BVI Trusts: VISTA Trusts

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INTRODUCTION

The Virgin Islands Special Trusts Act (“VISTA”) came into force on 1 March 2004 and was introduced in order to allow a shareholder to establish a BVI trust over a BVI company which disengages the trustee from administrative and managerial responsibility in relation to that BVI company.

The principal effect of VISTA is to remove the duty of trustees to monitor and intervene in the conduct of the directors and in the running of the BVI company held in trust. Owing to the large number of companies incorporated in the BVI, VISTA was introduced, on the one hand, to offer a vehicle which would remove the need to obtain a grant of probate in the BVI (which would otherwise be a requirement on the death of the owner of BVI company shares) by implementing a trust structure, while on the other hand, allowing the owner to retain effective management and control of the company after having divested himself of its ownership.

The VISTA regime can apply to discretionary trusts, fixed interest trusts, charitable trusts or purpose trusts as long as certain conditions are satisfied (see further below).

The VISTA legislation was amended in May 2013 to fine-tune certain elements of the regime and introduce greater flexibility and as a result is likely to remain the most popular form of trust vehicle in the BVI.

Please see full guide below for more information.

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