Trust relationships have been regulated in Malta since 1988, first in a ring-fenced manner for assets which were principally outside Malta, and then in a more integrated manner as part of our Civil Law since 2004.
Malta’s trust legislation is broadly built around the Jersey law model. The integrated approach adopted by Maltese legislators in the area of trusts has led to increased reference to our jurisdiction as a successful legal system, which integrates Anglo-Saxon and Continental notions of law.
A trust exists where a trustee holds as owner, property for the benefit of others or for a charitable purpose. It may be created in any manner, whether through bilateral written agreements or unilateral declaration; testamentary arrangement; by operation of law; and even through oral arrangement in certain circumstances. Except for charitable trusts or unit trusts, the maximum duration of a trust is 99 years from the date of inception. Malta has also ratified the Hague Convention on the recognition and enforcement of foreign trusts.