Trust & Estates
Our specialised team advises private individuals resident in or outside Monaco on personal legal matters including estate planning and trusts.
Wills continue to be the number one legal instrument that private individuals use to transmit their estate. This is the document that allows an individual to designate the heirs to his or her estate and determine the various consequences of that inheritance. Wills have many advantages in that they are legally very effective, but they can also give rise to certain family conflicts.
With our expert knowledge of probate law, we can advise clients on how best to approach even the most complex and diverse situations with a major international component.
Since executing a will usually involves completing a range of formalities with government administrations and banks, we also guide our clients through all of these steps. Trusts are another way to organise and transmit an estate and are frequently used in common law systems but also in Monaco (Law No 214 of 27/02/1936 revising Trust Law No 207 of 12/07/1935).
A trust is an institution originally created under common law to grant a trustee authority to control assets in the interests of a beneficiary or for a purpose determined by the grantor (or settlor) as part of either a living trust or a testamentary trust. Assets entrusted to a trustee constitute a distinct whole and are no longer part of the settlor’s property. The trustee has the authority and duty to administer, manage or dispose of the assets in accordance with the terms of the deed of trust and with trust law provisions applicable to the trustee.
With our know-how, clients receive advice and support in setting up a trust and the assurance that it will comply with the specific requirements of Monaco law. Divorce proceedings can however have a significant impact on managing a trust. This is why clients with any assets held in trust are strongly advised to consult us before launching divorce proceedings, so that our team can take the necessary steps to foresee and protect against any consequences.
Issues such as these can be even more acute in Monaco due to its concentration of wealth, linguistic diversity and the co-existence of 139 different nationalities. This is why our teams are constantly updating their legal knowledge of these issues and working with our specialised correspondents in other countries.
Monaco has become so international that it recently adopted a Code of Private International Law to offer greater certainty when settling issues of conflict of laws and of jurisdiction. This applies to all branches of private law such as inheritance and also trusts.