Trust law: definition, subjects, and how to establish a trust

Trust law defines a trust as a juridical instrument by which one person (settlor) transfers the legal title of assets, after the death or with an inter vivos deed, to another person (trustee), in the interest of a beneficiary or for a specific purpose.

Italian law recognizes three types of trust:

  1. Trust established abroad: this type of trust can be established with a testament (will) or with an inter vivos deed by foreign citizens.
  2. Trust established in Italy regarding foreign assets: this type of trust is established by Italian citizens with assets in a foreign country.
  3. Trust established by foreign citizens regarding assets in Italy.

Trust law: categories of trust

According to trust law, a trust can be:

  • Autodestinato (self-destined): when the settlor and the beneficiary are the same person. The trust is therefore established for one’s own benefit.
  • Autodichiarato (self-declared): when the settlor and trustee are the same person.

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