The ATOM Trust App is for investors who want a simple, hassle-free way to set up a trust and to manage their money without the worry of spending hours locked away with lawyers and professional advisers.
The app takes smartphone and tablet users through the set-up process step-by-step. On approval, they are given an access code that unlocks a 24/7 dashboard for managing their wealth from wherever they are in the world.
The ATOM Trust offers many personal and tax advantages coupled with flexible investment opportunities. The entire package is tailored to meet client needs while safeguarding wealth for them and their beneficiaries.
Who is ATOM?
ATOM is a professional and specialist trust and corporate services provider based on the Mediterranean island of Malta.
ATOM Trustees is fully licensed by the Maltese Financial Services Authority (MFSA) as a trustee, fiduciary and private foundation administrator.
In broader terms, that involves having a legal duty to act in the best interest of clients, including looking after their money and other assets.
What is an international trust?
An international trust is a way of managing money, investments and other assets in a country that offers a more favourable tax and financial regime than the place where the owner of the assets held in the trust lives.
For a trust to work, the owner of the assets (the settlor) agrees to pass legal their ownership to a trustee to hold on their behalf.
Underlying the trust is a set of instructions from the settlor (the trust deed) that tells the trustee how to manage, invest and distribute assets.
A letter of wishes gives extra guidance to the trustees about who receives payments from the trust.
Trusts are centuries old legal arrangements specific to countries with a common law legal system, such as the United Kingdom and many former UK territories that are now independent.
Malta, where ATOM is based, in one such country.
Why does someone need an international trust?
Trusts are a common way to deal with the management of assets, ranging from business partnerships to pensions.
Many families set up trusts to help with succession and estate planning.
International trusts are particularly helpful if special circumstances apply, like:
A trust ensures wealth flows to the people someone wants to benefit from their money rather than ex-spouses or partners
Civil law countries often operate forced heirship that give specific rights to family to inherit that may differ from someone’s wishes of how to distribute their estate that an international trust overcomes
Passing on wealth quicker
An international trust avoids probate and similar legal obstructions for beneficiaries accessing an estate
Protecting personal wealth
Holding assets in a trust sets them outside of someone’s personal net worth if they are being pursued by creditors, for instance if a business fails
The trustees have a duty of care to act confidentially
An international trust can live in a separate place from the settlor where tax on income or gains is due at a lower rate
Malta has a vibrant and well regulated legal and financial services sector that is recognised internationally for innovation.
The MFSA keeps a tight rein on how providers operate by offering strict consumer protection, financial integrity and stability.
Malta is also a European Union state that is accountable to the laws and institutions of the bloc.
Other benefits include low set-up and legal costs compared to other jurisdictions.
How does an ATOM international trust work?
The ATOM International Trust is tailored to each client, but most have broadly similar terms and conditions.
Discretionary trusts are popular with many clients.
The trusts managed through a smartphone or tablet through an app designed to offer a disciplined approach to regular or lump sum investing while observing trust rules.
The trust provides access to a range of well-known funds tailored to an investor’s appetite for risk.
The app gives 24/7 access to the trust and investments from wherever the settlor is in the world, providing they have a broadband or smartphone connection.
ATOM private clients include entrepreneurs looking to safeguard their wealth to families who have earned their fortunes over several generations.
What is a discretionary trust?
Discretionary trusts let trustees make decisions about how to use the money and assets they hold.
The trustees must follow the instructions in the trust deed when making payments.
Discretionary trusts can sometimes set aside assets for a child who may need more financial help than other beneficiaries or beneficiaries considered incapable of handling money.
The beneficiaries can include the settlor, although this can affect tax.
The ATOM Trust and tax
When the trust is settled – or paid out – a taxable transfer takes place, which is calculated as the market value less purchase costs
Importantly, an international trust in Malta means any income or gain generated by the trust is not subject to tax in Malta if the income or gain is generated off the island and if the beneficiaries are resident in another country.
Also, no tax is paid if:
- The settlor is the only beneficiary of the trust
- The beneficiaries are close relatives of the settlor or approved philanthropic institutions
- The trust holds the assets for specific commercial dealings
- The assets are exempt from tax
If tax is paid in Malta, the payments from the trust are distributed as dividends attracting a tax rate of 35%.
Benefits of a Trust
Main reasons for setting up a Malta trust revolve around domestic and taxation issues:
- Domestic issues include the avoidance of delays and expenses relating to probate planning in order to pass assets to your beneficiaries and The assets are protected from third party claims, including creditors, bankruptcy and divorce claims
- Advantageous tax treatment Under the Maltese tax framework, trusts are considered as being transparent for tax purposes This means that income or gain which is generated by the trust is not subject to tax in Malta if this income or gain is generated outside of Malta and if the beneficiaries are not resident in Malta.
- Certainty and security of Malta’s trust law. The trust assets will be managed in a highly regulated environment which means that both the client and his/her beneficiaries can have peace of mind that their assets are secure and well protected.
- Flexibility that the trust brings with it.
- The ATOM trust deed has been drafted to allow for this flexibility Discretionary trust
Setting up an international trust with the ATOM trust app
The smartphone app is a step-by-step guide to setting up and managing the ATOM Trust App available to download for free for Android and iOS gadgets.
This is where the app asks for personal details and information about financial plans and objectives. The personal data is needed by ATOM trustees to carry out checks under money-laundering and know-your-client rules
A calculator in the app returns personal illustrations based on lump sum and/or regular contributions so investments are tailored to goals and affordability
Building a portfolio
The app offers three degrees of risk and return – passive, active and alternative – that form the basis of choosing funds for an investment portfolio
Letter of wishes
This is where the settlor gives the trustees a list of beneficiaries and lays out any conditions for them receiving payments from the trust. This list remains editable at any time without cost.
Beneficiaries should be named, but unborn children can be included on the list.
Letter contents can remain confidential. The wishes are not legally binding on the trustees but offer general guidance they should follow.
This letter is not the trust deed, which is a separate instruction, but the two run alongside each other to aid the trustees.
Putting a signature to the application takes place online. ATOM sends a confirmation code to the smartphone to verify any instructions.
On approval, any lump sum investments are transferred to the trust by bank transfer
Managing a trust with the ATOM app
The ATOM Trust app is a convenient and easy to use dashboard for managing the international trust.
Typically, an ATOM International Trust lasts for 125 years unless terminated or revoked by the settlor before the term has expired.
- The trust offers a wide range of flexible investments that can be denominated in British pounds, US dollars, euros or Swiss francs
- Regular savings can be increased or decreased
- Contributions can be paid monthly, quarterly or yearly
Private client services
- These include helping buy, manage and sell real estate, financial services, and assistance with citizenship applications and visas
- Malta has a thriving aviation sector and ATOM can offer professional advice about buying and registering aircraft on the island.
- Non-Maltese citizens can set up a local company to register a private or commercial yacht. ATOM services include advising on the purchase and sale of yachts, financing the purchase, finding a crew and other maritime matters.
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The ATOM Trust App is second to non in making a complicated legal and financial package like an international trust simple. Innovative technology and the lure of 24/7 access to assets and investments will encourage many fans of fintech to consider the benefits of an international trust for them and their families that would have previously passed them by due to worries about cost and finding a trustworthy provider.