Trust Proliferation: A View from the Field

31(3) Trust Law International 152-182 (2017)

34 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2017 Last revised: 27 Dec 2017

See all articles by Adam S. Hofri-Winogradow

Adam S. Hofri-Winogradow

Faculty of Law, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Date Written: November 17, 2017


This Article reports the results of a broad empirical inquiry into modern trust practice, including a survey of 409 trust service providers in 82 jurisdictions - the largest, most diverse respondent group ever obtained in survey research targeting trust service providers - and interviews with 28 additional providers in five jurisdictions: the UK, US, Italy, Switzerland and Israel. I found that offshore legal systems are chosen to govern trusts based, first, on their usefulness for tax minimization, and second, on their incorporation of advanced trust features, many of which block creditor access to the trust assets. Forum choice clauses are also sometimes used to avoid norms applicable to trust users, such as tax demands and creditors' rights. Trust instrument clauses curtailing beneficiaries' rights to information appear in about a quarter of donative trusts.

Keywords: Trusts, Tax Avoidance, Asset Protection, Offshore, Onshore

JEL Classification: D02, D41, D62, D63, D85, E02, E21, E22, E51, E61, E62, F02, F21, F22, F33, F42, F65, H26, H30, H31

Suggested Citation

Hofri-Winogradow, Adam S., Trust Proliferation: A View from the Field (November 17, 2017). 31(3) Trust Law International 152-182 (2017). Available at SSRN:

Adam S. Hofri-Winogradow (Contact Author)

Faculty of Law, Hebrew University of Jerusalem ( email )

Mt. Scopus Campus
Jerusalem, 9190501
523592980 (Phone)
523592980 (Fax)


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