Trust Establishment

Zerafa Trustees is authorised by the MFSA in terms of Trust and Trustees Act (the “TTA”) to provide trustee services. The TTA contains provisions with respect to trusts and provides for ancillary and incidental matters, including the mandatory licensing and supervision of trustees.

Why set up a Trust in Malta

A trust is a flexible instrument designated to cater for various scenarios. A trust can be adopted to offer solutions to different business necessities and transactions. Setting up a trust in Malta offers the following benefits:

Succession planning – A trust can be used to regulate the succession of the assets of a deceased person preventing the devaluation of the assets while passing from one generation to another;
Tax efficiency – A trust can be used to ensure a tax efficient management, control and transfer of assets;
Professional management – A trust can be used to obtain better management due to the involvement of an experienced and professional trustee in the administration of the trust and its assets;
Asset segregation – A trust can be used to achieve protection against insolvency or bankruptcy.

Trusts can also be set up for charitable purposes. With a tailor-made trust deed, a trust can be the go-to solution for number of business transactions. A trust may come into existence unilaterally or otherwise by oral declaration, or by an instrument in writing including by a will, by operation of law or by a judicial decision.

A trust fund, which is managed by the trustee, can include any property, assets and rights paid or transferred into and accepted in writing by the trustee, as well as all the income derived by the fund.

The trustee holds the assets under trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries or the purpose for which the assets were put on trust is achieved. Although the trustee becomes the owner of the assets held on trust, such assets, are segregated and separate from the assets of the trustee and from the assets of any other trust set up or serviced by the trustee. The trust, or a power exercisable under a trust, can be irrevocable or revocable and a trust in Malta may exist for a maximum of 125 years.

A trust can elect to be treated as if it were a company ordinarily resident and domiciled in Malta. Such an election is to be made within 30 days from the constitution of the trust or 30 days from the appointment of a resident trustee whichever is the later.

Our Services

At Zerafa Trustees we provide a range of services related to trusts, including:

  • Preliminary advice on the suitable trust structure;
  • Acting as a trustee or co-trustee;
  • Drafting of trust instrument, letter of wishes, and any other document required to set up your trust;
  • Setting up of the trust, executing the trust instruments, and acquisition and receipt of assets under trust;
  • Administration of assets held in trust;
  • Trust maintenance and record keeping;
  • Reporting and compliance, including trust registration for tax purposes, when required; and
  • Operation of trust bank account.
Trustee Services

When acting as a trustee we hold the assets under trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries of the trust or for the purpose for which the assets were put on trust. We act impartially with all the beneficiaries indicated in the trust deed and with all possible future beneficiaries.

We keep accurate accounts of the trusteeship and ensure that it is audited annually. We keep, at all times, segregated the assets of the trust from our own assets and from any other asset held on trust for others.

We are bound by law to inform the beneficiaries of the trust that they may benefit from the assets held in trust, as applicable.  As a trustee, after having taken into consideration any recommendations received from the protector or investment advisor, we will guarantee the payment of money, and where applicable the prior verification of a satisfaction of a condition where a beneficiary is entitled to a beneficial interest subject to the satisfaction of such condition.

When acting as a trustee we do our best to safeguard the financial interest of the trust including by lending all or any part of the trust assets and collecting income or operating bank accounts dedicated to the trust.

We take our fiduciary obligations very seriously and we strive to ensure the highest standards applicable when administering the assets of the trust. We abide by our duty of confidentiality providing to our clients the desired discretion and peace of mind.

Protector Services

We may also act as protector of your trust. When acting as a protector we will be carrying out various tasks to ensure that the assets under trust are held in line with the terms of the trust deed for the benefit of the trust beneficiaries or for the purpose for which the assets were put on trust.

In our capacity as protector, we will be involved in the maintenance of the trust by approving the acts of, or providing recommendations to, the trustee. We will be exercising our function by carrying out, where applicable, the following tasks:

  • approval of the appointment of the investment advisor;
  • request the appointment of more than one investment advisors, each responsible for specific transactions;
  • ensure that the investment advisor responds in a timely and efficient manner and prepares a monthly statement on the value of the entrusted investments;
  • recommend substitute protector or investment advisor candidates to the trustee;
  • provide recommendations in writing to the trustee in relation to changes of beneficiaries;
  • provide recommendations in writing to the trustee in relation to changes of the trust deed; and
  • appoint new or additional trustees or substitute the trustee as case may be.
Trust Administration

Trusts are flexible tools that cater for a variety of purposes, from asset protection to estate planning and charity. Therefore, they involve a number of day-to-day operations which require high level or expertise and allocated time. Our team has the necessary skills and resources to take care of the day-to-day operations delegated by the trustee.

Our trust maintenance services include administration of assets, acting as an agent, record keeping, reporting and compliance, registration for tax purposes, bank introduction services, and any other duty that is ancillary or complimentary to the administration of the trust.

Key contacts



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