The setting up of trusts in Malta is regulated by the Trusts and Trustees Act (Chapter 331 of the Laws of Malta). The Trusts and Trustees Act provides for the creation of trusts and the authorisation and supervision of trustees by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA). It also incorporates within its provisions the Hague Convention on the Law Applicable to Trusts and on their Recognition, which Malta has ratified.

A trust under Maltese law is essentially a legal agreement between two parties: the settlor and the trustee. The settlor places assets such as securities, bank accounts etc. under the control of the trustee for the benefit of a beneficiary or a number of beneficiaries or for a particular purpose. A trust may be created unilaterally or bilaterally, by oral declaration (save for a unit trust) or in writing.

Maltese law recognises all the main types of trusts generally found in traditional common law jurisdictions, including discretionary trusts, fixed interest trusts, charitable trusts, accumulation and maintenance trusts, spendthrift/protective trusts and unit trusts.