Offshore Company Information

Real Answers by Experienced Professionals

Ask questions about offshore banking, company formation, asset protection and related topics.

Call Now 24 Hrs./Day
If consultants are busy, please call again.

How to Set Up an Offshore Trust

Cook Islands trust setupHere we will discuss how to form an offshore trust. We have been forming offshore asset protection trusts since 1995 and our organization was established in 1906. In order to establish an offshore trust in the most favorable jurisdictions there are legal requirements that are summarized here. One signatory is needed for the settlor, the client who is having the trust created. The trustee needs another signature. Then we will typically establish a Nevis LLC. Nevis is a country in the Caribbean that has favorable Limited Liability Company (LLC) laws. This entity is established and placed into the trust so that the client has a legal tool inside of the trust that they can control when legal duress has not arisen.

Once you order your offshore trust, we email you a checklist as well as a set of documents for you to complete. This provides information that we need to establish your offshore trust. Plus, the documentation complies with legal requirements. The know-your-client laws in are fairly standard across the major trust jurisdictions. This keeps the trustees and local regulators in compliance with international anti-money-laundering regulations.

As such here is a list of the documents you will need to complete and/or provide to establish your offshore trust. We email you documents and provide sample documents to make it easy for you to complete.

  1. Client Assessment Data Form
  2. Affidavit of Solvency
  3. Trust Information Document
  4. The Money Laundering Control Act (initial)
  5. Deed of Indemnity
  6. A copy of the photograph page of your passport (or a copy of your driver’s license) duly certified by a Notary Public.
  7. Original documentary evidence of your address (an original recent utility bill, credit card statement or bank statement – must be the original rather than a photocopy).
  8. A bank reference letter.

After you complete the forms and provide the proper documents you will submit them to us electronically. That is, you will scan and email the or fax the to our office.

After we receive your documents, we draft your trust. We also look over the documentation you have completed to make sure it meets with the legal requirements.

We then email you your trust for your signature. We then ask you to sign the trust and return all of the original documents to our legal department.

Whereas, offshore trusts can also be set up for real estate protection, the strongest protection is provided for cash held by the trust that is located in an offshore account. Since US courts have jurisdiction over any US owned real estate, it is a stronger degree of protection to locate your assets offshore, out of reach of US judges. recommends only the offshore trust jurisdictions with strong asset protection laws so that your assets are statutorily protected.

It is critical that your offshore trust be located in a jurisdiction that favors foreign beneficiaries and in a country that is strong politically. One such example is the Cook Islands. Another is Nevis. A third most favorable option, in our experience, is Belize. Setting up your offshore trust is a carefully performed engagement and should only be conducted with a qualified service provider. There are many provisions that need to be included in the trust in order for the asset protection provisions to stand strong under legal scrutiny.