Individuals may vest their property during their lives or after their deaths through the use of a trust. There are many types of trusts and many purposes for their creation. A trust may be created for the financial benefit of the person creating the trust, a surviving spouse or minor children, or a charitable purpose. Though a variety of trusts are permitted by law, trust arrangements that are attempts to evade creditors or lawful responsibilities will be declared void by the courts.

MauriExperta - Overview

Basic concepts

The person who creates the trust is the settlor. The person who holds the property for another's benefit is the trustee. The person who is benefited by the trust is the beneficiary. The property that comprises the trust is the trust res, corpus, principal, or subject matter. For example, a parent signs over certain stock shares to a bank to manage for a child, with instructions to give the dividend payments to him each year until he becomes 21 years of age, at which time he is to receive all the stock shares. The parent is the settlor, the bank is the trustee, the shares is the trust res, and the child is the beneficiary.

A fiduciary relationship exists in the law of trusts whenever the settlor relies on the trustee and places special confidence in him/her. The trustee must act in good faith with strict honesty and due regard to protect and serve the interests of the beneficiaries. The trustee also has a fiduciary relationship with the beneficiaries of the trust.

A trustee takes legal title to the trust res, which means that the trustee's interest in the property appears to be one of complete ownership and possession, but the trustee does not have the right to receive any benefits from the property. The right to benefit from the property, known as equitable title, belongs to the beneficiary.

The terms of the trust are the duties and powers of the trustee and the rights of the beneficiary conferred by the settlor when he/she created the trust.

Types of trusts

  • Asset protection trusts.
  • Charitable trusts.
  • Discretionary trusts.
  • Purpose trusts.

Main features of Mauritian trusts

  • All trusts are limited to a perpetuity period of 99 years with the exception of charitable trusts which may be of perpetual duration and non-charitable purpose trusts which are limited to only 25 years.
  • Anti-forced heirship rules.
  • Concept of managing and custodian trustee.
  • Confidentiality of trustee deliberations, identity of settlor and beneficiaries.
  • Possibility to accumulate income for any period within the duration of the trust.
  • Possibility to establish letters and memorandum of wishes.
  • May apply for a GBL1 and can thus benefit from the network of DTAs.
  • Migration of trust possible.
  • No statutory requirement that need to be made with the authorities except for tax returns.
  • Number of trustees shall not exceed 4 of whom at least one must be a "qualified trustee".
  • The local trustee is a party to all decisions pertaining to the trust.
  • Trusts may also be used for the purposes of structuring funds and collective investment schemes.


For tax purpose, a trust can be classified as either a resident or non-resident trust. A resident trust is taxed at a rate of 15% on its chargeable income and if it holds a GBC1 license, it will be entitled to tax credit of the higher tax suffered or 80% of its chargeable income. For more information consult our Taxation & Tax Treaties page.