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Will there be any point in offshore foundations after 2017?


The automatic exchange of information regulations also apply to private foundations for the protection of assets. Although such foundations do not have owners, the details of the beneficiaries are set down in the foundation deeds. When opening bank accounts, the banks either request these documents, or record the personal details of the beneficiaries on a separate declaration. In this way, the banks are obliged to report on foundations as if they were normal companies.

The automatic exchange of information regulations do not modify or override the other characteristics or functions of the foundation. So the private foundation will remain in the future an excellent vehicle for the protection of assets.

Most people tend to think of asset protection as a defence against some state organisation or public authority. This, however, is not strictly so. The greatest threats to assets always come from the private sphere. A claim for damages as a result of a road accident, for example, or a drawn out divorce case with a spouse continually making claims on the assets can cause a far greater headache than most people would think.

In most cases it is people from the asset holder’s immediate environment, such as family members, friends, girlfriends, acquaintances and business partners, who are best able to enforce their financial demands, as they are the ones who can “see the other player’s hand”. A well planned and executed foundation will still be able to provide suitable protection against such claims in the future, too.