Why Singapore for establishing a Trust?

Switzerland, New York and London are traditionally regarded as the global wealth management centres, however over the last decade Singapore has become a serious contender for High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) wealth interests. Singapore has become an alternative to the traditional hubs and assets under management have significantly increased to surpass the 1 trillion US dollars mark.

The shift towards more and more business being placed in Singapore has come about for a number of reasons.

Being a former British colony the Singapore Legal System has a strong foundation in English common law and trust principles. It has two tiers of courts; the Supreme Court (High Court and Court of Appeal) and the Subordinate Courts. In addition they have a Sharia Court that handles the administration of religious, matrimonial and succession matters applicable to Muslims.

The types of trust most frequently used in Singapore are:

• Private family trusts
• Statutory trusts
• Charitable trusts
• Collective investment trusts (such as unit trusts, business trusts and real estate investment trusts).

The governing trust legislation in Singapore includes the Trust Companies Act, Trustees Act, Business Trusts Act and the Civil Law Act. Singapore’s trust framework provides some key benefits:

• Settlors are protected from forced heirship claims
• Settlors can appoint protectors to supervise the trustees conduct (subject to the provision of the trust deed)
• No estate duty, capital gains tax or inheritance tax
• No formal registration requirements

A HNWI may choose to set up a Singapore Trust for wealth protection, confidentiality, succession planning and tax planning purposes. For further information on Trusts please contact me.