Print this Page

revocable trusts

And he [Jesus] said to them [the civic religious leaders who had come to Galilee from Jerusalem], "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, 'This people honours me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'" Mark 7: 6,7

Read the above words of Jesus Christ (AD 0 - 33) again. Tough words to upright people.
So tough that they needed to be backed up immediately with a clear example of their hypocrisy - they could see problems in others but nothing in themselves. And the example Jesus chose was the revocable trust - a very common "vehicle" in Jersey's finance industry.
First Jersey's revocable trust. Then Jesus' example of AD 33 extreme hypocrisy - the Corban trust. 
A very simple example of a Jersey trust arises when a wealthy individual transfers ownership of some of his assets to a Jersey trust company. Yes, he actually parts with ownership of the assets - the trust company becomes the owner. The trust company must, however, abide by the terms of a trust document that will have been closely examined and agreed. For instance, the trust document might state that the assets that the company now owns must be kept for the grandchildren of the wealthy individual. Put very simply again, the real benefit might be that income on the trust assets will no longer belong to the wealthy individual and no longer be taxed.
That's a Jersey trust. But a Jersey revocable trust has an additional feature. The wealthy person, having transferred ownership of his assets to the trust company is allowed by the trust document to revoke the trust - whereupon the trust company will be required, for example, to return the assets (with all the accrued income) to the wealthy person as though nothing had happened. 
Second, the Corban trust of AD 33. The Jerusalem civic religious leaders who went to see, to examine, Jesus in Galilee were deeply committed to all of the 10 Commandments of Almighty God. Jesus picked out one, “You shall honour your father and mother”. Then he reminded them of the arrangements that they make with wealthy city dwellers under which they (the wealthy) are able to declare a trust over their assets - a Corban trust. Under this trust, those assets then belonged to God; the civic religious leaders carried out the terms of these trusts because they agreed that if a wealthy man's assets were placed like that in a Corban trust the man could not (yes, could not - was not legally or morally permitted to) support his father and mother in old age.
And, you have probably guessed it, the Corban trust was, of course, revocable. As soon as Mum and Dad were dead the wealthy man, with the agreement of the civic religious leaders, revoked the trust and could again do what he liked with his assets.

Jesus closed this fraught conversation with the civic leaders by adding, "and many such things you do." Many.

One day in Jerusalem Jesus gave sight to a man who had been born blind. Some of those same civic leaders were deeply troubled about this and made every possible attempt to disprove it - without success. 
But one or two of the leaders, being very near to Jesus asked him, "Are we also blind?" 
Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, 'We see', your guilt remains.

Even when we use that wonderful gift of being able to examine ourselves from above ourselves, it's still our own eyes that we are using when we say, 'I see what I am like.'

‘He has the right to criticise who has the heart to help.' (Abraham Lincoln, 16th U. S. President, 1809-1865)
‘It is a vital moment of truth when a man discovers that what he condemns most vehemently in others is that to which he is himself prone.' (Anon.)
Richard Syvret

Email this newsletter to a friend
*All mandatory fields must be filled in

Friend`s name
Friend`s email address *
Your name
Your email address *

Send comment
*All mandatory fields must be filled in

Your name *
Your email address *
Your comment *