Carl Linder, Esq.
In recent days, international trust planners across the United States and elsewhere have been dealing with very new issues related to the creation and maintenance of international trusts. Many international trust companies have started to assert their unwillingness to serve as trustees on certain international trusts. One very reputable international trust company has recently determined that they cannot continue to serve as trustees due to the costs related to the international compliance obligations forced upon them through the US FATCA and European CRS requirements. Thus, they have decided to not renew the trust license and now all trusts under their control as trustee, must either be moved to another trustee in the jurisdiction or to another jurisdiction all together. We have been called upon to resolve and transition all of these trusts, which is now on-going.
In another matter, an existing client of a well-recognized trust company has received notice from the trust company of their intent to resign as trustee of his international trust. The reason given was that after updated due diligence was collected, the settlor/beneficiary was determined to be involved in a United States civil litigation matter. Again, this was an existing client who had established the trust 3 years prior to the litigation, at a time when no litigation was pending against the settlor/beneficiary. This is now the trend where international service providers including trustees, protectors, custodial banks, investment advisors, corporate directors and other fiduciaries are determining that the risk of serving as a fiduciary on an international trust structure is not worth the potential reputational exposure or liability that may come in the future related to such structures. Due to the relationships that we have developed over our 20 years of practice, we were able to get this client placed with another trustee very rapidly, thus restoring faith in his international trust structure.
This is why relationships are very important for planners operating in this space. Planners need to be aware of the current environment related to these structures and assist their clients in handling the hurdles that will inevitably arise in working with third party fiduciaries. At the end of the day, international asset protection planning is still viable but facts matter. Presenting the facts require skill and experience. At Greenspoon Marder, Ed Brown and I have made this our priority and we are here to assist in any way possible.
*The information in this article is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from Greenspoon Marder LLP or the individual author(s), nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this Post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
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