1. Who can establish a Trust?
Individuals and legal entities, businesses, corporations, foundations or associations.
2. Who are the subjects of the Trust?
The Settlor is the owner of the assets who transfers the assets to the Trustee and decides for which purpose or to which beneficiaries they are to be used.
The Beneficiary or class of beneficiaries the person or persons who will receive enjoyment of the trust property.
The Trustee is the formal holder of the assets who administers them for the time being and will assign them to the beneficiaries.
The guardian is a person trusted by the settlor who oversees the trustee's work.
3. Is the Trust legal?
The Trust is a fully legal instrument. Although there is as yet no governing law in Switzerland, a trust, if created in writing, is recognized under the Hague Convention on the Law Applicable to Trusts and their Recognition, in force in Switzerland since July 1, 2007.
4. Why a Trust?
A trust is a flexible legal instrument that allows for the resolution of a number of personal, family and business situations that are not adequately addressed by civil law.
5. What assets can be transferred to a Trust?
• Financial liquid assets
• Asset portfolios
• Participatory securities, equities, listed and unlisted bonds
• Real estate (full ownership, bare ownership or use thereof)
• Copyright, credit rights
• Family Companies
• Insurance policies
• Goods and precious objects
• Art collections
6. Why set up a Trust?
There are countless goals that the trust can achieve, the main ones being the following• Protection of personal assets
• Protection of a spouse or loved one
• Willingness to allocate assets to a child (but not, for example, to a possible future spouse of the child)
• Protection of minor or disabled children
• Fear that an adverse situation could deprive of the current standard of living: in this hypothesis, therefore, the settlor may want to segregate a portion of their assets so that it is protected from third parties in the future
• Planning for extended families or undeserving children to receive income and assets in a deferred manner
• Business continuity
7. How long does a Trust last?
The duration of the trust is determined in writing in the Articles of Incorporation of the trust by the settlor: in the case of successor trusts it exceeds the Settlor's lifetime. The deadline is therefore a choice of the settlor and is linked to the objectives he wants to achieve.
8. Is the Trust a safe instrument?
If the Trust is well established and the Trustee is reliable and trustworthy, there is absolutely no risk. Indeed. The Trustee properly manages the assets entrusted to it by clients, exposing its name and that of its trustees to civil and criminal penalties for mismanagement. The Trustee is accountable to the guardian, who oversees and monitors the work of the Trustee and, if the need arises, may revoke the Trustee company and appoint another one. The activity of the Swiss Trustee is a regulated activity, subject to supervision by FINMA which provides an additional guarantee of irreproachability of the Trustee's activity.
9. How much does the Trust cost?
The Trust is a complex and subtle instrument. For this reason it requires an intense preliminary phase of analysis on the part of the settlor and the Trustee, which often lasts months, so it is always difficult to identify the costs of a Trust beforehand.
In general, costs can be categorized into:
• Establishment Costs: This is the amount due to the Trustee company for the study before establishing the Trust. Includes the study of family status, succession, family relationships, taxation of the family and related businesses, and corporate governance. Includes the preparation and signing of the Articles of Incorporation.
• Management Fees: an annual amount paid to the Trustee company to manage the Trust. Includes day-to-day operations, accounting and duties related to mandatory reporting, compliance and disclosure requirements.
10. How long does it take to establish a Trust?
Time is a very important variable in setting up a trust but in no way should it be the element that prevents its solid and thoughtful design. The preparatory phase of analysis is the most time-consuming as it gathers and compares countless personal, family and business elements that may be critical to the goals you want to achieve.