Register of real owners

Register of real owners is an information system administered by the Ministry of justice and maintained by courts, in which real owners of legal entities and trust funds are registered.

A real owner is generally either so called final beneficiary, i.e. natural person who is directly or indirectly entitled for substantial part of trust funds assets, or so called person with final influence, i.e. person who can independently directly or indirectly apply its decisive influence in the trust fund.

A real owner of the trust fund is further always its founder, trustee, person entitled to supervise the trust fund, beneficiaries and persons from the which the beneficiaries may be appointed (i.e. also person who are not beneficiaries, but may be potentially appointed according to the statutes, e.g. children of the founder).

The obligation to file the motion to enter the information into the register lies with the trustee. There is, however, an automatic transmission of data from the trust fund register (information on founder, trustee and beneficiaries) into the register of real owners. In case the trust fund does not have any other beneficiaries, there is no need to file a separate motion.

In case the court finds discrepancy between information entered in the register of real owners and reality, it shall call the trustee to either remove or disprove the discrepancy. In case the trustee does not comply with the call, the court may fine the trustee with an up to 500.000,- CZK fine.

The information on real owners are not publicly accessible. The information may be provided to a person, who proves its legal interest in relation to prevention of legalisation of crime proceeds. The information may further be provided to courts, executors, tax offices, police, etc.

Mandatory registration of trust funds

The government is currently considering (included on the government’s agenda for the meeting on 5 October 2015) a major amendment of the Civil Code, the Act on Public Registers and other laws, which inter alia significantly affect the regulation of trust funds. The amendment will primarily introduce the mandatory registration of trust funds in the Register of Trust Funds and also govern the mandatory data to be included in the register. Continue reading “Mandatory registration of trust funds”

What are the risks of the duties of a trustee?

Being the trustee of a trust fund naturally carries certain responsibilities and risks. You should considered that as a trustee, you will be responsible for what happens to the assets in a trust fund. If you breach the obligation of due care in the management of the fund, do not manage assets properly, or you spend the resources from the fund yourself, you can be sued by the founder or beneficiaries. Continue reading “What are the risks of the duties of a trustee?”

If execution proceedings are initiated against me, can it affect the property in a trust fund?

No, it can’t; property allocated to a trust fund does not belong to you and is part of the trust fund managed by the trustee. This property has no owner, only an administrator; only the beneficiaries have the right to payment from a trust fund. Property in a trust fund is therefore completely untouchable by execution or insolvency, and so the establishment of a trust fund is appropriate to protect against such risks. Continue reading “If execution proceedings are initiated against me, can it affect the property in a trust fund?”

Does the dedication of assets mean a complete loss of control over these assets?

No. Czech legislation includes several instruments which enable supervision of the trustee through so-called supervision of the administration of the trust fund. According to the law, supervision is conducted by the founder of the trust fund, the beneficiaries and any other persons specified in the statute. The law also specifies what happens if there is no beneficiary or a beneficiary has not been designated. In this case, the founder appoints a person with the right to supervise the administration of the trust fund, and if he/she does not do so, then the court.

However, it is appropriate and essential to define the limits of supervision in the statute of the trust fund and specify the rights and obligations of the parties with the right of supervision.

Can I dedicate my company to a trust fund?

Yes, under Czech law, an interest in a company is a property right and therefore a thing, and as such it can be dedicated to a trust fund. Therefore, if you own a company and you want to entrust its care into the hands of an experienced administrator in the future, while you or your children receive benefits therefrom, the best solution is to establish a trust fund.

Testamentary trust fund

A testamentary trust fund can be established with a provision in the event of death (will).

By establishing conditions for payment, the founder can determine the purpose or otherwise control pay out to heirs, even after his/her death and prevent, for example, the misuse of assets.

The founder is thus assured his/her estate will be handled in accordance with his/her will, and can ensure the effective inter-generational transfer of his/her assets through a testamentary fund.