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Trusts and fiduciary services

Bastille Malta Trustees Limited is licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority in terms of the Trusts and Trustees Act to provide trust and fiduciary services. We also provide management and administration services with comprehensive tax and legal advice and support in respect to all trust related matters. Apart from setting up bespoke trust structures we also provide fiduciary shareholding services in local and foreign entities. In the latter instance the share ownership and control will still rest with the ultimate beneficial owner however due to the fact that the shareholding will be held in the name of a licensed Trustee, privacy is achieved.


Setting up a trust company and administration

A trust exists where a person (called a trustee) holds, as owner or has vested in him property under an obligation to deal with that property for the benefit of persons (called the beneficiaries), whether or not yet ascertained or in existence, which is not for the benefit only of the trustee, or for a charitable purpose, or for both such benefit and purpose aforesaid.

Trusts offer flexibility which is not provided through other estate planning structures available. In fact requests to the Trustee may be affected through non binding letters of wishes.

A trust is created through a private writing which is not registered in a public register. The Trusts and Trustees Act, (Chapter 331 of the Laws of Malta) provides for the duties and obligations of Trustees, beneficiaries and also for the requirements which a trust deed must fulfil on pain of nullity. In fact for a trust to exist there must be the 3 certainties as follows:-

  1. the intention
  2. the subject matter
  3. the objects

Any type of asset may be transferred to the Trustee. These include immovable property situated in or outside Malta, bank accounts, investments, intellectual property, life assurance and other insurance policies, valuables and corporeal and incorporeal assets.

Once an asset is settled in trust or is acquired by the Trustee and thus part of the trust assets, it will be administered by the Trustee in accordance with the conditions set out in the trust deed. Though legal title to the property will be held in the name of the Trustee, assets are kept separate from the Trusteea��s personal assets. Trustees need to be licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority to offer services in Malta.

The benefit under the trust is personal to the beneficiary and in the event of the demise of the beneficiary, his/her beneficial interest will devolve on the residual beneficiary or the next class of beneficiaries in terms of the trust deed/Letter of wishes. In addition a beneficial interest held by a spouse under a trust shall not form part of the Community of acquests irrespective of when it was settled in the beneficiarya��s favour or when he became a beneficiary except in the case of a beneficial interest under a trust into which community property has been jointly settled by the spouses and only in relation to such property.


Trusts may be set up for the following purposes:

Estate Planning

A settler will be able to guide the Trustee on the manner in which beneficiaries are to enjoy his estate, thus avoiding lengthy and costly succession procedures. In addition trusts set up for estate planning purposes, may also be used in the event the Settlor becomes unable to manage his own affairs. In this case, the Trustee will assist the Settlor in an impartial and objective manner in the administration of the assets. The Trustee will be guided by the Settlora��s letter of wishes or the conditions set out in the trust deed.

Special needs

Setting up a special needs trusts will provide more comfort than the remedies available under our civil code, since trusts offer flexible arrangements which may be tailor made to the needs of the special needs beneficiary. Whilst the curatorship regime may prove to be cumbersome, since the appointed guardian would have to go to court and seek its approval every time the disabled child/person is in need of funds for medical or educational purposes, with a Trust, the administration of the disabled persona��s asset will be managed in the manner provided in the Letters of Wishes.A� Any medical and financial needs may be adhered in the letter of wishes addressed to the Trustee, which will provide guidance on the manner in which the Settlors wish the trust to be administered.

Charitable purposes

Charitable trusts are not terminated after their 125th year and in fact have no limitation on their lifetime. As the name suggests, charitable trusts are set up with the purpose of providing for a charitable purpose. Charitable purposes include social and philanthropic purposes as defined in the Trusts ad Trustees Act.

Asset protection

The objective of asset protection planning is not only to shield onea��s assets from creditors, but also to dissociate liabilities from assets in a way that is not prohibited by law. When setting up asset protection trusts, one has to ensure that the Settlor was solvent, had no pending claims, and any existing, future and contingent creditors are known.


Trusts may also be set up to provide security for creditors. In fact due to the commercial nature of these types of trusts, the Income Tax Act and the Duty on Documents and Transfers Act have been amended to exempt from tax any transfer of immovable property or property subject to payment of tax, when these are settled in a trust for security purposes. Reversion of the said property is also exempt. In this kind of structures, property is settled in trust for the benefit of the Lender until the conditions agreed upon between the parties are satisfied. The parties may also agree on pre determined default arrangements, so that in the event that one of the parties does not honour his obligations, the Trustee may adopt the said conditions without having to resort to lengthy court procedures.


Trusts may be set up in virtue of private writing. Thus the constitutive document of the trust will not be registered in the Public Registry and thus will not be accessible to third parties extraneous to the trust relationship. Given that the document will not be publically available, Settlors and beneficiaries enjoy privacy on the existence of their trust and beneficial interest respectively.


Trading purposes

Unlike Foundations, trusts may be used for trading purposes.

Trusts are regulated by law and Trustees need to be licensed to offer services by the competent Authority.

Bastille Malta Trustees Limited is authorized to act as Trustee and co-trustee and to offer fiduciary services by the Malta Financial Services Authority .


Trust taxation

Malta has a strong international treaty network and its tax system has been approved by the EU and the OECD.

Taxation in Malta, including taxation on trusts is regulated by the Income Tax Act, (Chapter 123 of the Laws of Malta) and the Duty on Documents and Transfers Act (Chapter 364 of the Laws of Malta). The law adopts a see through principle when addressing trust structures. Thus any exemptions or circumstances which attract preferential tax treatment are not lost due to the fact that a trust structure is in existence.

As a general principle, income from a trust which is distributed to a beneficiary is not charged in the hands of the Trustee, When the income from the trust is not distributed to the beneficiary, this is charged at the level of the Trustee at the rate of 35%.

There is no impact on taxation if the beneficiaries of the trust are not resident in Malta and when all the trusta��s income does not arise in Malta. In addition Malta has signed double tax treaties with 67 countries and jurisdictions which may also apply in the circumstances.

The taxation team at Bastille Malta Trustees Limited has the knowledge and expertise to provide advice to our clients and assist them with the tax treatment required to comply with their tax obligations. We will always make sure our clients make use of the most advantageous taxation regime.



Local directorship services

Bastille Malta Trustees Limited provides both individuals and corporate directorship services for companies registered in Malta. Thus apart from assisting you in setting up your company, we may also assist you by providing directors for your company. The primary task of a director is to ensure that the company of which s/he is an official, operated in adherence to Maltese laws and regulations in particular in accordance with the obligations arising from the Companies Act, the Income Tax Act and the Income Tax Management Act. As part of the directora��s responsibilities, we also ensure liaison with local authorities as may be necessary, secretarial services, accounting and legal advice.



Registered office services

All companies must have a registered office in Malta to be able to come into existence. In addition all financial, corporate and trust companies must keep their statutory records together with other documentation available for review. For this reason, Bastille Malta Trustees Limited also offer registered office services. Documents are retained in a safe environment and adequately segregated to ensure preservation and safe keeping. Even though a business may be carried outside Malta, financial and corporate companies may use our offices as their registered office address. Through our dedicated professional staff, we will ensure that any correspondence sent to our address is dealt with efficiently and promptly.




Compliance services (anti-money laundry techniques)

At Bastille Malta Trustees Limited, we adopt a very rigorous compliance culture. We also provide advice on the regulatory aspects of prevention of anti money laundering and the funding of terrorism. As subject persons, private companies, trustees and also corporate and financial institutions are required to maintain better regulatory compliance together with higher good corporate governance and best practice standards. Very often, companies find it difficult to keep up with new developments in laws, regulations and statutory rules. Our AML-FT team will assist clients in complying with statutory regulations, whilst developing better risk management procedures and internal compliance.


Trustees must act in accordance with the regulations made under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the Prevention of Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism Regulations, the Implementation Procedures issued by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit and guidelines issued by the Malta Financial Services Authority. Bastille Malta Trustees Limited will ensure that any service or set up offered will be compliant with the aforesaid laws and regulations.