Namibian Trusts

We regularly assist clients in the establishment of Namibian Trusts.

Namibian Trust Law is unique in a number of aspects. Namibian Trust Law is a mixture of English Trust Law and Roman Dutch Law.  The basis for Namibian Trust Law is found in the Roman Dutch Law principle of stipulatio alteri.

Namibian Trust Law is regulated by the Trust Moneys Protection Act 34 of 1934.  The  Trust Moneys Protection Act has appointed the Master of the High Court as the regulatory authority over trustees and trust moneys. The Financial Intelligence Act of 2012 has further placed certain duties and responsibilities on trustees of a Namibian Trust.

A Namibian Trust is established through a donor donating a assets (normally a nominal amount of money, but is may be another asset) to the trustees of the trust to administer the assets to the benefit of the beneficiaries in terms of the objective set out by the donor in the trust deed  The nature and structure of a trust that is to be established will be determined by the objective of the donor and the eventual beneficiary.  

Namibian Trusts are normally used for the following purposes:

1.    As a tool for estate planning;
2.    As a vehicle to conduct business operations;
3.    In order to separate certain specific assets from the remainder of the persons estate/portfolio;
4.    In order to protect assets from creditors;
5.    In order to protect assets from a spouse in a matrimonial matter; and
6.    In order to manage assets on behalf of a person who is unable or incapable of managing the assets himself.
In terms of the principles of Roman Dutch Law, Namibian Trusts do not have separate legal personality [the trustees act in their official capacity], the assets held in a trust are however separate from the assets held in the estates of the founder, trustee or beneficiary. Namibian Trusts are further unique in that they are deemed to be natural persons for purposes of Namibian Tax Law. The Namibian Receiver of Revenue assesses trusts as natural persons and accordingly trusts in Namibia pay income tax on as marginal sliding scale as if it was a natural person.  This rate (depending on the income of the trust) is normally lower than that of a incorporated Namibian Entity (i.e. a Company or a Close Corporation).   

The marginal tax rate holds a number of advantages for trusts that earn a limited income. 

Namibian Trust further allows an investor who does not necessarily intend to repatriate funds to avoid Namibian Withholding Taxes.  You are invited to contact us to discuss proposed structures in this regard.

A Namibian Trust further provides an excellent vehicle for estate planning. The assets that are held in a Namibian Trust do not form part of the estate of the trustee, the founder or the beneficiary of the trust. Accordingly the assets are not included in the persons estate at the time of death or insolvency.

Should you be interested in registering a Namibian Trust, kindly complete contact us per e-mail or complete the following electronic form: INFORMATION REQUIRE FOR A NEW NAMIBIAN TRUST

The Namibian Financial Intelligence Center has recently published a directive regarding the disclosure of information by trusts.  A copy of the directive can be downloaded from the following link: TRUST DISCLOSURE DIRECTIVE