It is estimated that around half of the independent wealth in the world is held through one form of trust structure or another. Trusts are considered to be one the most flexible and versatile instruments for holding and managing assets and also make somewhat easier the daunting task of administering a conditional or revocable gift.
Through a trust, the beneficial interest in assets is conveyed to the beneficiaries, whereas the legal ownership thereof is vested in the trustees. The trustees would generally have the obligation to preserve the trust assets, whilst at the same time ensuring that the beneficiaries are in receipt of that to which they are entitled. In fulfilling their duties, the trustees are guided by the provisions of the trust instrument and the law.
The Malta Trusts and Trustees Act, which regulates the creation and administration of trusts, recognizes the flexibility and diversity inherent in trust arrangements. As such, the main types of trusts which are recognised in traditional Anglo-Saxon jurisdictions may be constituted in Malta. A Maltese trust may be created verbally, in writing (including testamentary trusts), by operation of law or by a judicial decision.