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We Can Help You Set Up a Cook Islands Trust, Company and Open a Bank Account
We have extensive experience working with the best lawyers and trust companies in the Cook Islands. We established personal connections with many of them. We can help you set up an asset protection trust, open a company and bank account in the Cook Islands.
COOK ISLANDS TRUSTS
- Offshore Jurisdictions and Offshore Trusts
- Benefits of the Cook Islands Trusts
- The Cook Islands Legal System
- How to Set Up and Maintain a Cook Islands Trust?
Cook Islands Trust and Company
Setting up an asset protection trust, a company, as well as consulting on all the related questions
Drafting a trust agreement with step-by-step commentaries and consultations
Opening a Bank Account in the Cook Islands
We can help you open a company bank account in a Cook Islands bank
Ongoing consultations and follow up services related to your trust and company
Offshore Jurisdictions and Offshore Trusts
Until recently, offshore jurisdictions were the safest place for parking your assets, and the offshore trusts and companies were the most reliable instruments of asset protection. By now, the situation has changed dramatically. The offshore countries and territories ceased to be the place where one could hide assets. The world has become much more transparent.
Almost all offshore jurisdictions have committed to exchanging tax information with other countries. For the US tax residents, it takes place under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) . To non-residents of the USA, the framework of the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) applies. The CRS requirements serve as the cornerstone for many international and bilateral treaties fighting against tax evasion worldwide. More than 100 countries and territories are committed to the CRS, including the EU, many other developed countries, and offshore jurisdictions.
However, if the asset owners can show the legal source of wealth, some offshore jurisdictions still have many benefits. For example, the trusts established there can be an excellent tool for protecting assets against creditors in the future and providing the best way to transfer inheritance.
Benefits of the Cook Islands Trusts
Many lawyers and asset managers consider the Cook Islands as the best place to establish asset protection trusts. It is because this self-governing country politically associated with New Zealand was the first to create the most favorable conditions for trusts aimed at preserving and protecting the wealth of high-net-worth individuals (HNWI). The Cook Islands International Trusts Act of 1984 laid the foundation for the country’s trust industry. Since then, many other offshore jurisdictions have followed the Cook Islands by establishing their trust regulations.
The Cook Islands have the following benefits:
-strong legal and political institutions based on the association with New Zealand (all Cok Islanders are New Zealand citizens);
-stable currency (New Zealand Dollar);
-developed international banking system;
-a lot of experienced and recognized trust companies;
-companies and trusts, established in the Cook Islands by non-residents and not conducting any business activities on the islands don’t pay any taxes;
-the trust agreement is not a public record, thus keeping the information about the settlor, beneficiaries, and the trust confidential;
-the Cook Islands abolished the rule against perpetuities; hence the trust can exist indefinitely.
The Cook Islands Legal System
The Cook Islands’ legal system aims to protect the interests of the settlors and beneficiaries of the trust. Thus, among other things, the Cook Islands legal system has the following advantages:
-The Cook Islands have the oldest offshore legislation on trusts with many precedents.
-Besides local laws and judicial precedents, the Cook Islands legal system incorporates English Common Law.
-Lawyers from New Zealand can represent clients in litigation in the Cook Islands.
-The Cook Islands courts do not recognize and enforce decisions of any foreign courts.
-Any creditor willing to collect from you will have to file a complaint in the Cook Islands. Moreover, the threshold for this is high:
1) The only way to attack the trust there is to prove that the funds were transferred with fraudulent intent.
2) It should be proven “beyond reasonable doubt” – the standard usually used in criminal justice. In other jurisdictions, civil cases are to be proven by “a preponderance of the evidence.”
3) The statute of limitation, i. e. the timeframe to bring this kind of lawsuit, is very narrow: two years of the cause of action or one year of the supposedly fraudulent transfer.
How to Set Up and Maintain a Cook Islands Trust?
We can help you develop an asset protection strategy, including setting up an asset protection trust in the Cook Islands. We traveled many times to the Cook Islands and have personal connections with the best local lawyers and heads of trust companies. Setting up a trust in the Cook Islands involves drafting a trust agreement, choosing a trustee (usually a trust company), and other related stuff like opening a bank account, etc.
We are ready to help you in each step of this process. For example, we offer step-by-step consultations while drafting the trust agreement, choosing the right trust company, registering a company (which will be owned by the trust), opening a bank account in one of the banks in the Cook Islands, etc.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:
An asset protection trust in the Cook Islands is a specialized legal instrument to protect the assets from creditors and foreign judgments.
The Cook Islands asset protection trust shields your assets from creditors by providing an unmatched level of protection. As a rule, the Cook Islands asset protection trust is irrevocable. It means that the assets legally belong to the trust. Thus, your creditors cannot reach them. Moreover, the Cook Islands do not recognize any foreign court judgments. So, if someone wants to attack your trust legally, the plaintiff must come to the Cook Islands and file a lawsuit there, which is very challenging and expensive.
Yes, usually, the Cook Islands asset protection trusts are irrevocable. Irrevocable trusts offer the highest level of protection.
Yes, you can. However, a revocable trust does not provide a high enough protection compared to an irrevocable one. Every person has a pretty unique situation. It’s always better to consult with a specialist and then decide what kind of trust you need.
The Cook Islands is the best offshore jurisdiction for asset protection purposes, followed by Nevis (St. Kitts and Nevis).
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