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Nevis Trust Cost

An offshore trust in Nevis is one of the most effective tools for estate planning and asset protection today, but how much does it cost to set one up? And is it worth it if you are not one of the world’s wealthiest? 

The cost of setting up and administering a Nevis Trust varies depending on various factors such as the complexity of the trust, the way it is structured, and the services the trust company provides.

In this article, we will discuss the costs involved. We will also explore important areas such as why you would choose to set up a Nevis trust, the different ways it can be structured, the types of assets it can be used to protect, and the practical process of setting up the trust. We end with a discussion about whether a Nevis trust is worth the cost.  

Table of Contents:


A Nevis Trust is a type of offshore trust established in the Caribbean island of Nevis. It offers numerous benefits to individuals seeking to protect their assets and secure their financial future. Fundamentally, it is a legal agreement whereby the creator of the trust (known as the “grantor”) transfers ownership of assets to a trustee for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries.

The trustee has a legal obligation to manage the assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries according to the terms of the trust agreement. A special type of irrevocable trust known as an Asset Protection Trust (APT) is the most common type of offshore trust to set up in Nevis. It has the benefit of allowing the grantor to name themself as the sole beneficiary. 

Why Set Up a Nevis Trust?

Nevis Offshore Trusts are commonly used for wealth preservation, estate planning, and asset protection. The most common reason individuals opt to set up a Nevis Trust is to protect their personal wealth, either for their own future benefit or for their eventual heirs.

A Nevis offshore trust is one of the best tools to help protect your assets from creditors and/or lawsuits. The trust is considered a separate legal entity from the grantor, which means that any assets placed in the trust are no longer part of your personal estate, and therefore safely out of reach of creditors.

It has the additional benefit of being located in a foreign jurisdiction, and the laws of Nevis specifically protect the assets held in a trust from being seized or attached by creditors. They also do not recognise court orders from other countries. 

Asset protection is the primary reason why many choose to use a Nevis trust, but it is not the only one. Other common reasons include:

  1. Estate planning: Nevis Trusts can be used to protect and pass on your estate to future generations. The terms of the trust agreement can be structured to ensure that the assets are distributed to the beneficiaries as per the grantor’s specific wishes. A Nevis trust can also help to avoid expensive and lengthy probate procedures, minimize inheritance taxes, and provide greater privacy during the inheritance process. 
  2. Tax optimization: Nevis Trusts are not subject to income, estate, or gift taxes in Nevis. Therefore, if used correctly in conjunction with other tax planning tools, they can help to minimize your tax liability.
  3. Confidentiality: Nevis Trusts offer a high degree of confidentiality, as the identity of the grantor and beneficiaries is not disclosed to the public. They also disassociate the assets from the grantor’s personal name. This makes them ideal instruments to protect your financial privacy.

How to Structure a Trust?

Nevis Trusts can be structured in a variety of ways to meet the specific needs of the grantor and beneficiaries. How you choose to structure your Nevis trust will have a direct impact on the ultimate cost, both of setting up the trust structure and maintaining it. The general rule is that the more layers you add to your Nevis structure, the greater protection and privacy it provides, but the more it will cost you. Let’s look at some of the best and most popular ways to set up a Nevis Trust structure:


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Combining a Nevis Trust with a Nevis LLC

By far the most popular way to structure a Nevis offshore trust is to combine it with a Nevis LLC. It works as follows:

  1. Incorporate a Nevis LLC and place all personal assets which you wish to be protected in the procession of the LLC.
  2. Set up a Nevis offshore trust.
  3. Upon formation of the trust, transfer 100% ownership of the LLC to the trust. 

By setting up such a structure, you have added a powerful additional layer of protection to your assets which are held by the trust. The trust protects the assets indirectly, by owning the LLC and not the assets themselves. The LLC itself comes with limited liability protection and another layer of financial privacy.

It also gives you greater control over the assets because you can be named manager of the LLC, and therefore have control over how the assets are used on a day-to-day basis. The LLC is the entity which will hold any bank accounts, brokerage accounts, enter into contracts, etc., whereas the trust need only act as a holding vehicle. 

Other Ways to Structure a Trust

There is a myriad of other ways to use a Nevis Trust as part of a wider asset protection structure. Some may opt to form the LLC in a different jurisdiction. For example, combining a Nevis Trust with a Cook Islands LLC or bank account, or combining a prestigious offshore banking jurisdiction like Switzerland with the strong asset protection features of a Nevis trust. The combinations are endless and could include various kinds of entities in different jurisdictions around the world. 

The type of trust you decide to set up in Nevis can also differ. Examples include a discretionary trust, charitable trust, living trust, etc. The choice of structure and entities you decide to form will of course all have an impact on the overall cost. 

What Assets Can a Nevis Trust Protect?

A Nevis offshore trust can be used as a vehicle to protect just about any type of tangible or intangible asset, including:

  • Land and buildings
  • Stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments
  • Bank accounts and other cash equivalents
  • Business interests
  • Jewellery, art, and collectibles
  • Intellectual property
  • Digital assets such as cryptocurrency, NFTs, etc.

Process for Setting Up a Nevis Trust

Setting up a Nevis trust is a relatively simple process with the right professional guidance. The main steps involved are as follows:

  1. Hire an experienced estate attorney: Without the right guidance, setting up an offshore trust can become a difficult ordeal. A qualified estate attorney can help ensure you are complying with all the relevant statutory requirements and structuring your trust in the most efficient way possible. 
  2. Select a trustee: The next step is to name a reliable third-party trustee. In most cases, a designated trust company is chosen to act as the trustee. It is important to choose a reputable and experienced trust company that has a strong track record in Nevis. 
  3. Determine the trust's purpose: You should clearly determine the purpose of the trust and the desired objectives. This will help guide the structure of the trust and ensure that it meets your specific needs. Your lawyer will only be able to help you to the best of their abilities if they are clear about what exactly you are aiming to get out of the trust. 
  4. Prepare the trust agreement: The trust agreement is the legal document that outlines the terms of the trust. It should include details such as the assets being transferred, the names of the beneficiaries, and the powers and responsibilities of the trustee. At this stage, you should also clearly designate who the beneficiaries of the trust are and under what terms and conditions they should receive the assets in the trust. 
  5. Transfer assets to the trust: Once the trust agreement has been prepared, the assets must be transferred to the trustee. This can be done through a simple transfer of ownership or by executing a series of transactions, depending on the type of assets being transferred.
  6. Register the trust: The trust must be registered in Nevis with the appropriate government agencies. This will ensure that the trust is recognized as a legal entity and that its assets are protected under Nevis law.


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How Much Does It Cost to Setup a Nevis Trust?

Considering all the benefits that a Nevis offshore trust provides, setting one up is not ridiculously expensive, and so it is not only reserved for the mega wealthy. The cost of setting up a Nevis Trust will vary quite a lot depending on the complexity of the trust, the assets being transferred, and the services provided by the trust company.

The minimum required to set up the trust is about $4,000, but on average you can expect to pay between $5,000 and $10,000 including legal and other fees.

This is just a ballpark figure, and you will have to consult with your own legal professional to get an accurate idea of how much the structure will cost you. The cost will also increase depending on what other vehicles you decide to pair your structure with, such as a Nevis or Cook Islands LLC, an offshore bank account, etc. 

Once a Nevis Trust has been established, it must be continually administered and maintained to ensure that its assets are managed in accordance with its terms and the grantor’s wishes. This involves managing the assets, distributing the assets to the beneficiaries, and keeping the trust in compliance with Nevis law.

How is a Nevis Trust Administered?

The trustee is in charge of administering the trust on behalf of the grantor. The trustee has a fiduciary duty to protect the assets in the trust, and always act in its best interest. They are responsible for ensuring that the assets are used for the benefit of the beneficiaries as per the specific trust terms. 

What are the Costs Involved?

In addition to the fees to set up a Nevis trust, there are also ongoing annual administration and maintenance fees. These costs can also vary depending on the complexity of the trust, the type of services provided by the trustee company and any additional legal and administrative services required. On average, these annual costs can range anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000. There may be additional costs for investment management, accounting, and legal services, especially if multiple offshore entities are used in the structure. 

It is always important to consult with a trusted professional who can give an accurate estimate of the costs involved in setting up your offshore trust structure and can help you to optimise these costs based on what is needed in your specific situation. 

Is a Nevis Trust Worth It?

Whether a Nevis Trust is worth it will depend on your individual needs and circumstances. For those seeking to protect their assets, minimize their tax liability, and secure their financial wellbeing, a Nevis Trust can offer significant benefits. However, it is important to carefully consider the costs involved and to work with a reputable and experienced legal expert and trust company to ensure that the trust is structured and administered efficiently.

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*Note for U.S. citizens: US citizens are limited in their tax reduction possibilities due to FATCA and CFC laws. Opening an offshore company can increase privacy and asset protection, but you can not eliminate your taxes without giving up your citizenship. If you are a US citizen you are obligated to pay taxes on all worldwide income. Read more here about FATCA and CFC laws.



Disclaimer: Offshore Protection strives to keep information on this website updated, however, laws and circumstances are subject to change. All information on this website is for reference purposes only and does not constitute legal or tax advice. Contact Offshore Protection for specific advice regarding your situation.

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