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  • Fiona Cann

Trusts and Estate Planning for High Net Worth Expats and International Investors

Estate planning is an essential aspect of managing your financial affairs and ensuring that your assets are passed on to your beneficiaries according to your wishes. For high net worth expats and international investors, estate planning can be particularly complex due to the diverse assets spread across multiple countries and jurisdictions. That's where trusts can be a valuable tool to protect and preserve your wealth for future generations. In this blog post, we will explore trusts and estate planning for high net worth expats and international investors.

What is a Trust?

A trust is a legal arrangement that allows a person (the settlor) to transfer assets to a trustee, who holds and manages the assets on behalf of the beneficiaries. The trustee is responsible for managing the assets in accordance with the settlor's instructions, and the beneficiaries receive the benefits of the trust.

Trusts can be used for a variety of purposes, including tax planning, asset protection, and succession planning. For high-net-worth expats and international investors, trusts can be particularly useful in managing assets across multiple jurisdictions and ensuring that assets are transferred in accordance with their wishes.

Types of Trusts

There are several types of trusts that can be used in estate planning for high-net-worth expats and international investors, including:

1. Revocable Trusts

A revocable trust allows the settlor to maintain control over the assets held in the trust and change the terms of the trust during their lifetime. This type of trust is often used for asset management and can provide benefits such as privacy and avoiding probate.

2. Irrevocable Trusts

An irrevocable trust is a trust that cannot be changed or revoked by the settlor once it has been created. This type of trust can provide asset protection benefits and tax advantages, but requires careful planning and consideration before being implemented.

3. Foreign Trusts

Foreign trusts are trusts that are established in a country other than the settlor's home country. These trusts can provide tax advantages, but also require careful planning and compliance with local laws and regulations.

Benefits of Trusts for High-Net-Worth Expats and International Investors

There are several benefits of using trusts in estate planning for high-net-worth expats and international investors, including:

1. Asset Protection

Trusts can provide a level of asset protection by placing assets into a separate legal entity, which can help shield them from creditors or other legal claims.

2. Tax Efficiency

Trusts can be used to minimize tax liabilities and take advantage of tax planning opportunities. For example, foreign trusts can be used to reduce tax liabilities in certain jurisdictions.

3. Control

Trusts allow the settlor to maintain control over how their assets are managed and distributed, even after their death.

4. Privacy

Trusts can provide a level of privacy, as they are not subject to public probate proceedings.

Steps to Establish a Trust

Establishing a trust requires careful planning and consideration. Here are the steps involved in setting up a trust:

  1. Determine your objectives and goals for the trust.

  2. Choose a trustee who is knowledgeable and experienced in managing trusts.

  3. Decide on the type of trust that best suits your needs.

  4. Draft the trust agreement, which outlines the terms and conditions of the trust.

  5. Transfer assets into the trust.

  6. Review and update the trust regularly to ensure that it remains up-to-date and relevant.


Trusts can be a powerful tool in estate planning for high-net-worth expats and international investors. They provide a level of asset protection, tax efficiency, and control that can help ensure that assets are managed and distributed according to the settlor's wishes. Establishing a trust requires careful planning and consideration, and it's important to work with a knowledgeable

Ultimately, effective estate planning is about more than just protecting and preserving wealth – it's about ensuring that your legacy lives on for future generations. At Global Investments, we are committed to helping our clients achieve their estate planning goals in the most efficient and effective manner possible, so that they can leave a lasting impact on the world. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you navigate the complexities of international estate planning.


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