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Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Country and Foreign Investment

Trusts

Trusts are constituted under the International Trusts Act 1996, as amended by the International Trust Amendments Act 2002.

Trust deeds are registered in a confidential government Trust Registry, whereupon an official Certificate of Registration is issued to the Settlor/Grantor.

Key features of the current trusts regime are as follows:

  • A duly registered trust will not be rendered unenforceable because it was invalid under the laws of the Settlor/Grantor’s domicile or residence. Thus, forced heirship law and community property regimes can be avoided.
  • The traditional rule against perpetuities and the rule against accumulations are modified and clarified in thne current legislation.
  • Purpose trusts, which are created for a specific purpose but without named beneficiaries, are allowed and statutorily prescribed.
  • The role and duties of protectors are specifically set out and clarified to account for recent case law.
  • Choice-of-law and conflicts-of-laws issues are anticipated and resolved in favor of the provisions of the International Trust Act.
  • A foreign (non-Vincentian) judgment against a registered International Trust (or its settler or beneficiaries) is not enforceable in Saint Vincent if the judgment was based on law inconsistent with the International Trust Act, 1996.
  • Actions against registered international trusts must be commenced within two years from date of creation of the trust.
  • A complaining creditor may satisfy his claim against the property of a registered international trust only if that creditor can show both that the settlor/grantor’s principal interest in creating the trust was to defraud him, that the disposition of property to the trust rendered the settler/grantor insolvent.
  • Traditional fraudulent conveyance laws (Statute of Elizabeth) are not applicable to registered international trusts.
  • The bankruptcy or insolvency of the settler/grantor under the laws of his residence or domicile will not affect a registered international trust.
  • An international trust may own one or more Saint Vincent International Business Companies.
  • Registered trustees fall within the definition of ‘financial institutions’ of the Proceeds of Crime Money Laundering Prevention Act 2001 and are thereby subject to its anti money laundering requirements.

The registration fee for a trust is USD300, plus an annual fee of USD150.

 

 

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