• Jean Franco Fernández Clark

Cook Islands Best Asset Protection Trust

Updated: Feb 6, 2020



The Cook Islands is considered the best asset protection jurisdiction, primarily, because of the difficulties and barriers for creditors to enforce foreign judgements.


Section 13D of the INTERNATIONAL TRUSTS ACT 1984 states:


13D. Foreign judgements not enforceable - Notwithstanding the provisions of any treaty or statute, or any rule of law, or equity, to the contrary, no proceedings for or in relation to the enforcement or recognition of a judgement obtained in a jurisdiction other than the Cook Islands against any interested party shall be in any way entertained, recognised or enforced by any Court in the Cook Islands to the extent that the judgement:

(a) is based upon the application of any law inconsistent with the provisions of this Act or of the Trustee Companies Act 1981-2; or

(b) relates to a matter or particular aspect that is governed by the law of the Cook Islands.


General Features


· The Settlor may retain the Powers to amend or revoke the trust, to dispose the trust assets, remove or appoint the Trustee and the Protector, and to direct the Trustee or Protector.

· Taxation. A Cook Island Trust, the Settler and the Beneficiary(ies) are not subject to any kind of taxation in the Cook Island.

· Secrecy. A Cook Island trust is registered by proving the Registrar with the names of the trust and the Trustee and the date the trust was established. There is no need or requirement to file the trust instrument or the names of the Settlor or Beneficiaries.

· Ease to transfer or re-domiciliate any trust or company incorporated therein.

· Licensed trustee is required.


Wealth protection structure


In general, a Cook Islands Trust would own one or several companies (LLCs, Corporations, etc.) to hold assets, and the Settlor, or whoever the Settlor wishes, may be appointed as the manager of said companies and would have a General Power of Administration, providing the Settlor full control and administration over the Trust Assets.


Cook Islands LLC


· At least one member required who can be a foreign person or foreign entity. Member profits from limit liability.

· No resident director required

· Re-domiciliation is possible if the country where the re-domiciliation is aimed permits it.

· Registered Agent (Licensed Trustee) is required.


Bank Account.


It is possible and easy to open a personal (for non-residents), or business (for your local or foreign LLC, Corporation, Foundation, or Trust) bank account in the Cook Islands without.


It is also possible to hold foreign bank accounts for a Cook Islands Trust or LLC, including Swiss Bank Accounts.


About the author: Jean Franco Fernández Clark. Corporate and International Tax Lawyer from Nicaragua, Central America. Speaks English, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian. 学习普通话

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