International Trusts

The Cook Islands International Trusts Act, enacted in 1984, has long been the standard for international trusts. The asset protection features added to the legislation in 1989 attract much attention and have served thousands of families around the world. Asset Protection is just one use for Cook Islands international trusts and it is often an added benefit rather than the reason for forming a trust in the Cook Islands.

The Cook Islands legislation is unique in that many of its features must be formally adopted in the trust agreement. This ensures clients a trust that best suits their personal or corporate circumstances. Based on long-held common law trust principles, a Cook Islands trust allows confidence in the strength of its foundation while at the same time providing a modern structure that overcomes common law weaknesses.

Features include:

  1. Protection from general common law and Cook Islands domestic law to the extent inconsistent with the International Trusts Act.
  2. No requirement to file the trust deed with the Registrar. Registration is done through a licensed trust company.
  3. No taxation in the Cook Islands.
  4. Tax neutral situation which can be used for Asset Protection.
  5. Rule against perpetuities is abolished but a perpetuity period can be specified
  6. Role of Protector set out and flexible in its use.
  7. See Asset Protection for more features.

As globalization continues for families around the world, the need to centralize their estate and wealth planning increases. The Cook Islands international trust is a flexible planning tool that can be customized to suit the unique needs of each client.