Foundations

Harbour Trustees Limited provide the Guernsey Foundation as a service to clients of all nationalities. The new Foundations law was agreed by the States of Guernsey in 2012 and subsequently approved by the UK Privy Council to become effective in January 2013.

We see Guernsey Foundations as an alternative to traditional trust and company structures in family wealth planning and corporate tax planning.

Essentially a foundation has its own separate legal personality and has a more corporate type structure than a trust does. A foundation’s council exercises its powers in the best interests of the foundation in a similar way to a board of company directors, but the council has no shareholders or equivalent body to whom it answers. Unlike a trustee the council is not directly responsible to the beneficiaries although the council has a duty to the Foundation itself. A founder of a Foundation can have prescribed powers reserved for them, and these can include powers to amend the constitution or terminate the foundation.

Harbour Trustees Limited can therefore provide for the establishment of Guernsey Foundations and act as the sole councillor. It will also be possible for foreign law foundations to migrate to Guernsey with the appointment of Harbour Trustees Limited as sole councillor.

We expect to see an increasing use of Foundations by advisors for their clients who are less familiar with the concept of a discretionary trust.

We always welcome the opportunity to discuss with potential clients and their advisors how we can assist, please just contact us to do so.