• kmconsultants is an independent member of
      • TRUSTS & FOUNDATIONS powered by your professional Trustees
        We are licensed and regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority to offer trust and fiduciary services. Because we strive to remain a boutique size firm, we are able to offer our clients a secure, personal and discreet service. In order to maintain a high level of confidentiality, it is the firm's policy for all trust affairs to be handled personally by the partners, thereby ensuring the highest level of confidentiality. Furthermore, our IT systems are designed such that segregate entirely highly confidential material and documentation relating to the beneficial owners.

        The following services are offered by the firm:

         Setting up trusts and foundations                                                                                                                    Estate planning and property management                                                                                                    Structuring corporate and personal solutions                                                                                                Opening and operating bank accounts 

         Contact us today, we are your reliable partner in Malta.

        What is a Trust?  

        A Trust is an agreement whereby the Settlor transfers the legal ownership of the assets to a Trustee. A Trust does not necessarily need to have a written agreement, it could also be a verbal one but it is mainly formalised by a written agreement called a Trust Deed. Where a Trust is created verbally, the Act provides that it is presumed to be a mandate unless there is evidence of a specific intention to create a Trust. The assets within a Trust are normally known as a Trust Fund.  

        A Trust becomes valid when the Settlor has passed on the legal rights of the assets to the Trustee and therefore has no more control over them. The Settlor may not be able to reclaim the assets unless he or she is a Beneficiary.

        A Trust can run for a period of 100 years before it is terminated (except those which are there for charitable reasons.)

        The MFSA (Malta Financial Services Authority) is responsible for the authorisation, regulation and supervision of Trustees. Licensed and regulated Trustees require the highest amount of probity and honesty.

        Trusts - a brief history. 

        Trusts have been around in Malta since 1988 and have in recentl years undergone major changes. The Maltese Trust laws were adapted from the 1984 Jersey Trust laws and were radically updated in 2004 under the new, Trusts and Trustees Act (Chapter 331). This law makes Malta one of the only countries that have successfully managed to incorporate Anglo Saxon Trust concept with its Roman law based legal system. This new system has now helped accelerate the process of setting up a Trust by removing all obstacles that made flexibility a big issue. By introducing these new laws, Trusts have become simpler and a more attractive solution to personal and business needs.


        Commonly used terms:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     The Settlor is the person who sets up the Trust. The Settlor may be more than one person and it is the person who provides Trust property and passes its legal ownership to the Trustee. After the Settlor settles his/her legal ownership to the Trustees, he or she no longer has an active role in the Trust. The Settlor can be a beneficiary but cannot be a Trustee                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Trustee is the person vested with the legal ownership of the assets transferred by the Settlor. The Trustee shall have the power to administer, employ or dispose of the trust assets and to generally act in all matters concerning the Trust. The Trust Deed should reflect the wishes and requirements of the Settlor. The Trustee must administer the assets of the fund in the interest of the beneficiaries. Amongst the many duties, the Trustee must treat documents connected the Trust as confidential and act in accordance with the terms of the Trust.

        The Beneficiary is the person who is legally entitled to the assets of the trust fund. The beneficiary has to be specifically named or a class of persons could be nominated, for example the Settlor's children. Charitable institutions can also be beneficiaries. The Settlor can also be a beneficiary but he/she cannot be the sole beneficiary since this will invalidate the trust. If the Trustee does not act as stated in the Trust Deed, the beneficiaries are legally enabled to seek legal judgment in accordance to the Trust Deed. 

        The Protector is normally a close trusted friend/ relative and / or advisor of the Settlor. The Protector is a person appointed by the Settlor to watch over the Trust assets. The Trust Deed may be drawn up in such a way whereby the discretion of the Trustee in dealing with Trust Funds of a certain size and nature would require the approval of the Protector. Preferably the Protector should have no direct or indirect interest in the Trust Fund. It is also possible for the Settlor to be the Protector of the Trust.  Most of the time the Protector's powers consist of (i) vetoing role and powers; (ii) the right to disapprove investment decisions; (iii) the ability to remove and appoint new trustees.                                                                                           
        The Trust Deed also known as the 'Settlement' is one of the first processes in establishing a trust. Almost all Trust Deeds are unique since they should be drawn up to meet the Settlor's expectations. Although most Trust Deeds are different, many of them have the same 5 elements: (i) a short description of the Settlor; (ii) a definition of who is the Trustee;(iii) an explanation of the rights vested in the Trustee and any restriction imposed on the Trustee in the Trust deed; (iv) a description of the assets and how they are to be managed; (v)  a description or definition of the Beneficiaries.                        

        Letter of wishes - The Settlor may indicate in a separate letter of wishes, specific wishes on how the Trustee should exercise his discretion. The Settlor may choose to inform the beneficiaries of this letter, whilst in certain cases, the Settlor may choose not to disclose this letter to the beneficiaries; it all depends on the relationship between the Settlor and the beneficiaries. Although it is very normal for the Trustee to take up the suggestions as indicated in the letter of wishes, it is nonetheless not legal binding.

        The Trust Assets are separate and distinct from the personal property of the Trustee.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       The main types of Trusts:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Charitable Trust: These trusts are the only trusts that can last for more than a hundred years since the beneficiaries are charitable organisations. Charitable means any charitable and philanthropic purpose and may include: (i) The advancement of education, including physical education and sports; (ii) The advancement of religion; (iii) The  advancement of health; (iv) Social and community advancement; (v) The advancement of culture, arts and national heritage; (vi)The advancement of environmental protection and improvement; (vii) The promotion of human rights, conflict resolution and reconciliation.

        Discretionary Trust: This is probably the most common type of Trust whereby the Trustee has the discretion to manage and invest the Trust Assets. The Trustee also enjoys full discretion to appoint Beneficiaries and when to distribute assets out of the Trust Fund. The Trustee is in full control of the Trust.

        Life-tenant Trust: The Settlor can set up a Trust that makes him/her the primary Beneficiary of all income generated by the Trust Fund (he or she cannot be the sole Beneficiary because that would invalidate the Trust). This type of Trust ensures that the Settlor may receive a regular income during their lifetime whilst protecting the capital within the Trust Fund for the benefit of the Beneficiaries.

        Surviving spouse Trust: This Trust is set up to take care of ones husband or wife in case anything had to happen to him or her. Basically when ones spouse dies the other spouse might not be able to live alone so with this trust the Trustee makes arrangements to find residential care for the surviving spouse from funds available in the Trust Fund. It could help relieve anxiety, money and stress problems that may come with the loss of a loved one.

        Spendthrift Trust:  Do your children believe in retail therapy? Are you scared that once you're gone and your children inherit a lump sum, the children or their spouses may take advantage of your hard earned cash? The Trustee will distribute funds within the Trust Fund to the Beneficiaries on a Regular Rate as a regular income and the Trust Deed will not permit the distribution of a large lump sum. In addition, these Trusts are also designed to protect the Trust Fund from any legal actions of potential creditors of the spendthrift. A wealthy person who would have settled large amounts of assets into Trust may be concerned about the risks of irresponsible children recklessly spending a considerable lump sum and therefore this type of Trusts are most suitable to these circumstances.

        Asset protection Trust: This type of Trust could help many professionals from liability claims. Their main assets could be put in a Trust, which would protect them from any greedy creditors. This type of Trust is only valid if the Settlor is found to be acting in good faith and there is no fraud.