Malta: Proposed amendments to the Trust and Trustees Act

Cristina Maria Scerri | Published on 02 Feb 2012

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Proposed amendments to the Trust and Trustees Act are currently being consulted, a major amendment being the introduction of the concept of “Family Trusts”. A Family trust is defined as being a trust created to hold property settled by the settlor or settlors for the present and future needs of family members or family dependants who are definite and can be ascertained. The MFSA may issue rules to further define the meaning of the terms ‘family members’ and ‘family dependants’.

The trustee of a family trust must be a company whose object and activities are limited to acting as trustee in relation to a specific settlor or settlors and providing administrative services in respect of a specific family trust or trusts. The trustee must not hold itself out as a trustee to the public and may not act habitually as a trustee, in any case in relation to more than five settlors at a time. The trustee of a family trust does not require authorisation in terms of the Trust and Trustees Act but must apply for registration by the MFSA. No company may act as a trustee of a family trust unless previously registered. The registration process, requirements and conditions are to be established by rules to be issued by the MFSA. The rules may lay down additional requirements and conditions in relation to the activities of such trustees, their responsibilities to the MFSA, adherence to a code of conduct, payment of fees, and any other matters as the MFSA may consider appropriate.

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