Estate planning in Singapore
Singapore’s development as an international financial centre began in the late sixties of the twentieth century. Today, hundreds of financial institutions, both local and foreign, are located in Singapore. As a consequence, a wide range of financial products and services is available. The official languages are English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. The currency in Singapore is the Singapore dollar (SGD).
Singapore has an estimated population of about 4.6 million inhabitants, made up of ethnic Chinese (76.7%), Malays (14%), Indians (8%), and Eurasians (people of European extract or origins – 2%). Singapore is a republic with a parliamentary system of government and the organs of the State comprise the executive, legislature (parliament) and judiciary.
Singapore is an excellent financial hub for High Net Worth Individuals to set up a trust. Singapore is characterised by:
- a business-friendly environment;
- comprehensive legal framework;
- political stability;
- a high standard of living;
- world-class infrastructure;
- a strategic geographic location and;
- robust regulations of the financial sector.
Singapore is an excellent jurisdiction to set up a trust. It has a common law-based legal system and it has enacted modern legislation to cope with the developments and last trends in the international trust industry.
Trustees in Singapore are subject to statutory duties under the Trustees Act and trust companies are licensed and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Singapore’s central bank.
Singapore has highly regarded secrecy laws which prohibit trustees and banks from releasing confidential client related information.
Tax advantages Singapore Trust
Qualifying foreign trusts and their underlying holding companies will be granted a tax exemption on certain specified income derived from designated investments. A foreign trust is one by deed settled by a settlor who is a non-resident and non-citizen of Singapore for the benefit of beneficiaries who are non-residents and non-citizens of Singapore.
Qualifying domestic trusts and their underlying holding companies will be granted a tax exemption (0% tax) on specified locally-sourced investment income and ALL foreign-sourced income. A qualifying domestic trust is:
- a trust administered by an approved trustee company in Singapore;
- with every settlor being an individual;
- a trust established for individuals or charitable purposes; and
- a trust of which at least one of the beneficiaries is not a settlor of the trust.
Beneficiaries who receive a trust distribution paid out of trust income are exempted from tax in Singapore.
Do not hesitate to contact us if you would us to match your personal situation (both in terms of assets and family situation) with a trust solution in Singapore which offers stability and tax minimisation.