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DIFC's New Trusts Laws Boost Wealth Planning Offering

by Lorys Charalambous, Lowtax.net, Cyprus
26 March, 2018

The Dubai International Financial Centre's (DIFC) private wealth management and succession planning offerings have received a boost with the enactment of two new laws dealing with the establishment of trusts and foundations.

The new Trust Law No. 4 of 2018 is a self-contained enhancement of the DIFC's existing Trust Law in line with international best practice, the center says.

The DIFC says the new law provides an appropriate environment for the operation of trusts in the DIFC, taking into account the requirements of local families, particularly in the context of succession planning. It contains significant enhancements and refinements to promote better trust administration, DIFC said, and provides greater certainty and flexibility for settlors, trustees, and beneficiaries.

The new Foundations Law No. 3 of 2018 introduces a completely new regime, alongside the existing DIFC Companies Law and Trust Law, under the administration of the Registrar of Companies. The DIFC says the new law promotes better creditor protection, succession planning, and lifetime private wealth planning solutions for family businesses. It also provides greater certainty and flexibility for private wealth management and charitable institutions.

Essa Kazim, Governor of the DIFC, commented: "Providing a world-class legal and regulatory environment has always been a key priority for us at the DIFC. We constantly explore new ways to shape the financial landscape in the region. Insights from our clients, industry, and [the DIFC's] wealth management working group have been reflected in the laws which have been enacted to ensure the DIFC community, which is the largest in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia region, can continue to explore new ways to grow."

The DIFC is a free trade zone located in Dubai, which offers a number of perks to firms, including zero percent income tax guaranteed for 50 years and no exchange controls. It allows 100 percent foreign ownership.

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