For almost 100 years, Principality of Liechtenstein is using such type of legal entity as a family foundation (Familienstiftung).
The Liechtenstein family foundation (Familienstiftung) is a legal entity generally created on discretionary principles, having NFE status (non-financial entity).
The main goals of establishing Liechtenstein family foundations are:
- Consolidation and protection of family assets. Asset protection is to be ensured by a special legal structure of such foundation: its founder must not be the direct nor indirect legal owner of the foundation’s assets. Thus, it is impossible to seize the assets of the foundation under commitments of the founder of the foundation or those of its family members. Also, the assets of such foundations are not subject to confiscation and other types of seizure based on court decisions.
- Hereditary issues. Far and wide, inheritance of assets must be executed exactly in accordance with the will and detailed orders of the founder of the foundation, which may be impossible with the usual procedure for entering into inheritance. This is achieved by the family foundation owning the assets on behalf of the founder of the foundation, and after its death, the family foundation shall own such assets on behalf of the heirs’, under the conditions determined by the founder of the foundation. This mechanism allows to completely avoid litigations on inheritance shares and the rights of heirs after the death of the founder of the foundation.
- Exclusion of the founder of the foundation / its family members from the automatic exchange of tax information (regarding the data on the assets of the family foundation).
A family foundation, in its essence, is a trust fund, but being a full-fledged legal entity gives it an obvious advantage (namely, its legal status) over a trust, which is a contractual formation:
- the family foundation is not a CFC entity (controlled foreign company);
- the founder of the family foundation is not an economic beneficiary (beneficial owner, beneficiary, controller) of all assets directly or indirectly owned by the family foundation;
- in the event of any conflicts or disagreements with the Board of Directors, the founder of the family foundation may change the Board of Directors of the foundation, while re-registration of all assets is not required, as is the case when changing a trustee in a regular trust.
Jost&Partners swiss law firm provides services for the establishment of Liechtenstein family foundations, as well as their further support. Our specialists will develop all the necessary founding documents and testamentary arrangements, fully meeting all your needs, taking into account the peculiarities of your assets, business, as well as the personal and business qualities of your family members.