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Register of Trusts

Posted on: 13 Dec

As you are probably aware, there has been a proposal on the table for a new register of trusts for some time.  We thought we would take this opportunity to update you on what’s happening and the likely structure of the new register.

Part of the register requirements have already passed into law, and these will require all trusts (and companies) to declare who their ‘skutečný majitel’ is.  (In English we call this person the ‘Ultimate beneficial owner’).

For trusts, this person will be the one who exercises effective control over the trust.  Usually this will be either the trustees, but might in some cases be the founder.  Who exactly it is will depend on the structure of the trust.

If we are administering your trust, we will be advising you in the new year who you should declare as the ‘skutečný majitel’ and will prepare the necessary deceleration as a part of our standard Administration service.

It is important to note that this information will not be publicly accessible and will only be available to the state and to other people with a legitimate interest (eg. banks).

The second part of the register is still passing thorough the final stage of the legislative process.  However, it seems unlikely that it will change now, so we can inform you of what we expect to be required.

Essentially most Trust documents will need to be filed in the register and each trust will be allocated an Identification number. However, the public will have only very limited access to this information, being able to see only:

  • The name of the trust
  • Its purpose
  • The date it commenced
  • The trust’s IČ: (identification number)
  • The number of trustees of the trust and how they act (ie, individually, by majority or unanimously)
  • The date on which the trust was registered
  • A little additional data only if the trust owns a large business, and
  • Anything else that the trustees voluntarily wish to make public (such as the names of the Trustees)

Note that this list does not include the name of the founder, the supervisor if any, or the beneficiaries.  Also important to note is that, unlike companies, there are no fees for filing documents with the register.

In addition to this public information, you will also need to file these details – but they will be non-public:

    • The name, address and identifying details of the founder, the supervisor – if any -and any named beneficiaries and, for beneficiaries who are not specifically named, how they are defined.
    • The name address and identifying details of the ‘skutečný majitel’ – and a statement as to the basis on which he or she is identified as such.

Any trust documents which include any of the non-public information (and of course this means almost all Trust documents including the statute and contract), will also be non-public.

Is this good or bad?

For most of our clients this is a good result, striking an excellent balance between protection of your personal privacy and the need to eliminate potential misuse of trusts.  It will also help significantly build the acceptance of trusts, especially since you will now have the all important Identification number as well as the ability to provide people who ask with an extract from the register.

If you have any questions about how the new register will affect you, please don’t hesitate to contact us.