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I'm in a sudden and unfortunate need of starting a trust fund (money being the only asset) in an EU country (I'm afraid I need to rule out UK as an option) for a minor (not a relative of mine) that would receive it upon reaching a certain state of adulthood (the target age is not clear right now but let's assume in 4-6 years). There would be 2 or 3 primary settlors (including me) who would be the trustees at the same time, and possibly a couple of minor settlors. One of the issues is the following:

  1. I come from the country A, live in the country B but intend to move to the country C within an year.
  2. Trustee #2 comes from the country D but also lives in the country B.
  3. Trustee #3 comes from the country D but lives in the country E.
  4. The beneficiary comes from the country D but would probably move to the country E or other country before being eligible to receive any money.

I believe that this is such a wild mix of (EU) countries that there is no clear benefit in establishing the trust fund in any of them (which is one of the reasons why I purposefully left out real country names). It got me thinking:

Q: Is there an EU country which would be particularly suitable as the location of the trust fund?

The idea is that it might be better to find a country which would be suitable based on some objective criteria instead of current location of trustees and/or beneficiary. Mainly:

  1. Country's law regarding trusts.
  2. Established tradition of trusts (IMHO in some EU countries the trusts are a fairly recent thing).
  3. Favorable taxation (or lack of).
  4. Interest - it would be good if the money could generate some money, if nothing else then to beat inflation.

Edits

  1. A good question coming from the comments is whether I and other settlors/trustees would actually be eligible to open/run a trust fund in a country that we are not residents of. I don't know which countries would present any legal hurdles but my current believe is that EU citizens should not have insurmountable obstacles in other EU countries - this is actually one of the main reasons why I limited the choice to EU countries only.
  2. I understand it's not easy or even possible to research an answer for this question just by Googling. This is the reason why the bounty targets people who have prior knowledge of this topic.
  3. I also understand that being familiar with trust funds in all EU countries is pretty much impossible. Out of the following N countries I'd recommend country X because of this and that would be a good answer.
  • Could you use Luxembourg ?? – Fattie Sep 30 at 11:28
  • @Fattie Yes, I believe so, even though I don't know which countries would have any legal hurdles for non-residents. However, I do have some friends living there so they could possibly help to facilitate this. – tmt Sep 30 at 12:03
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    I think you are going to need paid-for advice for this. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Sep 30 at 16:22
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    @tmt I fully understand where you're coming from... my point is that to get your "1 or 2 countries backed by reasoning" then either someone on PF&M needs to already know the rules of all 27 countries (possible, but probably unlikely), or they need to read up on the rules of all 27. There doesn't (after a brief search) appear to be an online "ready-made" comparison of all 27 (though I could have missed such a list), so someone would have to dig through each country in turn (assuming such info exists). Again... someone might want to do this, but probably not. – TripeHound Oct 1 at 11:28
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    If you've not seen it, How to Protect Your Assets with an Offshore Trust might be of some interest, although of non-UK, EU countries it only explicitly mentions France. – TripeHound Oct 3 at 7:57

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