5 Reasons Why You Should Consider A Hong Kong Trust For Your Estate and Succession Planning

1401_HKTrustThe long awaited Trust Law (Amendment) Act took effect on 1st Dec 2013 bringing Hong Kong’s trust law to a competitive level with other major trust jurisdictions such as UK, Singapore and offshore financial centres in Europe and the Caribbean.When developing the amendments, lawmakers were listening to and consulting with industry participants and professional organizations, updating Hong Kong’s 80 year old trust law and making it fit for the 21st century based on current best practice.

We have listed the 5 reasons why a Hong Kong trust should definitely be considered for estate and succession planning structures:

  1. Reserved Powers to the Settlor: Settlors of a Hong Kong trust are able to reserve the power of investment and management of the trust assets to themselves. This allows the business owner to retain greater control over the company and trust assets and manage them in the manner that they deem fit.
  2. Perpetuity Period of Trust: With the new amendments a Hong Kong trust can last indefinitely. This is particularly useful when planning for multiple generations ahead. The establishment of perpetual trusts is not possible in most major common law jurisdictions.
  3. Forced Heirship Protection: The forced heirship rules of a foreign jurisdiction will not affect the validity of any settlements of any movable assets into a Hong Kong trust made by settlors during their lifetime. This means that settlors from jurisdictions that prescribe forced heirship rules can now have peace of mind that the trust will benefit their chosen beneficiaries and will disregard any person who would otherwise benefit from their estate under domestic forced heirship rules of their jurisdiction of residence or citizenship. This provision benefits mostly settlers from civil law jurisdictions and asserts that assets in the trust cannot be clawed back by their heirs against their wishes.
  4. Hong Kong’s unique tax regime: Under Hong Kong’s territorial tax system, income derived by the trust from assets outside Hong Kong will not be taxable to the trustee, the trust entity or the beneficiaries. Hong Kong is in this regard not different from other zero tax jurisdictions:
    • Hong Kong’s tax system allows a resident Hong Kong trust which owns assets outside of Hong Kong to remit income and profits from those assets to the trust in Hong Kong without such income being taxable in Hong Kong
    • No withholding tax. Distributions to beneficiaries from a Hong Kong trust out of income earned either in Hong Kong or outside Hong Kong are not taxable in Hong Kong in the hands of the beneficiaries whether the beneficiaries are in Hong Kong or overseas.
    • There is no gift duty in Hong Kong. Gifts of property in Hong Kong or the forgiveness of a debt attract no gift duty.
    • Hong Kong has no capital gains taxes and any goods and services or value added taxes. A Hong Kong trust selling property or other assets at a substantial profit is not subject to tax in Hong Kong.
  5. Single jurisdiction governance and administration: It is a great advantage to have the trust, trustee, banking and investment, legal and accounting services all based in the same jurisdiction and subject to the same law.

Please also refer to our past newsletter issue in which we introduced and summarized the important amendments of the Hong Kong Trust Ordinance.

Zetland is an independent trust and fiduciary service provider with more than 25 years of expertise in Hong Kong and other jurisdictions servicing clients with a global perspective.

For more information, please contact Mr. Francis Chew at or Dominik Stuiber at



3.遺留分(Forced Heirship)からの保護:香港にて設立された信託は海外の遺留分制度から切り離され影響されません。これの意味するところは委託者(や受益者)の居住国に関わらず委託者の意図する受益者へ信託利益の受け渡しがが他の誰に邪魔されることなく可能となります。


  • 香港で設定された信託へ海外から資産を移す場合、及び海外に所有する資産から得た利益を香港の信託へ移す際に税金は発生しません。
  • ゼロ源泉徴収税。受益者の居住国に関わらず、香港で設定された信託利益の受け取りの際にその信託資産の場所が香港及び海外であっても課税されない。
  • 香港では贈与税はありません。
  • 香港ではキャピタルゲインに対する課税がありません。これは信託にも当てはまります。




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