Trust: Nevis


Saint Kitts and Nevis, officially Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, also called Saint Christopher and Nevis, is a state composed of two islands of the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean Sea. Their combined area is 104 square miles (269 square km). The capital is Basseterre on the island of Saint Kitts.
Nevis, surrounded by coral reefs, lies 2 miles (3 km) southeast of Saint Kitts across a channel known as The Narrows. The island is circular, and it consists almost entirely of a mountain, Nevis Peak (3,232 feet [985 metres]), which is flanked by the lower Round Hill (1,014 feet [309 metres]) on the north and by Saddle Hill (1,850 feet [564 metres]) on the south. Its area is 36 square miles (93 square km). The soil of Nevis is clay studded with volcanic boulders. The climate is similar to that of Saint Kitts. Both Nevis and Saint Kitts lie in a tropical hurricane (tropical cyclone) belt; hurricane season is between August and October.


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Nevis Trust Overview

Trust Legislation
Nevis International Exempt Trust Ordinance 1994 (As amended)
Formal name
International Exempt Trust
The settlor is the person who establishes and whose assets are put into the trust. The settlor of an International Exempt Trust in Nevis may also be the beneficiary of those assets and may retain control of the trust. An international trust is not invalidated because of the subsequent bankruptcy of the settlor.
Trustees are natural or legal persons who hold the title to the assets and manage the trust, but they cannot benefit from it. At least one trustee is mandatory.
One of the trustees must either be a corporation formed under the Nevis Business Corporation Ordinance or a trust company conducting business in Nevis. Only charitable purpose trusts are allowed to have more than four trustees. Where more than one trustee is required by the trust’s terms, having fewer trustees than stated does not invalidate the trust.

Corporate Trustees may operate by resolution or through resolutions of the board of directors and may exercise the power to appoint officers to act on its behalf.

Custodian trustees are not permitted.
Beneficiaries are those who get benefit from the trust. There are specific provisions to prevent beneficiaries from draining the trust of its assets and spending in a thrifty way. International Trusts allows avoiding both probate and forced heirship rules.
The protector is a person who is the holder of a power which when invoked is capable of directing, providing consent to or disapproving a trustee’s actual or proposed investment decisions, distribution decisions or other decisions of the trustee in matters relating to the trust and in respect of which matters the trustee has discretion and includes a person who is the holder of a power to appoint or dismiss trustees.

Protectors are mandatory whenever the trust has a non-charitable purpose, and optional in the case trusts settled for the benefit of someone.
Trust Deed
The private document on which the trust is drafted is not needed to be filed with the Registrar.
Privacy and confidentiality are protected by The Confidential Relationships Act.
Protection from foreign Judments
The International Exempt Trust act provides specific provisions to ignore and not enforce judgments. The Hague Convention on Trusts does not apply in Nevis.
Protection from creditors
The International Exempt Trust Act repeals the Statute of Elizabeth, so transfers by the settlor to the trust may not be set aside if the settlor transferred the property before the debt arose. The creditor must prove the fraudulent transfer of assets to the trust, which is clearly defined by the law. Creditor claims are separated and cannot be brought jointly. If a fraudulent transfer is proven, the trust may not be declared invalid.
Protection for immigrant trusts
Trusts that migrate from other jurisdictions do not benefit from retroactive protection.
Nevis international trusts that have been settled for the benefit of a person can exist for a maximum of 120 years.
International trusts are subject to a registration fee and an annual renewal fee.
A trust established in Nevis may not be subject to local taxes applicable to the assets and income of the trust, provided that no residents of Nevis benefit from the trust and no physical assets are located there.

It must be noted that the choice of law of the trust would not be applicable to tax matters, which would be governed by the respective jurisdiction where the settlor, beneficiaries, assets or trustee are located, as applicable.

You should consult with your tax advisor or accountant to know the tax implications in your jurisdiction of residence when establishing a trust in Nevis, transfer assets to it and receive profits from said assets.


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