Singapore Trusts

Trusts have been used a way of holding and managing assets in English common law jurisdictions for hundreds of years. Unlike corporate vehicles, the lack of rigid formal requirements for the creation and operation of trusts, and the tremendous flexibility of trust instruments, mean they can be highly effective structures in a number of personal and commercial contexts.

Although many of the tax benefits that were associated with trusts have been eroded in recent years by anti-avoidance legislation, they still offer great advantages – particularly for individuals who are changing, or planning to change, their domicile, residence or citizenship; those with families resident abroad; those seeking asset protection; and those whose principal motivation is not to avoid taxation but to dispose of their estate on death freely and without recourse to a lengthy and expensive probate procedure.

The practical advantages of a trust arise from the separation between the legal owner of property, the trustee, and those people that have the use or benefit of the property, the beneficiaries. The trust assets cease to be personal possessions of the settlor and are therefore protected in the event of future claims from creditors, family disagreements, divorces, financial difficulties or legal actions.

The flexibility of trusts enables them to manage complex family wealth situations. They can help to protect your family business or manage your wealth privately and independently, whilst offering continuity, preserving capital and enabling family members to enjoy financial benefits over generations.


Trusts can also be highly effective in the commercial space, including:

Holding shares in a company for the benefit of senior employees (Employee Benefit Trusts);
Quarantining shares in a company for beneficial owners of a business before a company lists on the stock exchange and shares are made public (Pre-IPO Trusts); and
Restructuring to provide an avenue for a business to list in the property space (Real Estate Investment Trusts or REITs).

Sovereign provides global trustee and fiduciary services. Sovereign Straits Trust Ltd (“SST”) is a professional and independent licensed trust company established under the Singapore Trust Companies Act. SST is regulated and supervised by the Monetary Authority of Singapore .

SST maintains minimum capital and has operating procedures in place to ensure the complete segregation of assets between trusts. These safeguards, when combined with our highly trained and professional staff, mean that clients of the company and settlors and beneficiaries of trusts can be assured of absolute security in the establishment and administration of trusts.

SST offers:

Trustee and protectorship services
Trust administration services
Tax and estate planning assistance, including asset protection
Trustee, administrator and custodian services in asset securitisation issues
Comprehensive offshore trustee services to both private and institutional clients
Trust establishment in other jurisdictions through our global network of licensed affiliates
International executorial and administrative services for wills and estates
Singapore law permits a variety of trusts to be established, including:
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