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Malta Family Trusts

Malta Family Trusts have become a preferential vehicle for asset protection and asset management.

The Trust and Trustees Act (TTA) regulates the setting up of trusts and the appointment of Trustees to administer and oversee the functioning of the trusts. The TTA also appoints the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) as the regulator, authority in charge of supervision of the trustees.

In 2014, Article 43(B) was added to the TTA, adding ‘Family Trusts’ to the picture and, defining them as trusts created to hold property settled by the settlor or settlors for the present and future needs of family members and dependants. Subsequently, the MFSA issued rules and guidelines specifically applicable to Trustees of Malta family trusts, also known as the Private Trust Company (PTC).

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The rules issued by MFSA apply specifically to Trustees of Malta trusts which are set up in line with Article 43(B) of the TTA and whose objects and activities are limited to acting as a Trustee in relation to a specific settlor or settlors and provision of administrative services in respect of a specific family trust. Such trustees cannot provide trustee services to the public and cannot habitually act as a trustee.

In order to be considered such, a PTC must satisfy a set of criteria at the application stage of the registration process and continuously thereafter. PTCs give settlors and family members the opportunity to be involved in its day to day management since the board of directors may be made up, amongst others, of the same family members. Such directors would be familiar with the business and can make instant decisions, something which is not always possible with a professional trust company.

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Establishing a PTC may be initially costlier than establishing a trust with a professional trust company, however in the longer term PTCs are usually more economically viable since they do not govern percentage-based fees.

FBS TRUST LIMITED is an authorised trustee company licensed by the MFSA.

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