The Jersey law of trusts is contained principally in the Trusts (Jersey) Law 1984, as amended by subsequent legislation. It embodies traditional trust principles developed by English law. Where Jersey law is silent on an issue relating to a Jersey trust, or where there is no judicial authority in Jersey to cover the matter, then the Jersey courts will refer to English and Commonwealth case law for guidance.
In Jersey, there are no separate courts of law and equity. But this does not mean that an equitable jurisdiction does not exist. The courts have referred to their "equitable" jurisdiction, and Jersey's Royal Court has expressly confirmed this. Clients can therefore have confidence that, in appropriate circumstances, the courts will be flexible in their interpretation of the law to ensure natural justice is done.
Owning Private Trust Companies
A Private Trust Company (PTC) is an effective structure which offers many benefits. A PTC acts as a trustee of family trusts, allowing active management of the trusts to be undertaken by the settlor and his family.
Assets and Confidentiality
A Jersey trust creates a private relationship between a settlor (or settlors); trustees and beneficiaries, therefore acting as a suitable vehicle to hold a variety of assets within a confidential legal arrangement.
The discretionary trust is regarded as the prime offshore vehicle used to hold family assets, ensuring that their wealth is held in a safe and discrete environment.
Jersey trusts are often used to hold assets off balance sheet, or to "orphan" special purpose vehicles or "SPVs". Jersey purpose trusts are used to achieve this (often in conjunction with Jersey companies acting as the "SPV").
Charity and Philanthropy
High net worth families and corporates who have amassed wealth in offshore locations from their international businesses and other activities are increasingly seeking to create offshore entities to secure charitable and philanthropic objectives.