The Court for Trusts and Fiduciary Relations

The Court for Trusts and Fiduciary Relations of the Republic of San Marino is a unique institution in the world and is competent for all cases and disputes concerning legal relationships deriving from entrustment  or confidence such as trust, fiduciary agreement and similar institutes, regulated by whatsoever legal system. (art. 1 of Constitutional Law no. 1 of 26 January 2012).

JUDGES - The Court is composed of internationally renowned jurists in the field of trusts. This guarantees a highly qualified judgment and support. The prestige of the Court is also recognized outside the borders of the Republic.
The fact that judges come from different countries allows the Court to deal with proceedings not only in Italian but also in any other language known to its members, including English, Spanish, German and French.
The case law of the Court has repeatedly been the focus of the international press and conferences held in various European countries.

PECULIAR ASPECTS - In addition to the prestige of the judges, great points of strength are also the low costs and the speed with which judgments are pronounced before the Court, an aspect recently appreciated by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. From the time of filing the writ of summons or the application for interim measures, it takes between four and six months for the final measure to be published. Furthermore, before lodging any formal document, the person concerned may obtain from the Court's secretariat an estimate of the costs resulting from the lodging of the appeal.

LEGISLATION - The institution of trust is governed by Law No. 42 of 1 March 2010. Recently the institution has been subject to some changes (Law August 5, 2019 n. 123).
There is also a constant commitment to updating the legislation, as demonstrated by the recent establishment of the "Commission for the modification of the legislation on trusts" (Congress of State decision no. 3 of 5 June 2019), on the study of international best practices, in order to make the San Marino trust increasingly responsive to the needs of users and the evolution of the institution at the international level.

FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES - The set of fundamental principles of Law 42 of 1 March 2010 differentiates San Marino trust from both the English and international models.
Among the principles of greatest interest worth mentioning are the principle of destination and the principle providing that the trust fund is separate from the personal assets of the trustee and those relating to other persons or other trusts.
As for the first principle, San Marino law recognizes the primacy of the settlor’s will. Indeed, the latter is free to determine the rules of operation of the trust and the destination of the assets, subject to compliance with the few mandatory law provisions that cannot be derogated from.
As for the second principle, the trustee is not liable for the obligations undertaken in relation to his professional activity with its own assets, but only with the assets of the trust fund.

The Republic of San Marino has also chosen to introduce a special tax regime for trusts governed by San Marino law and administered by at least one trustee authorized to exercise the activity in the Republic of San Marino (Law no. 38 of 17 March 2005).

PROFESSIONAL TRUSTEE - The professional trustee is subject to specific regulations. In this regard, worth noting is the attention paid by the law to the continuous professional updating of those exercising the office of professional trustee, following the authorization received from the Central Bank of the Republic of San Marino. These must, on pain of loss of authorization, attend at least one annual two-day refresher course.


Worth noting is also the relationship that the San Marino trustee can have with the Court for Trusts and Fiduciary Relations. The trustee, in fact, pursuant to art. 53 of Law no. 42/2010, may apply to the judge:
a) to be authorized to carry out some useful action which is not included among his powers,
b) for confirmation of an act already carried out, or to request the judge to introduce changes to the trust instrument which have become necessary or desirable,
c) when he is uncertain as to whether to carry out an act within his powers .
A relationship of collaboration is therefore established between the Court and the trustee, which is useful for the best possible management of the trust also on account of the authority and prestige internationally recognized to the Judges of the Court of San Marino.

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The following collated law text (pdf file) is for purely consultative use.
San Marino Economic Development Agency - Chamber of Commerce assumes no responsibility for errors or inaccuracies.
The official texts of the laws and decrees of San Marino can be found on the website