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Guernsey's 10-Year-Old Trusts Law 'Ahead Of Its Time'

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
23 March, 2018

Guernsey's trusts law, which came into force 10 years ago, has been described as "ahead of its time" and "a reminder of the jurisdiction's ability to innovate and adapt to changing market conditions" by leading trust and fiduciary lawyer Russell Clark.

Clark, who heads up the trust and private wealth practice at leading offshore law firm Carey Olsen, said the Trusts (Guernsey) Law 2007 has helped to underpin the development of the fiduciary industry in Guernsey.

"We have continued to improve it and tweak it over time and are now seeing many of the changes introduced in 2008 being copied elsewhere. For example, Jersey is now looking to introduce a 'non-possessory lien' along the same lines of that which we introduced in the 2007 revision," said Clark.

Other key changes identified by Clark include the introduction of purpose trusts, removal of limits on the length of a trust's duration, and clarification around the rights of beneficiaries to information, which many wealthy families found attractive.

Looking ahead, Clark said it was important to keep Guernsey's trusts law under review, to ensure it remains fit for purpose, and maintains a balance between those setting up trusts and trust beneficiaries. To this end a new working party, which includes Carey Olsen, is reviewing this law.

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