About our Trustee Services

Through Coverdale Trustees Limited, we offer a complete range of services to take advantage of the Territory’s innovative and flexible trust laws. These include: BVI Trustee Services

  • Creation and administration of trusts.
  • Provision of all aspects of trustee and administrative services
  • Acting as the executors of estates
  • Incorporation of Private Trust Companies

BVI Trustee Services can be used for a variety of reasons including the following:

  • To legitimately mitigate or avoid taxes during an individual’s lifetime and after.
  • For estate planning by entrusting assets to professionals who will respect the terms of the trust deed.
  • To avoid the inconvenience, expense and disruption many families experience after the death of the settlor.
  • To ensure that a family business or wealth can be maintained in the absence or during the minority of appointed beneficiaries.
  • To protect assets during an individual’s lifetime.
  • To avoid forced heirship provisions under an individual’s home law that may impose unwelcome demands upon the terms of succession.
  • To provide for charitable causes or non-charitable purposes.
  • To preserve confidentiality.

One advantage that Coverdale offers is its independence.   Coverdale has no ties or obligations to any wealth planning firm or banking group.  Trust assets are invested with professional advisors best suited to the beneficiaries of the trust.  Coverdale will take the creator of the trust’s preference into consideration when selecting an investment advisor.  Coverdale receives no commissions or other consideration when placing investments with any of the advisors Coverdale uses to invest trust assets.

Another important advantage for using Coverdale is that we are willing to hold alternative assets as trustees.  We have trusts that hold real estate, active companies and alternative assets, such as art and collectibles.  Provided that appropriate controls are in place and risk is appropriately managed, we are willing to accept trusts with these types of assets.

We work to ensure that, at all times, we remain at the cutting edge of developments in Trust law to enable us serve our clients effectively. Through our association with O’Neal Webster, we have ready access to appropriately experienced and qualified Attorneys who offer a full service for the formation and administration of trusts and trustee controlled companies, from discretionary to non-discretionary trusts, trusts for charitable causes to purpose trusts (including the new Vista Trust) and beyond. We are able to identify the most suitable structure and accommodate its settlement, depending on the settler’s circumstances, including more involved estate-planning arrangements, where appropriate.

We have a number of trust templates that clients may use without further charge. We make establishing trusts easy.

Coverdale acts as trustee for trusts governed by BVI law, including BVI’s unique VISTA Trusts. The Virgin Islands Special Trusts Act (“VISTA”) was first enacted in 2003 and subsequently amended in 2013. The VISTA trust is unique to the British Virgin Islands and has become very popular since they were introduced.

Advantages of VISTA trusts

  • The VISTA trust removes the trustee’s obligation from the prudent investor rule and the trustee has no obligation to oversee the management or operation of the underlying company.
  • The settlor can outline in the “office of director rules” how and in what circumstances the trustee should use its voting powers to interfere in the management of a company (removing and appointing directors can be stipulated in accordance with the settlor’s wishes).
  • A standard VISTA trust can be established for a period of up to 360 years.
  • It is also possible to add shares from an existing BVI trustee Services to a VISTA trust, so that they become subject to VISTA legislation.

Common uses of VISTA trust

  • For people with family owned businesses (especially for a sole director/shareholder) who wishes to run their company independently as well as benefiting from a trust’s estate planning ability.
  • For people unfamiliar with the concept of trusts, as it allows them to have some comfort when transferring assets to a third party that they can continue to manage the underlying assets.
  • For trust assets that are invested in what the trustees would traditionally consider high risk investments (i.e. real estate development/speculation or more risky investment strategies).

Requirements to settle a VISTA trust

  • A trust must be established and must designate that certain trust assets are subject to the VISTA provisions
  • The trust assets must be shares in a BVI company, which must be transferred into the name of the trustee.
  • A BVI licensed trust company or a BVI Private Trust Company must act as one of the trustees or the sole trustee.
  • The proper law of the trust must be that of the BVI.

Get more information on BVI Trustee Services

Please contact us if you would like more information on VISTA Trusts.

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