01/09/20

The Bahamas: Asset Protection Trusts & Shari’a Trusts - New Wine in Old Wine Skins

The bread and butter of Bahamian trust lawyers is the asset protection trust. The offshore financial services industry in The Bahamas has recently taken its blows from the influx of regulatory changes imposed by the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), Common Reporting Standards (CRS), and Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) at the cost of the loss of the hedge of protection provided by bank secrecy. The asset protection trust is still, however the standard vehicle used to protect ultra-high net worth clients from the ravages of war, hyperinflation, political instability, political persecution, taxes, divorce, forced heirship laws, and for creditor protection. However, the asset protection trust has received new life through the re-interpretation, flexibility, and the evolution of Bahamian trust laws through the creation of Shari’a trusts for Islamic clients from the oil rich countries of the Middle East – essentially pouring new wine into old wine skins.

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