The Trusts Act 2001 governs the law of trusts in Mauritius. A trust is created by the owner of property (the Settlor) vesting the ownership of the property to another person (the Trustee). The latter will hold it for and on behalf of other persons (the Beneficiaries). The Settlor may appoint a Protector who can have wide powers to control the administration of the trust by the Trustee. The Settlor may give to the Trustee a letter of wishes as guidance to his wishes during his lifetime or after death. The trust may be created either through a deed of trust signed by the Settlor and Trustee or a declaration of trust signed by the Trustee only.
Through the use of trusts it is often possible for family assets to be preserved over succeeding generations substantially free from taxation, probate requirements, succession laws, expropriation and foreign exchange controls. There is no requirement in Mauritius to register trusts, thereby maintaining confidentiality.
The ability to manage assets through a combination of trusts and companies is proving increasingly valuable and the legislation in force in Mauritius provides an effective framework for the conduct of international fiduciary activities and providing services in that respect.
Types of trusts:
- Asset Protection trusts
- Charitable trusts
- Discretionary trusts
- Trading trusts
- Purpose trusts
- Unit trusts
Main features of Mauritius Trusts
- Confidentiality of trustee deliberations as registration of the trust is not compulsory
- Possibility to establish letters and memorandum of wishes
- Possibility to accumulate income for any period within the duration of the trust
- Protection from forced heirship rules
- May apply for a GBL 1 licence and can thus benefit from the network of DTAs
- Migration of Trust possible
- Concept of managing and custodian trustee
Trusts may also be used for the purposes of structuring funds and collective investment schemes.