Cook Islands Trust

Titanium TrustSM

Nevis Trust

Nevis LLC

Frequently Asked Questions
Regarding Asset Protection

  • The Cook Islands boasts robust asset protection laws and a well-established legal framework, making it an attractive jurisdiction for setting up trusts to safeguard wealth.
  • The jurisdiction offers favorable conditions for asset protection, including stringent privacy provisions and strong legal safeguards against creditor claims and legal challenges.
  • Click here to learn more about the strengths and limitations of Cooks Islands Trusts.
  • Cook Islands trusts can protect various asset types, including cash, real estate, investments, intellectual property, cryptocurrency, and business interests.
  • Asset protection through Cook Islands trusts involves transferring assets into a trust structure established under Cook Islands law.
  • Once assets are held within the trust, they are shielded from creditors and legal claims, as Cook Islands law provides robust protections against such risks.
  • Click here to learn more about Cooks Islands asset protection trusts.
  • Cook Islands trusts are internationally recognized and respected for their effectiveness in asset protection, contributing to the jurisdiction’s reputation as a leading offshore financial center.
  • Click here to learn more about the legality of offshore accounts.
  • Cook Islands trust laws include provisions that limit creditors’ access to assets held in trusts, providing robust legal safeguards against creditor claims.
  • Click here to learn more about why you need an offshore trust if you have assets to protect.
  • Assets held within Cook Islands trusts are shielded from foreign creditors and legal actions, provided the trusts are established and funded before any threat of legal action arises.
  • Click here to learn more about setting up a Cook Islands Trust while in a lawsuit.
  • The Cook Islands upholds strict confidentiality and privacy laws protecting the identities of individuals involved in trust arrangements, providing privacy and confidentiality for trust assets.
  • Click here to learn more about the safety of a Cook Islands Trust.
  • Cook Islands has implemented strong regulatory frameworks and anti-money laundering measures to combat fraud, financial crime, and illicit activities, ensuring the integrity of its financial services sector.
  • Cook Islands trusts are frequently selected for asset protection due to their unparalleled level of security and privacy. These trusts offer strong legal safeguards against creditors and legal claims, making them highly effective for shielding assets.
  • The Cook Islands’ legislation provides a favorable environment for asset protection, attracting individuals and businesses seeking comprehensive solutions to safeguard their wealth and assets.
  • Compliance with reporting and regulatory requirements is crucial for asset protection in the Cook Islands. Despite the jurisdiction’s robust asset protection laws, individuals and entities must maintain proper records, file annual returns, and adhere to anti-money laundering (AML) regulations. By staying compliant, individuals can ensure the integrity and effectiveness of their asset protection strategies in the Cook Islands.
  • Click here to learn more about offshore reporting requirements.
  • These costs can vary depending on the type of structure chosen, its complexity, and any additional services required. Individuals should carefully evaluate both the initial setup costs and ongoing maintenance expenses, including trustee fees, to ensure that their asset protection strategy in the Cook Islands remains financially feasible and effective.
  • Click here to learn more about the costs associated with maintaining an offshore trust.
  • Asset protection structures in the Cook Islands are generally open to both residents and non-residents, making it an appealing choice for a diverse range of individuals and entities seeking to safeguard their assets. While there are usually no strict restrictions on who can establish these structures, it’s important to be aware of any specific requirements or regulations that may apply. Seeking professional advice can help ensure that asset protection measures in the Cook Islands are established and maintained following relevant laws and guidelines.
  • To establish asset protection structures in the Cook Islands, it is advisable to seek assistance from a knowledgeable law firm experienced in offshore asset protection planning. These firms can help individuals understand the available options and guide them through the process of setting up the most appropriate structures to safeguard their assets effectively in the Cook Islands.
  • Yes, existing assets such as cash, cryptocurrency, securities, real estate, and other investments can be transferred in-kind into Cook Islands trusts, providing a means to safeguard wealth effectively.

The Cook Islands provide an excellent jurisdiction for asset protection through trusts. They offer a secure legal framework and strict privacy provisions. Individuals can use Cook Islands trusts to safeguard their wealth from creditors and legal challenges while enjoying the peace of mind that comes with having robust asset protection measures. Seeking the guidance of a law firm can help individuals navigate the complexities of asset protection in the Cook Islands. Click here to learn more on how to find a reputable offshore asset protection attorney to shield your wealth.

What is a Cook Islands Trust?

The Cook Islands have formidable asset protection laws. The country’s legal system is highly favorable toward defendants and trust owners in legal proceedings like seizures, forfeitures, malpractice claims, divorce, bankruptcy, business disputes, and other legal actions. Even U.S. courts are unable to reach assets held in Cook Islands Assets Protection Trusts. At the same time, you retain all the benefits of ownership. You can receive distributions and direct investments as you see fit with the help of your Cook Island trustee.
In the unlikely event that a U.S. court orders you to hand over your assets, you must only comply within the limits of your legal powers. You would have to instruct your trustee to turn over the assets. However, because Cook Islands laws prevent trustees from releasing assets under duress from foreign court orders, your trustee lawfully must refuse to comply.
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Why Should you Consider a Cook Islands Trust?

A Cook Islands Trust can be an invaluable addition to your asset protection strategy — here is why:
  • It safeguards your wealth: You can place and protect a wide range of assets in a Cook Islands Trust, from cash and financial securities, to a limited liability company, cryptocurrency, and real estate.
  • It minimizes legal risks: The Cook Islands boast an extremely defendant-friendly judicial system with multiple barriers to litigation. The Cook Islands does not recognize court orders from outside the Cook Islands.
  • It protects you from creditors: Cook Islands law has a statute of limitations that protects your assets from all legal actions from creditors who go after you or the trust itself.
  • It is user-friendly: Your assets do not need to be located in the Cook Islands to be protected. You can make all transactions electronically and choose from several jurisdictions for where to open a foreign bank account, including Switzerland or Liechtenstein.

Why work with Blake?

Attorney Blake Harris is passionate about helping you protect your assets from lawsuits. Before founding Blake Harris Law, Blake worked for one of the largest wealth management firms in the United States, where he helped high/ultra-high-net-worth clients protect their personal assets. Since then, Blake has gained extensive experience in all areas of asset protection and has assisted clients worldwide with asset protection planning.

Over the years, Blake has built and continues to nurture a vast network of legal and finance professionals in countries such as Belize, the Cayman Islands, the Cook Islands, Lichtenstein, New Zealand, Panama, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Switzerland. Blake’s knowledge, experience, and connections enable him to handle even the most complex and sensitive asset protection issues that other attorneys find challenging or are unwilling to to represent. Whether you are looking to set up an offshore trust, establish a foreign limited liability company, or protect your digital assets, Blake will work hard to protect your wealth.

Contact Blake

Cook Islands Trust: An Overview
Table of Contents

How does a Cook Islands Asset Protection Trust protect me?

How does a Cook Islands Asset Protection Trust protect me

A Cook Islands Asset Protection Trust is one of the most secure asset protection solutions in the world today. It can help keep your wealth and valuable assets out of the reach of potential lawsuits and creditors. This article explains what you need to know about using a Cook Islands trust to keep your hard-earned assets safe.

The Cook Islands’ legal system is very favorable toward individuals defending themselves in legal proceedings such as seizures and forfeitures, and it is widely considered to be among the most protective systems in the world. The offshore asset protection trust statutes on the Cook Islands are among the most formidable asset protection laws.

Even lawsuits or judgments originating from powerful countries like the United States will not be able to reach assets placed in trust there. To be protected by these statutes, however, assets must first be placed in a Cook Islands Asset Protection Trust. While your assets are in a trust, you can still retain beneficial ownership and can transact with them or request your trustee to transfer assets in or out of the trust.

If a US court orders that you must turn over your assets, you must comply to the point you are able to do so. Failure to comply with a court order is considered contempt of court and generally carries heavy penalties, including fines and incarceration.

However, since the assets are under the administration of a trustee outside the United States, a U.S, court’s jurisdiction does not reach a Cook Islands trustee. Thus, you will not have the ability to hand over any assets assigned to a Cook Islands Trust, which will defeat the purpose of the court order.

To demonstrate to the court that you are cooperating with a court order, you can instruct your trustee to obey and hand over the assets. However, because the laws of the Cook Islands prevent trustees from surrendering assets from a trust when the settlor (you) is under duress from a court order, the trustee must legally refuse to release the assets.

Advantages of a Cook Islands Offshore Trust

Here are some of the benefits of a Cook Islands Trust:

  • You have protection for assets and investments, keeping them out of the reach of creditors, banks, or any court orders originating from outside the Cook Islands.
  • There is a one or two year statute of limitations on all creditors that bring action against you or the trust.
  • The Cook Islands do not charge taxes on assets held under a trust.
  • The Cook Islands’ judicial system is considered “defendant friendly,” and there are several barriers to litigation already in place via the Cook Islands Asset Protection Trust Act.
  • A Cook Islands Trust can protect assets even if they are not located within the islands, and you can transact with them electronically.
  • Several types of trust arrangements are available, and trust deeds are not required  to be publicly registered.
  • A flexible trust structure that creates several investment opportunities

Top Uses of a Cook Islands Trust

You can take advantage of a Cook Islands Trust to achieve the following:

  • You can protect various types of liquid and tangible assets, such as intellectual property, investment portfolios, cryptocurrency, life insurance policies, and other types of financial assets.
  • People in high-risk professions, such as business vendors, bankers, lawyers, doctors, and others, can use a Cook Islands Trust to protect their assets during an economic or political crisis.
  • You can also use a trust for preserving wealth, sharing wealth among family members, estate planning, retirement planning, diversifying assets, reducing estate taxes, protecting against lawsuits, and holding stock options.

Structure of a Cook Islands Trust

The structure of a Cook Islands trust is simple and consists of four parties:

  • Settlor: He/she is the person who creates a trust and places assets under it. That’s you.
  • Trustee(s): The trustee is the person who holds the assets’ legal title and administers the trust. There can be more than one trustee for a trust. All trustees are legally bound to protect a settlor’s assets on behalf of the trust’s beneficiaries.
  • Trust protector: He/she is responsible for appointing trustees and overseeing their activities. The settlor appoints the protector to supervise the trust and to ensure the trustees are acting in the settlor’s best interest. The protector may be an attorney, trust protector company, family member, or some other trustworthy person.
  • Beneficiary: He/she is the person who benefits from the trust. For most Cook Islands Trusts, the beneficiary and the settlor are the same person. However, the settlor may add other individuals, such as family members or other loved ones, to the trust.

What can a Cook Islands Trust Protect?

What can a Cook Islands Trust Protect

There are various assets you can use a Cook Islands Trust to protect. That said, these trusts are most effective for protecting cash in a safe foreign bank account. Any funds on deposit with a U.S. bank can potentially be reached by the U.S. court system.

In order to take full advantage of the protections offered by a Cook Islands trust, it is best practice to deposit monies in a non-U.S. account, such as an account in Switzerland or Liechtenstein. Aside from cash in a foreign bank account, you can use a trust to protect:

  • Stock market portfolios
  • Investment portfolios
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Intellectual property
  • Company stocks or shares
  • Real estate
  • Various other tangible and liquid assets

An asset does not need to be on the Cook Islands for it to be protected. That said, due to jurisdiction, judgments against real estate assets in the United States may not be fully protected.

Who can set up a Cook Islands Trust?

Provided the trust is established for legitimate reasons, almost anyone can set up a Cook Islands Trust. Our firm can help establish a comprehensive asset protection plan that fits your needs and offers dependable offshore asset protection.

Is a Cook Islands Trust Revocable or Irrevocable?

A Cook Islands Trust is irrevocable. However, with the trustee’s assistance, a settlor can amend or dissolve a trust. Being irrevocable is important for asset protection purposes. If the settlor has the authority to change the trust without the trustee, a judge could make the settlor change the trust’s terms for the court to access assets under the trust.

However, with the trustee’s cooperation being a prerequisite to change the terms of the trust, there’s a safety buffer for both the settlor and his/her assets.

Taxation of a Cook Islands Trust

The Cook Islands do not impose taxes on offshore trust assets. That means any assets held by a Cook Islands Trust will not give rise to gift tax, estate tax, income tax, capital gains tax, or any other local taxes imposed by the Cook Islands.

That makes the Islands a safe place to store assets without having to worry about taxes. It is important to note that transactions done in the Cook Islands or elsewhere could produce tax consequences in your home country. In most circumstances, a Cook Islands Trust is a tax neutral vehicle.

Statute of Limitations on Fraudulent Conveyance

Statute of limitations on fraudulent conveyance

Statute of limitations on fraudulent conveyance is what the law prescribes regarding how long a person has to bring legal action regarding a specific case. If the statute of limitations has passed, the plaintiff is generally barred from bringing his/her lawsuit.

Fraudulent conveyance means transferring assets with the deliberate intention of putting the assets beyond a creditor’s reach, especially when the creditor has a legal claim to the asset. That means after the statute of limitations passes, a creditor can no longer bring a case to legally seize a debtor’s assets.

When you transfer your assets to a Cook Islands trust, There is a two-year statute of limitations for a creditor to bring an action against you or the trust. The statute of limitations starts from the day of the cause of action. Cause of action is the fact or event that enables a person to bring a legal action.

Offshore Asset Protection After a Lawsuit

If a creditor manages to obtain a court order to seize trust assets before the statute of limitations expires, there are still several barriers in the Cook Islands’ legal and financial systems that could frustrate these attempts.

The first barrier is having to litigate in the distant Cook Islands. While the legal system in the United States makes it easy to file a lawsuit, and contingency fees mean plaintiffs can often sue others without paying a dime, the legal system in the Cook Islands is not so considerate toward plaintiffs.

Bringing a lawsuit in the Cook Islands is an expensive and lengthy process. Another barrier is the fact the legal burden lies on the person bringing the lawsuit to prove beyond a reasonable doubt assets were placed in a Cook Islands Trust with the objective to defraud.

In most cases, meeting this standard of proof is quite challenging considering there are multiple legitimate reasons to set up an offshore trust.

Case Law

As an established asset protection law firm, we’ve set up numerous asset protection trusts for clients. Moreover, as of the date this article was published, we have never seen any of our clients lose assets placed in a Cook Islands Trust. This is strong proof that protecting your assets under a Cook Islands Trust is safe. You can also confirm this yourself by researching available case law.

Cook Islands Trust Formation Cost

When forming a Cook Islands Trust, there are a number of items that add to the cost of trust formation, such as trustee expenses, bank account fees, brokerage fees, trust protector fees, IRS reporting requirements, and annual fees.

Taking this into account, an offshore asset protection trust usually costs between $25,000 and $50,000 to set up, plus the annual fees, which typically range from $5,000 to $10,000 per year. However, at Blake Harris Law, we have established longstanding relationships with our Cook Islands service providers that allow us room for negotiation on trust formation fees.

Accordingly, we can offer competitive pricing and affordable annual fees on a Cook Islands trust.

Contact us for a no-obligation consultation and trust formation pricing to suite your asset protection needs.

The formation of a Cook Islands trust involves multiple moving parts, contractual agreements, and parties. The best way to ensure your Cook Islands Trust is formed properly is to hire an experienced asset protection attorney who has reputable relationships with trusted companies in the Cook Islands, like Attorney Blake Harris.

The formation of a Cook Islands Trust has multiple moving parts, contractual agreements, and parties involved. The best way to ensure that your Cook Islands Trust is formed properly is to hire an experienced asset protection attorney who has reputable relationships with trust companies in the Cook Islands, like Attorney Blake Harris.

That being said, there are a number of documents and contracts required to establish a Cook Islands Trust, including the following:

  • Passport or driver’s license: A copy of your certified passport or driver’s license is needed for identification purposes.
  • Evidence of funds and banking reference letter: Cook Islands Trusts are generally set up by high-net-worth individuals who want to preserve their wealth and are in high-risk professions (e.g., doctors, bankers, lawyers, etc.). To form a Cook Islands Trust, the trustee requires evidence of funds and banking reference letters to assure the settlor has the funds and can transfer those funds to the trust when the time comes. The trustee will also want to see this proof of funds and conduct a financial background check to ensure the finances and structure of the trust do not violate regional trust laws and comply with international money laundering regulations.
  • Proof address: The settlor will need to provide a proof address, which can be a recent original credit card or bank statement or a utility bill that shows evidence of the settlor’s physical address.
  • Trust deed: A trust deed is a document that sets guidelines for the powers, responsibilities, and duties of the settlor, trustee, trust protector, beneficiaries, and other parties involved.
  • Deed of indemnity: A deed of indemnity is a contract designed to protect the trustee from the risk of litigation and/or financial liabilities.
  • Letter of wishes: A letter of wishes is not always necessary nor is it legally binding, but it serves an important purpose nonetheless. A letter of wishes is written by the settlor to the trustee to provide information (or wishes) beyond that outlined in the trust. It is up to the trustee to consider this document and act accordingly.
  • Sworn affidavit of solvency or solvency certificate: A sworn affidavit of solvency is a signed document in which the settlor declares he/she can meet all financial obligations—existing and anticipated. Similarly, a solvency certificate may be required by the trustee of the settlor to show the financial stability of the settlor. These documents are generally required to protect the trustee and financial institutions.

In addition to the requirements of a Cook Islands Trust, there are structural aspects to the formation of the trust. There are four parties needed for the structure of the trust: settlor, trustee, trust protector, and beneficiary.

Common Problems When Setting Up a Cook Islands Trust

Common problems when setting up a Cook Islands Trust

As a trusted asset protection law firm, the team at Blake Harris Law will help you navigate issues surrounding establishing a Cook Islands Trust. We have seen some of the following problems arise in the offshore asset protection industry.

  • Reputable Trustees: A trustee can be a trusted individual, a lawyer, an accountant, a bank, or a professional trustee company in a foreign country. Reputable trustee companies have insurance policies with well-known insurance companies that make sure clients are covered should loss or negligence occur within these trustee companies. They also conduct “know your customer” (KYC) and “anti-money laundering” (AML), combating the financing of terrorism” (CFT) checks on settlors. A licensed trustee company must ensure sufficient documentation exists regarding the origin of the funds to be held in trust. When looking for a reputable offshore trustee company or other entity, it is important to understand its insurance policies, ensure it will conduct KYC and AML/CFT checks on settlors, and know its track record when it comes to satisfied clients.
  • Retaining Control: Some settlors are not willing to relinquish control of their assets to a trustee, and this can create a problem. If a settlor does not relinquish control of his/her assets to a trustee, then the settlor’s assets could still be vulnerable to creditors and litigation.
  • Failure to Report to IRS Filings and Federal Disclosures: If assets are placed in a Cook Islands Trust by a U.S. citizen or resident or a U.S. citizen or resident is the beneficiary of a trust, that does not mean those assets should not be reported to the IRS. The settlor and/or beneficiary has to report the assets (including inherited assets) held by a Cook Islands Trust. People who do not file with the IRS or report federal disclosures could find themselves with federal tax compliance issues.

Is the Cook Islands Trust the best offshore trust?

A Cook Islands trust is well regarded as the best offshore trust to shield assets from lawsuits, claims, and creditors. One of the biggest reasons a Cook Islands Trust is regarded as the best offshore trust is the trust jurisdiction. Cook Islands courts do not recognize foreign judgements.

If creditors seek to claim a settlor’s assets held by a Cook Islands Trust, those creditors have to file a lawsuit in the Cook Islands before the statute of limitation expires. They must then pay legal and court fees upfront and prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the assets were placed in a Cook Islands trust with the intent to defraud.

This entire process is lengthy and expensive; plus, the statute of limitations is only two years in the Cook Islands, which makes filing a lawsuit an urgent matter. Because of these factors, creditors will face significant hurdles if they attempt to breach a Cook Island Trust.

Besides Cook Islands Trust

In addition to a Cook Islands trust, at Blake Harris Law we offer several other offshore asset protection options, including an offshore asset protection trust, the Titanium Trust℠, and a Nevis LLC. An offshore asset protection trust is a trust formed under the laws of an offshore jurisdiction.

The management of such a trust is generally carried out overseas, and the trust assets are also deposited in an offshore jurisdiction. An offshore asset protection trust can protect a variety of different assets, such as business inventory and equipment, cash, cryptocurrency, intellectual property, real estate, recreational assets (e.g., private jets, cars, yachts), and securities.

People who seek an offshore asset protection trust at Blake Harris Law include business owners, real estate investors, medical professionals, and others who believe they may be at risk.

The Titanium Trust℠ is Blake Harris Law’s proprietary asset protection trust that takes a traditional domestic asset protection trust and offshore trust one step further. Like titanium metal—strong and lightweight—the Titanium Trust℠ has nearly bulletproof strength in that it protects your assets in the United States but with the advantage of being able to transfer assets offshore. A network of international trust companies, trust protectors, and bankers all work together to safeguard your assets.

Our clients who opt for the Titanium Trust℠ are usually people with higher incomes or six-figure saving accounts who wish to safeguard assets such as cash; securities; business interests; intellectual property; real estate; and various cryptocurrencies, tokens, and coins.

The Caribbean island of Nevis has become one of the world’s most favorable locations to establish limited liability companies (LLCs) for both privacy and asset protection. The country’s commitment to providing safe legal arrangements for overseas residents has been proven since the passage of the Nevis Business Corporation Ordinance in 1984. While establishing an offshore LLC sounds like a potentially long and arduous process, with the assistance of an asset protection lawyer, it is quite simple. At Blake Harris Law, our clients who seek a Nevis LLC are generally individuals who want to shield their assets from creditors and lawsuits. The benefits of privacy and discretion, minimal maintenance, a stable and business-friendly political environment, and an affordable price point has made the Nevis LLC a desirable offshore asset protection option.

Frequently Asked Questions
Regarding Cook Islands Trusts

A Cook Islands Trust can cost from $15,000 to $40,000 to establish. You’ll also have to consider annual maintenance fees typically between $5,000 and $10,000. While this may sound expensive, we have established relationships with Cook Islands Trust providers that allow us to negotiate the setup fees.

The amount you pay depends on the following factors:

  • How quickly you want to establish the trust
  • The level of potential liability (i.e., the odds of an entity contesting your trust)
  • The amount of work needed to establish the trust
  • The amount of work offshore trustees must do
  • Your attorney’s level of experience

You’ll also have to pay reporting compliance, tax preparation, and bank fees. It’s difficult to predict tax preparation and accounting fees because you, the settlor, will choose your accountant and tax preparer.

Opening a Cook Islands trust involves the following steps:

  • Select a trust company (must be licensed in the Cook Islands).
  • Complete a trust application (your attorney will help you with this). Once you’ve submitted all the relevant paperwork, the trust company will perform a background check. They’ll also ask about your funding source.
  • Have your attorney prepare a trust agreement identifying the settlor (you), your beneficiaries, and the trustee.
  • Choose a trust protector if you like. The trust protector has powers over the trust and offers additional asset protection.
  • Transfer assets into the trust.

The following are some reputable trust companies in the Cook Islands:

  • Trustees and Fiduciaries (Cook Islands) Limited
  • Portcullis Limited
  • Cook Islands Trust Corporation Limited
  • Asiaciti Trust Pacific Limited
  • Ora Fiduciary Limited
  • Southpac Trust Limited

All of these trust companies are very reputable and have an excellent reputation, so you can’t go wrong with any of them. Your choice will ultimately be a matter of personal preference.

Retaining control of assets is one of the biggest problems people face when setting up a trust. If you retain control of your assets rather than relinquishing control to a trustee, creditors can come after those assets.

Choosing the wrong trustee is yet another problem. Therefore, it is imperative you choose a locally based trustee who knows Cook Islands laws inside and out. The trustee should also be willing and able to protect you in the event of loss or negligence.

Lastly, you can run into trouble if you don’t report your trust assets to the IRS. You might have to pay penalties for failing to report.

It is the duty of a trust protector to oversee the activities of the trustee regarding a Cook Islands trust. While having a trust protector is not required, a settlor should appoint one as an extra security measure to look out for his/her interests and to veto any undesirable actions taken by the trustee.

A trustee manages the trust assets on behalf of the beneficiaries. The trustee is located in the Cook Islands to ensure that he/she is under the legal jurisdiction of only the Cook Islands and no other country. A trustee is legally bound to protect the trust assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries. He/she holds the legal title to the trust’s assets and must not act in any way that could compromise the trust assets. If a settlor is under legal duress and is required by a court to hand over his/her assets, the trustee acts as the failsafe that blocks the court’s access to the assets. The trustee can do so because he/she is a Cook Islands resident and is not under the jurisdiction of any foreign court.

Also, during times of legal threat, the trustee can make payments from the trust or transfer funds on the settlor’s behalf, per instructions.

Yes, Cook Islands Trusts are safe as long as you use a reputable trust company. Your assets are quite safe from creditors, too. That’s because the Cook Islands does not recognize foreign judgments. If a creditor wants to come after your money, they would have to file a lawsuit in the Cook Islands, which is costly and time-consuming.

A Cook Islands trust is one of the safest offshore asset protection solutions. It has three primary safety features in place to protect your interests.

First, foreign courts and governments have no jurisdiction over trustees domiciled in the Cook Islands. To compel a trustee in the Cook Islands to act, the plaintiff would need to litigate (or relitigate from the beginning if the proceedings started in the United States) the entire issue at law before a court in the Cook Islands.

Second, a licensed and bonded professional fiduciary regulated by the Financial Supervisory Commission serves as the trustee. Only a firm or person who has undergone a comprehensive and thorough background check can become a licensed trustee. Also, since the trustee is bonded, your funds are insured against any wrongful actions by the trustee.

Third, a trustee cannot benefit from a trust. He/she can only step in when courts from outside the Cook Islands attempt to reach the trust assets. That is, the trustee can only behave in accordance with the laws of the Cook Islands, the terms of the trust, and your instructions as grantor.

Cook Islands Trusts Glossary

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