Cook Islands Trust

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Nevis Trust

Nevis LLC

Frequently Asked Questions
Regarding Asset Protection

  • Nevis boasts a well-established legal framework and robust asset protection laws, making it an attractive jurisdiction for safeguarding wealth through trusts.
  • The jurisdiction offers favorable conditions for asset protection, including strict confidentiality provisions and strong legal safeguards against creditor claims and legal challenges.
  • Click here to learn more about how you can protect your assets with a Nevis Trust.
  • Asset protection through Nevis trusts involves transferring assets into a trust structure established under Nevis law.
  • Once assets are held within the trust, they are shielded from creditors and legal claims, as Nevis law provides robust protections against such risks.
  • Nevis Trusts are internationally recognized and respected for their effectiveness in asset protection, contributing to Nevis’s reputation as a premier offshore financial center.
  • Click here to learn more about the legality of offshore accounts.
  • Nevis trust laws limit creditor access to trust assets, providing strong legal safeguards.
  • Click here to learn more about why you need an offshore trust if you have assets to protect.
  • Assets held within Nevis trusts are generally 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 how you can protect your assets from a civil lawsuit.
  • Nevis upholds strict confidentiality and privacy laws protecting the identities of individuals involved in trust arrangements, enhancing privacy and confidentiality for trust assets.
  • Click here to learn more about the safety associated with wealth protection when establishing an offshore trust.
  • Nevis has implemented robust regulatory frameworks and anti-money laundering measures to combat fraud, financial crime, and illicit activities, ensuring the integrity of its financial services sector.
  • Yes, existing assets such as cash, securities, real estate, cryptocurrency, and other investments can be transferred in-kind into Nevis trusts, providing a means to safeguard wealth effectively.
  • Click here to learn more about asset transfers.
  • Nevis offers several legal solutions for asset protection, including Nevis international trusts, international business corporations (IBCs), and limited liability companies (LLCs). Nevis Trusts are sought after for asset protection due to their robust legal framework and strict confidentiality provisions, making them an optimal choice for safeguarding assets from potential legal claims and creditors.
  • Despite Nevis’ advantageous asset protection laws, individuals and entities utilizing these structures must adhere to reporting requirements and regulations. This includes maintaining accurate records, filing annual returns, and complying with anti-money laundering (AML) regulations. Strict adherence to these requirements is essential to ensure the legality and effectiveness of asset protection measures in Nevis.
  • Click here to learn more about offshore reporting requirements.
  • The costs can vary based on factors such as the type of structure chosen, its complexity, and whether expedited services are required. Individuals should consider initial setup and ongoing maintenance expenses, including trustee fees. Understanding these costs is essential for effectively planning and implementing asset protection strategies in Nevis.
  • Click here to learn more about the costs associated with maintaining an offshore trust.
  • Nevis’ asset protection laws are typically accessible to both residents and non-residents, making it an attractive option for international investors and individuals seeking to protect their assets. However, certain restrictions or requirements may apply depending on the specific entity or structure used. It’s advisable to seek professional guidance to ensure compliance with any applicable regulations when establishing asset protection structures in Nevis.
  • Establishing asset protection structures in Nevis typically involves engaging a reputable law firm knowledgeable in offshore asset protection planning. These firms can guide the most suitable structures for individual needs and assist in navigating the legal and regulatory requirements associated with establishing such structures in Nevis.

Nevis is a great jurisdiction for asset protection through trusts. It offers a secure legal framework and confidentiality provisions. Using Nevis trusts, individuals can protect their wealth from creditors and legal challenges. This allows them to have the peace of mind that comes with having robust asset protection measures in place making Nevis a great destination for those looking to safeguard their assets.

Seeking the guidance of a law firm can help individuals navigate the complexities of asset protection in Nevis. Click here to learn more on how to find a reputable offshore asset protection attorney to shield your wealth.

What Is a Nevis Trust?

A Nevist trust is an offshore asset protection trust that you establish and administer in St. Kitts and Nevis. Local regulations, such as the Nevis International Exempt Trust Ordinance, provide a high degree of protection from foreign creditors and lawsuits — much higher than the protection you’d have with a U.S. domestic trust. Nevis law does not recognize foreign judgments, allow asset freezing orders, or admit fraudulent asset transfer claims after two years from the cause of action.
Plaintiffs seeking to reach your trust assets would have to litigate in a Nevis court. To open legal proceedings in Nevis, they would be required to post a $100,000 bond, retain local counsel, and pay all attorney fees out of pocket, as Nevis does not allow contingency fees. Even if a plaintiff did all that, conflict of interest laws would bar many Nevis attorneys from pursuing legal action against local banks and trust companies.
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Why Should You Consider a Nevis Trust?

A Nevis Trust has many benefits — here are some of them:
  • Asset protection: Nevis Trusts can hold and protect a wide array of investments and assets, including cash, real estate, cryptocurrency, limited liability companies (LLCs), offshore bank accounts, stock market investments, and other assets.
  • Litigation prevention: One of the main advantages of a Nevis Trust is that it can prevent lawsuits before they even start. Plaintiffs would think twice before initiating litigation because of the costs and legal hurdles involved and might consider a settlement instead.
  • Estate planning: You can use certain Nevis Trusts and other asset protection tools for estate planning purposes as well as asset protection. A properly set up trust can safeguard your estate and beneficiaries from creditors and streamline the succession process.
  • Ease of use: You do not need to visit St. Kitts and Nevis to set up a trust on the islands. A U.S.-based attorney from our office at Blake Harris Law can help you form the trust with the help of a Nevis-based representative. The trust formation process itself is relatively quick and streamlined.
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Why You Should Consider a Nevis Trust

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 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

Nevis Trust: An Overview
Table of Contents

The Island of Nevis is part of the nation officially known as the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis or St. Kitts and Nevis for short, located in the Caribbean about 1,300 miles southeast of Miami, Florida. Nevis is the smaller island in the federation, with a population of about 12,000. St. Kitts and Nevis is a sovereign nation and member of the British Commonwealth. The legal system is based on English common law. The tax environment is very friendly: there is no income tax, estate or inheritance tax, or gift tax. While it has an excellent reputation with tourists, much of the local economy is driven by its status as a secure offshore hub for company formations and bank accounts. The country is firmly committed to secrecy. Nevis is also known in the United States for being the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton.

What Is Asset Protection?

Attorney Blake Harris with the Premier of Nevis, Hon. Mark A. G. Brantley
Attorney Blake Harris with the Premier of Nevis, Hon. Mark A. G. Brantley

Asset protection refers to any legal arrangement or method used to protect your assets from lawsuits, creditors, and other legal threats against you. If a judgment is issued against you, creditors could have the right to seize assets owned by you.

By forming limited liability companies, trusts, and other legal entities, you can separate yourself from the assets you own. Some forms of asset protection can also be used for estate planning purposes. For example, forming trusts can help streamline the succession process and protect the assets received by the individuals that inherit your estate. If protecting your assets is your priority, it’s important to form a comprehensive strategy that takes into consideration your particular situation, goals, and needs. A Nevis Trust may be one component of a much broader effort to shield your assets from creditors and potential legal complaints.

What Is A Nevis Asset Protection Trust?

Generally speaking, an asset protection trust is an estate planning trust that can hold an individual’s (known as the grantor) assets in order to shield these assets from potential future creditors. Asset protection trusts are commonly regarded as the legal vehicles able to provide the strongest protection against creditors, judgments, and lawsuits. Ideally, an asset protection trust would help prevent litigation before it begins by letting the plaintiff know that litigation will be costlier and much more difficult than they originally believed.

While U.S.-based clients might opt for an asset protection trust based out of one of the sixteen U.S. states that allow for domestic asset protection trusts, these simply do not offer the same level of protection if the trust is ever threatened in a U.S. court. Only offshore trusts can guarantee the assets can remain out of reach from a judgment issued by a U.S. court. A Nevis Asset Protection Trust is simply an asset protection trust established under the laws of St. Kitts and Nevis and administered from the Island of Nevis itself. But since asset protection trusts can be established under a variety of jurisdictions, why choose Nevis?

Over the course of decades, the island of Nevis has gained a reputation for being one of the most favorable jurisdictions in the world for asset protection and privacy. Offshore trusts in Nevis are regulated by the Nevis International Exempt Trust Ordinance. These Nevisian laws vigorously protect the local finance industry and its offshore clients. Nevis Trust Legislation allows the grantor and beneficiaries protection from claims by imposing substantial barriers to plaintiffs. Even the most determined of creditors would be smart to consider a settlement rather than attempt to break into a Nevis trust. To date one is hard-pressed to find a successful case of a private creditor penetrating a Nevis trust.

The Main Benefits Of A Nevis Trust

The Main Benefits Of A Nevis Trust

To commence legal proceedings on Nevis, a plaintiff has to file a bond of $100,000 with the Nevis Ministry of Finance before bringing legal action against an international trust. A 2018 amendment to the laws changed the LLC requirement to an amount established by the Nevis High Court, but the bond to litigate a Nevis trust remains at $100,000 U.S. dollars.

Contingency attorney fees are prohibited in Nevis. A creditor will have to pay out of pocket for the court bond and any legal fees incurred. Additionally, in order to bring a case in Nevis, a locally licensed attorney needs to be hired, not a U.S.-barred lawyer. Many of the attorneys licensed in Nevis will be unable to bring a case against local banks and trust companies due to conflict of interest rules.

Nevis offshore trusts are tax-exempt under Nevis tax laws and can be settled by essentially any non-resident. Under the laws of Nevis, self-settled trusts can protect assets: the settlor can also be a beneficiary of the trust and maintain asset protection regardless.

Nevis does not recognize foreign judgments. A court order from the United States, or any other country for that matter, will not have an effect on the island of Nevis. A plaintiff needs to litigate the case in a local court in order to obtain an effective judgment against a Nevis trustee.

The Nevis Trust statute of limitations on fraudulent conveyance is two years from the cause of action. That means a court in Nevis will simply not accept a case claiming fraudulent conveyance and challenging the transfer of assets into the trust once this time period has elapsed.

Nevis does not allow asset freezing orders. Many common law jurisdictions recognize injunctions that can freeze trust assets and prevent the beneficiaries from receiving or moving trust funds. The laws of St. Christopher and Nevis specifically disallow the use of any orders that would interfere with trust property.

Nevis has a much higher standard of proof for civil cases. In order to win a civil case in the United States, the plaintiff needs only to prove his case by a “preponderance of the evidence.” In Nevis, the standard of proof for civil cases is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This is the highest standard in the common-law system and is the standard for U.S. criminal law.

Establishing A Nevis Trust

Wondering how you set up a foreign trust in Nevis? While setting up an offshore trust may sound like a complicated and outlandish process, in reality, it is not much different from establishing a trust under the laws of your state of residence. You don’t need to visit Nevis to form a trust on the island. Instead, you can use a U.S.-based attorney to help form the trust using a Nevis-based representative. This means the formation process can be streamlined and prompt.

Under the Nevis International Trust Ordinance, a trust will require the following:

  • Local Trustee: This is the person or organization within the island of Nevis that will have the authority to manage and control any trust property. At Blake Harris Law, we can introduce you to licensed, professional trustees in Nevis who have a stellar reputation in the offshore services industry.
  • Grantor / Settlor: This is the person or persons who set up the trust and intend to transfer property into it. The grantor / settlor does not need to be a Nevis resident.
  • Beneficiaries: These are the people who stand to receive the property transferred into the trust. The beneficiaries can also be Nevis nonresidents.
  • Due Diligence Process: International regulations require a certain amount of background information regarding the grantor / settlor of an offshore trust. The Nevis trustee will require documents such as a copy of a passport, proof of residence, and bank statements.
  • Funding the Trust: Once the trust is signed and established, it is important to transfer assets into the trust. A Nevis trust can be used to hold LLCs, bank accounts, or investment accounts.

What Can A Nevis Trust Protect?

A trust registered in Nevis can hold a wide variety of investments and assets. Offshore bank accounts and LLCs can be opened under the name of the trust. Offshore bank accounts, stock market investments, real estate, and other assets can be held inside a Nevis Trust. Importantly, while bank accounts can be opened with local banks in Nevis, a Nevis Trust can just as easily hold accounts from other offshore banking centers such as the British Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, or Switzerland.

Nevis LLC Vs. Trust

An LLC forms a company, but a trust is a legal arrangement that designates assets for beneficiaries. While there are clear differences between these two legal formations, they can both serve as asset protection vehicles for U.S. residents. Both LLCs and trusts provide a degree of separation between yourself and your designated assets. At Blake Harris Law we are proud to offer both Nevis-based trusts and limited liability companies as part of our suite of asset protection solutions. If you would like more information about Nevis LLCs, please also visit our article on Nevis LLCs.

Are Nevis Trusts Legal For U.S. Citizens?

Yes. Nevis Trusts are entirely legal for U.S. citizens, U.S. residents, and others – you are simply forming an overseas entity that must conform to local laws and regulations. If you are searching for a legal offshore asset protection method, Nevis Trusts are an excellent option.

Nevis Trust Companies

Nevis Trust Companies New

The island of Nevis has offered a variety of offshore privacy and asset protection solutions since the 1980s. The local trustees, trust protectors, and registered agents are some of the most experienced professionals in the offshore services industry. The Nevis Act has strong provisions protecting the confidentiality of information for a trust legally registered in Nevis. Any assets held in a Nevis Trust will be protected from prying eyes trying to determine ownership.

At Blake Harris Law, we are proud to work with the most prestigious international trust companies in the world. If you are interested in a Nevis Trust but are wondering about who would manage the trust, we would be happy to introduce you to a variety of professional and well-established trust administration companies operating on the island of Nevis.

Contact Blake Harris Law Today To Create Your Nevis Trust

If you believe a Nevis Trust is a suitable option for your financial interests, it’s critical to begin the process of forming the trust sooner rather than later. The longer you wait, the more exposure you have to negative credit events. If you are ready to secure your financial future, it’s time to contact our asset protection attorneys at Blake Harris Law. Our comprehensive approach to asset protection ensures we cover all the bases – this is critical if you want your assets to remain as secure as possible. We start by providing a free consultation that outlines your financial goals. As we have considerable experience in the world of asset protection, we can form a bespoke plan to protect your interests. Don’t hesitate to contact us today if you’re ready to take advantage of Nevis Trusts or other asset protection arrangements.

Frequently Asked Questions
Regarding Nevis Trusts

One purpose of a Nevis Trust is to help you minimize taxation when transferring assets to your beneficiaries. If you have an irrevocable Nevis Trust, you’ll also enjoy some protection from creditors.

A Nevis LLC, on the other hand, is a business entity that shields you from legal liability for the actions of the LLC. A Nevis LLC offers strong asset protection because local courts don’t recognize judgments from U.S. courts. A creditor would have to file a lawsuit with a Nevis court to reach your assets.

There are three main types of trusts in Nevis: charitable, non-charitable, and spendthrift.

A charitable trust is an irrevocable trust that allows you to support a favorite charity while enjoying asset protection and tax benefits. Non-charitable trusts, on the other hand, don’t have human beneficiaries. You might set one up to provide for a beloved pet or maintain a burial plot.

A spendthrift trust is a type of trust that prevents beneficiaries from giving away or selling their equitable interest in the trust’s assets.

You’ll need at least $15,000 to set up a Nevis Trust. Including legal and setup fees, plus other miscellaneous costs, expect to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000.

Nevis is one of the cheapest jurisdictions in which to set up a trust. If you want asset protection on a budget, this jurisdiction could be the one for you.

The main benefit of a Nevis Trust is asset protection. In addition to not recognizing judgments from foreign courts, Nevis has a two-year statute of limitations on fraudulent conveyance. Once that deadline has passed, creditors can’t file a lawsuit to access your assets.

Additionally, Nevis doesn’t allow asset-freezing orders, which prevent beneficiaries from moving trust funds. Trusts in Nevis are also tax-exempt, and Nevis allows settlors to be beneficiaries of trusts if they choose.

Domestic trusts do not provide much in the way of asset protection. If a creditor thinks you fraudulently transferred assets into a domestic trust, they must provide adequately convincing evidence. However, in many offshore jurisdictions, they must prove fraudulent intent beyond a reasonable doubt.

Many foreign jurisdictions don’t recognize U.S. court judgments. If your chosen jurisdiction is like this, creditors must file a claim against you specifically in that jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions also require creditors to be physically present to file a claim. This is expensive and time-consuming, so the vast majority likely won’t bother.

Offshore trusts are far more private than the domestic variety. Domestic trusts may release your information to creditors, but offshore jurisdictions are far less likely to do so. Many foreign jurisdictions have strict banking secrecy laws to protect you.

Although Nevis Trusts have many perks, they also have some disadvantages. They include:

  • You’ll have to pay annual maintenance fees, which can be costly. However, this is also true for trusts in other jurisdictions.
  • You can’t use a Nevis Trust to dodge taxes in your home country. If you don’t pay taxes to the IRS, you’ll owe late fees and penalties.
  • Trustees have control over your assets, so you must choose your trustee carefully. If you pick a bad one, they can mismanage your assets.
  • Nevis has very different laws from those in the U.S. You’ll have to consult with an asset protection attorney to ensure you’re not running afoul of local laws.