About Purpose Trusts

A Purpose Trust is one which has no named beneficiaries (such as individuals, charities etc) but instead exists for advancing a non-charitable purpose of some kind.

Trusts for charitable purposes are also technically Purpose Trusts, but they are usually referred to simply as Charitable Trusts. People referring to Purpose Trusts are usually referring to Non-Charitable Purpose Trusts.

Though in most jurisdictions Purpose Trusts are usually unenforceable (there are limited exceptions). In 2008 Guernsey enacted legislation specifically to promote the use of Non-Charitable Purpose Trusts. When using offshore structures to assist in tax, estate planning or company restructuring, it may be of considerable assistance to create a trust in which no company, or individual, has a beneficial interest. A purpose trust will generally have an Enforcer, whose role it is to ensure that the purpose is achieved. This can be an individual or a corporate body.

Why a Purpose Trust?

  • Maintain confidentiality
  • No Beneficiaries required
  • Terminates once the purpose is complete