Cook Islands Trust

About Cook Islands

Located northeast of New Zealand in the South Pacific Ocean, Cook Islands is an archipelago nation consisting of 15 major islands. The unspoiled beauty with white sandy beaches and exciting sea diving adventures attracts travelers around the world. Along with the booming tourism industry, Cook Islands offers a politically and economically stable environment known for its expertise in offshore services and highly regarded judicial system.

Cook Island was the first country to introduce specialized asset protection laws for international trusts setting a gold standard as well as remaining the world’s letter in asset protection. Governed by The International Trusts Act 1984, Cook Islands offers the highest level of family wealth protection with distinctive features of the law.

Prime Minister:
Mark Brown

Government:
Parliamentary democracy

Economy:
Fishing, tourism, and offshore financial services

Currency:
New Zealand Dollar and Cook Islands Dollar

Capital City:
Avarua District

Population:
less than 20,000

Language:
English, Rarotongan, and Pukapukan language

Members of:
Organization of African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States,Pacific Community and Pacific Islands Forum, United Nations Specialized Agencies, Commonwealth


Cook Islands Trust

A trust is a fiduciary relationship between 3 to 4 parties – the settlor, trustee, beneficiaries, and some cases, a protector – where a legal agreement is established. This legal agreement is known as the Trust Deed where the settlor transfers assets to the trustee and defines the objectives as well as the terms and conditions for how the assets are to be managed and distributed to the beneficiaries.


Benefits

With the strong asset protection legislation, the Cook Islands helps prevent litigation before it even begins. As the Cook Islands does not recognize foreign judgments, creditors will be faced with strong barriers to bringing a legal dispute against the Cook Island Trust:

Impossibility
to Act

In event of a legal judgment where you are required to comply with the local court ruling, the trust´s assets are still protected as the asset protection trust states that the trustee is prevented from letting the funds out of the trust when the settlor/beneficiary is acting under force from the courts.

2 Years Statute
of Limitation

Cook Islands offers a short statute of limitation of 2 years of pursuance of any claims to the Cook Islands Trust.

Cook Islands
Court

Physical presence is required to bring legal action against a Cook Islands Trust and must be tried in a local court through a local attorney.


Characteristics


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Process

1. While many offshore jurisdictions offer similar advantages and benefits, there is no one-jurisdiction-fits all. Our advisors will discuss your needs and goals and ask you the right questions to help determine which jurisdictions are right for you.

2. Defining the objectives of the trust will help establish which legal structure is right for you. Our advisors will assist in setting up the Trust deed in accordance to the settlor´s wishes.

3. Choosing an offshore trust company is key in establishing a well-defined trust that adheres to local laws and offers the trust the most protection and privacy. As this is an on-going relationship, it is advisable to set up an offshore trust with a reputable and trusted firm.

4. Each jurisdiction will have their own set up process and set of due diligence processes. Requirements typically include fulfilling KYC (Know Your Client) by proving your identity with proof of address, and providing the trusts´ information to draft the trust agreement.

5. Once the required documentation is received, the provider can then file the trust deed, making the trust legal and operational. The trustee, beneficiaries and protector if applicable are appointed accordingly to the trust agreement.

6. The settlors assets are transferred to the trust granting the trustee legal ownership to acts in accordance to the trust deed.

7. The trustee manages the assets in the best interest of the beneficiaries and distributes income in accordance to the Trust Deed. If appointed, The protector can advise the trustee on how to protect the asset and distribute income to the beneficiaries.

8. Expenses including maintenance fees as well as any tax expenses incurred by the assets must be paid and maintained. Trustees must act in accordance of the Trust Deed and the protector can step in on behalf of the beneficiaries if needed.

While many offshore jurisdictions offer similar advantages and benefits, there is no one-jurisdiction-fits all. Our advisors will discuss your needs and goals and ask you the right questions to help determine which jurisdictions are right for you.

Defining the objectives of the trust will help establish which legal structure is right for you. Our advisors will assist in setting up the Trust deed in accordance to the settlor´s wishes.

Choosing an offshore trust company is key in establishing a well-defined trust that adheres to local laws and offers the trust the most protection and privacy. As this is an on-going relationship, it is advisable to set up an offshore trust with a reputable and trusted firm.

Each jurisdiction will have their own set up process and set of due diligence processes. Requirements typically include fulfilling KYC (Know Your Client) by proving your identity with proof of address, and providing the trusts´ information to draft the trust agreement.

Once the required documentation is received, the provider can then file the trust deed, making the trust legal and operational. The trustee, beneficiaries and protector if applicable are appointed accordingly to the trust agreement.

The settlors assets are transferred to the trust granting the trustee legal ownership to acts in accordance to the trust deed.

The trustee manages the assets in the best interest of the beneficiaries and distributes income in accordance to the Trust Deed. If appointed, The protector can advise the trustee on how to protect the asset and distribute income to the beneficiaries.

Expenses including maintenance fees as well as any tax expenses incurred by the assets must be paid and maintained. Trustees must act in accordance of the Trust Deed and the protector can step in on behalf of the beneficiaries if needed.


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