Best Lawyers for Trusts and Estates in N. Novgorod, Russia

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Andrey A. Goltsblat was awarded  "Lawyer of the Year" in

Andrey A. Goltsblat

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP
  • Location:
    Moscow, Russia
  • Practice Areas:
    Corporate Law Trusts and Estates Real Estate Law Mergers and Acquisitions Law

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Practice Area Definition

Trusts and Estates Definition

A trust is a legally binding arrangement that contemplates the transfer of someone’s property (grantor) to a third person (trustee) for holding a title and managing the property in the interests of beneficiaries according to a specific set of instructions. Unless trust documentation provides otherwise, a trustee is responsible for the oversight and administration of the trust’s assets and is liable before the grantor and/or beneficiaries for the improper performance of fiduciary duties.  Trust structures originate from the common law countries and have been historically used to ensure privacy in holding certain assets, for the estate tax planning, wealth preservation, property protection, or succession schemes.

Russian law does not have a concept of trust and Russia is not a party to the Convention on the Law Applicable to Trusts and on their Recognition of 1 July 1985. Instead, Russian regulation proposes as an alternative a so-called “fiduciary management” institution, which allows a trustee to manage the owner’s property on a temporary basis without the title transfer, while in the common law concept the trust settlor generally transfers legal ownership of assets to a trustee.  

Russian fiduciary management is less appealing than a common law trust, mainly due to its inability to ensure privacy of the beneficial ownership. However, it still provides certain opportunities for the grantor, particularly, in relation to the securities and financial instruments management. For instance, even although the title over the owner’s assets remains with the grantor, such property will be exempted from enforcement of the grantor’s creditors as long as he is not subjected to a bankruptcy proceeding.  

Recently, Russian tax law was amended with the new rules requiring from Russian grantors and beneficiaries of trusts to disclose their beneficial interest to the Russian tax authorities and to ensure regular reporting and payment of taxes on the profit gained from the management of the trust’s property. Such amendments substantially limit the attractiveness of classical trust structures and invite current and future grantors to re-consider their strategy for the management and holding of trust’s assets.  

Lawyers dealing with trusts and estate practice areas can assist the client with the selection of the most suitable model for the transfer and management of the assets and property with the view of their adequate protection and tax-efficient holding. Depending on the customer’s expectations, a legal professional will help to define whether the planned scheme shall be implemented within one or several jurisdictions, elaborate an estate planning strategy and ensure the implementation of the most optimal structure agreed with the client.  In the case when the trust project is to be performed outside Russia, expertise of Russian lawyers will be still much desirable in order to evaluate the compliance of the proposed structure with Russian laws and regulations and to adjust it accordingly.

A trust is a legally binding arrangement that contemplates the transfer of someone’s property (grantor) to a third person (trustee) for holding a title and managing the property in the interests of beneficiaries according to a specific set of instructions. Unless trust documentation provides otherwise, a trustee is responsible for the oversight and administration of the trust’s assets and is liable before the grantor and/or beneficiaries for the improper performance of fiduciary duties.  Trust structures originate from the common law countries and have been historically used to ensure privacy in holding certain assets, for the estate tax planning, wealth preservation, property protection, or succession schemes.

Russian law does not have a concept of trust and Russia is not a party to the Convention on the Law Applicable to Trusts and on their Recognition of 1 July 1985. Instead, Russian regulation proposes as an alternative a so-called “fiduciary management” institution, which allows a trustee to manage the owner’s property on a temporary basis without the title transfer, while in the common law concept the trust settlor generally transfers legal ownership of assets to a trustee.  

Russian fiduciary management is less appealing than a common law trust, mainly due to its inability to ensure privacy of the beneficial ownership. However, it still provides certain opportunities for the grantor, particularly, in relation to the securities and financial instruments management. For instance, even although the title over the owner’s assets remains with the grantor, such property will be exempted from enforcement of the grantor’s creditors as long as he is not subjected to a bankruptcy proceeding.  

Recently, Russian tax law was amended with the new rules requiring from Russian grantors and beneficiaries of trusts to disclose their beneficial interest to the Russian tax authorities and to ensure regular reporting and payment of taxes on the profit gained from the management of the trust’s property. Such amendments substantially limit the attractiveness of classical trust structures and invite current and future grantors to re-consider their strategy for the management and holding of trust’s assets.  

Lawyers dealing with trusts and estate practice areas can assist the client with the selection of the most suitable model for the transfer and management of the assets and property with the view of their adequate protection and tax-efficient holding. Depending on the customer’s expectations, a legal professional will help to define whether the planned scheme shall be implemented within one or several jurisdictions, elaborate an estate planning strategy and ensure the implementation of the most optimal structure agreed with the client.  In the case when the trust project is to be performed outside Russia, expertise of Russian lawyers will be still much desirable in order to evaluate the compliance of the proposed structure with Russian laws and regulations and to adjust it accordingly.