Setting up a trust in Malaysia can be an effective way to manage and protect your assets, ensure they are distributed according to your wishes, and provide for your loved ones. This beginner’s guide outlines the steps involved in establishing a trust in Malaysia.

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  1. Understand the Basics of a Trust

A trust is a legal arrangement where a person (the settlor) transfers assets to a trustee, who manages them for the beneficiaries. Trusts can be used for various purposes, including estate planning, asset protection, and charitable giving.

  1. Identify the Purpose of the Trust

Before setting up a trust, determine its purpose. Common objectives include:

  •   Ensuring the financial security of family members.
  •   Protecting assets from creditors.
  •   Managing property for minor children.
  •   Supporting charitable causes.
  1. Choose the Type of Trust

In Malaysia, you can establish different types of trusts, including:

  • Private Trusts: For specific individuals or families.
  • Charitable Trusts: To support public good causes.
  • Purpose Trusts: For specific purposes, such as educational or religious aims.
  1. Select the Trustee(s)

Choose one or more trustees who will manage the trust’s assets. Trustees can be individuals or corporate entities, and they must act in the best interests of the beneficiaries. It’s crucial to select trustworthy and competent individuals or institutions.

  1. Draft the Trust Deed

The trust deed is the legal document that outlines the terms of the trust. It should include:

  • The names of the settlor, trustee(s), and beneficiaries.
  • The purpose of the trust.
  • The assets to be included.
  • Instructions for managing and distributing the assets.
  • Conditions under which the trust may be modified or dissolved. Consult with a legal professional to ensure the trust deed is comprehensive and legally sound.
  1. Fund the Trust

Place the selected assets in the trust. These assets include cash, real estate, investments, and other valuable property. Ensure that the transfer is done legally and that the ownership of the assets is properly documented.

  1. Register the Trust (if required)

While not all trusts need to be registered, certain types, such as charitable trusts, may require registration with the relevant authorities in Malaysia. Check the legal requirements to ensure compliance.

  1. Manage the Trust

Once established, the trustee(s) will manage the trust according to the terms set out in the trust deed. This includes investing the assets prudently, distributing income or assets to beneficiaries, and keeping accurate records.

  1. Review and Update the Trust

Regularly review the trust to ensure it continues to meet your objectives and complies with current laws. Update the trust deed if there are significant changes in your circumstances or intentions.

  1. Seek Professional Advice

Setting up and managing a trust can be complex. It’s advisable to seek advice from legal, financial, and tax professionals to ensure the trust is structured correctly and operates effectively.


Establishing a trust in Malaysia involves careful planning and adherence to legal requirements. By understanding the basics, choosing the right type of trust, and following the necessary steps, you can create a trust that effectively protects your assets and fulfils your estate planning goals. Professional advice is essential to navigate the complexities and ensure the trust serves its intended purpose.

As a reliable and respectable law firm in Malaysia, we have the knowledge and experience necessary to advise you in setting up a trust to satisfy your unique requirements. You can get in touch with Sim & Rahman for more information or more help.





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