Cook Islands Trust

One of the best international trusts for asset protection

icon asset protection
Asset protection
icon advantages favourable
Tax and estate
planning trusts
Family business succession trusts

Traditional and modern Trust planning

Cook Islands unique modifications to traditional trust laws provide a high degree of flexibility in trust planning. In addition to the protective aspects, there are numerous provisions that enable a Cook Islands trust to be administered without requiring the settlor to give up all control over the trust assets.

Cook Islands Trust – advantages
Cook Islands trusts are therefore used worldwide for many purposes including:

Asset protection trusts


Dynasty (perpetual) trusts


Charitable and purpose trusts


Tax and estate planning trusts


Cross generation wealth preservation and succession trusts


Family business succession trusts


Pre-migration trusts

Private trustee companies

A client may form a separate offshore company (a private trustee company) for the special purpose of acting as trustee of his or her trust or trusts. A private trustee company can provide savings, control, and privacy for clients who prefer not to place their assets with a licensed trustee company owned by a financial institution.

There are many situations where it may be advisable for a client to form a private trustee company. The client may be interested in the additional privacy that such a structure provides, the planned investment activity may expose the licensed trustee to potential liability, or it may require on the spot decision making which is not practical with a licensed trustee in another time zone.

The Cook Islands has special provisions ensuring that private trustee companies are easy to establish and operate, as well as being effective.

Independent Trust protector services

The role of the protector in an offshore trust structure is vital. The protector looks out for the interests of the beneficiaries and the settlor and ensures that the trustee acts responsibly and within the terms of the trust agreement. With significant expertise and experience in the proper administration of trusts, CIT is the ideal choice as an independent protector of offshore trusts established in other jurisdictions.


Your assets, which are managed by the trustee, must reside in the Cook Islands, and therefore are not subject to the legal jurisdiction in which you live. Trustees are regulated by the Financial Supervisory Commission in the Cook Island and are legally bound to protect the assets of the settlor for the beneficiaries. The trustees hold the legal title to all the assets within the trust, though they cannot benefit from the trust. The point of a trustee is such that under times of legal duress when a court requires that you hand over your assets, the trustee then becomes your failsafe. The trustee, who resides in the Cook Islands, is not subject to a court mandate and can simply refuse. Legally, the trustee can only distribute the funds for the benefit of the beneficiaries.

Multiple trustees

A settlor can establish a Cook Islands Trust with several trustees used for the management of the assets. Though a single trustee may be used so that the settlor may keep a close watch over the trust and for easy management, which can later change if needed. A domestic trustee may be appointed, however, in the event of a lawsuit or any legal claim against the settlor’s assets the flexibility of the structure allows the trustee to change hands to that of a sole trustee located in the Cook Islands, therefore giving the assets the due protection.


A trust protector, appointed by you, is the one who gives oversight; though is optional, but adds another dimension of stability and security for the trust, as the person is someone you likely trust, wither a family member, or attorney, as they are given the power to appoint trustees and veto any actions that the trustee might make on behalf of the settlor (you).


The beneficiaries would likely be you, and any one in your family (or anyone) and they are the ones who gain to benefit from the trust.

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Our Business Development Team is ready to guide and assist you to discuss all options you have and to provide you all the support you need to enable you to take the right decision face to your specific needs!
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