The Trusts Ordinance 1990 ("Trusts Ordinance"), sets out the law applicable to trusts, trustees and beneficiaries. Under the Trusts Ordinance, the Supreme Court of the Islands has jurisdiction where:
- The trust is established under Turks and Caicos law or
- A trustee of a foreign trust is resident in the Islands
- Any trust property is located in the Islands
- The trust property of a foreign trust is administered from the Islands
The Trusts Ordinance specifically states that the general rule of law of other jurisdictions prohibiting trusts of perpetual duration does not apply in the Islands.
Licensing of Trustees and Application Process
Generally speaking, all persons and companies, who receive remuneration for their services as a trustee and who have been appointed expressly or under a power of appointment to act as trustees, executors or both, are deemed to be professional trustees and are required to hold the appropriate licence.
The Trustees Licensing Ordinance 1992 (the “Licensing Ordinance”) and the Trustees Licensing Regulations provide for restricted and unrestricted licences to be granted.
A restricted licence may be issued subject to the provision that the trustee only acts on behalf of a named trust or trusts. Unrestricted licencees are not subject to this provision. The Trustees Licensing Exemption Order 1992 exempts certain trustees from the requirement to be licenced.
Applicants must satisfy the Commission that they or their management are fit and proper in all respects to act as a trustee. The Articles of Association of a company wishing to act as trustees must prohibit the issue of bearer shares in the company.
licenced trustees must submit audited accounts to the Commission within three months of the end of the financial year. Trustees must also file an annual certificate of compliance to confirm they have acted in accordance with the approved business plan. In addition, licenced trustees must file a declaration of solvency to confirm they have sufficient resources to meet their financial obligations arising in the ordinary course of business. Both the annual compliance statement and declaration of solvency must be made by an approved auditor.
Holders of the restricted licence must submit a declaration of solvency, also made by an auditor.