Updates to Jersey's Trusts Law, which include welcome clarity surrounding the disclosure of information to beneficiaries, help to ensure the island remains one of the world's leading international private wealth centres, according to leading Jersey trusts lawyer Siobhan Riley.
Rather than making any fundamental changes to the Trusts (Jersey) Law 1984, Ms Riley, who is the head of Carey Olsen's Jersey trusts and private wealth group, said the five key provisions of 'Amendment No. 7' simply refined and enhanced the existing legislation, in particular, the reworking of Article 29 relating to the disclosure of information to beneficiaries.
"While it has been on the cards for some time, the re-write of Article 29, makes it absolutely clear that the terms of a trust can restrict a beneficiary's right to information, subject to any order of the court," said Ms Riley.
"It expressly provides that a trustee may refuse disclosure where it is satisfied that such disclosure would not be for the benefit of one or more of the beneficiaries. We anticipate this amendment will be welcomed by settlors and trustees alike because it brings certainty and limits the need for a trustee to apply to court where it has determined to withhold trust information from a beneficiary."
The other key provisions contained in Amendment No. 7 relate to the reservation or grant of powers by a settlor, a trustee's right to reasonable security and indemnity, the accumulation of income and the statutory power of advancement, and the court's power to vary trusts. These provisions, in addition to the re-write of Article 29, are considered in more detail in Carey Olsen's own Trusts (Amendment No. 7) (Jersey) Law 2018 briefing note.
Ms Riley added: "Jersey's Trusts Law is highly regarded across the globe and has been followed by many other jurisdictions worldwide. As part of the continuing work to ensure that the legislative framework continues to support the needs of the industry, Amendment No. 7 clarifies and further develops certain provisions, reaffirming Jersey as a jurisdiction of choice for international private wealth clients."