A trust is a way to hold and manage assets, whereas a person setting up the trust (the settlor) transfers his assets to a trustee, who manages and said assets for the benefit of the people designated by the settlor (the beneficiaries). It is usually used as an alternative to Will. A Trust offers greater privacy than Will because it does not go through probate, so there usually will not be any public records of it. Therefore, if the settlor would want to keep the amount of his assets or the identities of his beneficiaries confidential, he may consider set up a trust instead of a Will.
Since the Trust Law (Amendment) Bill under Trustee Ordinance in 2013, Hong Kong has become one of the most attractive jurisdictions in Asia to set establish a trust. Some notable of advantages of establishing trust in Hong Kong include:
- Reserved powers to the settlor: the settlor is able to reserve the power of investment and asset management of the trust to themselves, instead of granting all the power to the Trustee.
- Perpetuity period of trust: a Hong Kong trust can last indefinitely. This is particularly useful to settlors who wish to create a high value dynastic trust lasting for generations.
- Territorial tax system: all the income derived by the trust from assets outside Hong Kong will not be taxable to the trustee, the trust entity or the beneficiaries.