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British Virgin Islands Trusts

BVI trust law is derived from English Trust law. The original trust law was updated by the Trustee Amendment Acts of 1993 and 2003 and has again recently been though readings in the house of assembly to yet again update this. For further information on the proposed changes please see our recent blog post at

Trusts in the BVI may be established by persons in any part of the world with property or assets in any part of the world

There are a variety of different reasons for establishing a trust, such as;

- Estate planning
- Asset Protection
- To hold assets in the case that a person may be mentally unable to handle their own
- To avoid forced heirship rules
- Confidentiality

A British Virgin Islands Trust is governed by British Virgin Islands Trust law providing that the trust instrument states that the governing law is that of the British Virgin Islands.

There are various different types of Trusts such as;

Discretionary Trusts – most BVI trusts tend to be discretionary trusts and discretionary trusts are of particular interest in the offshore environment as the trustees are the legal owners of any assets. This provides a level of distance between the original Settlor and Potential Beneficiaries meaning that tax implications arising from the existence of the trust may be beneficial.

Fixed income Trusts - there are where the beneficiary is entitled to the income from the whole or fixed share of the trust regardless whether or not they will become entitled to a fixed share of the capital.

Charitable Trusts - these can be either discretionary or otherwise and are established to benefit charitable purposes or organisations. They must be exclusively charitable and have a legal definition of the benefit to the public.

Non-Charitable purpose Trust - this can be created for any purpose whether or not charitable, this must be specific and lawful.

Resulting Trusts - this is where the assets are held in trust for the transferor

Constructive Trusts - this is where the trust is established by law and not by a decision made by the holder of the assets. Such as when assets ownership is in dispute.

Chesterfield are highly experienced at establishing and administering BVI trusts. For further information regarding BVI Trusts or Trusts in any other jurisdiction feel free to contact us or call us on our offices Telephone Number: 44 20 7097 1385

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