed to the Government to be allowed to use the vehicle of a trust so as to be able to have the same flexibility to dispose of their assets on death as existed under the laws of common law jurisdictions of which they were nationals.
Law 214 was passed with a view to allowing foreigners resident in Monaco to set up trusts governed by their own national law. The law was not passed to create a body of Monegasque trust law or introduce the concept of a trust into Monaco. Where a dispute arises the Monaco courts may exercise jurisdiction: unless Monegasque law makes express provision for a legal issue to be governed by its internal law (e.g. appointment of trustees) the courts of Monaco will apply the principles of the foreign proper law governing the trust.