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Foundations aren’t what you think: the little-known Bahamas private wealth structure explained

4 August 2020

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When you hear the word “foundation” your immediate correlation is probably “charity.” But in the Bahamas, the definition has evolved from the classical philanthropic sense and foundations have become a formidable instrument to assist with private wealth planning.

The Bahamas Foundations Act, 2004 (later amended in 2007) relating to the appointment of a foundation agent, foundation council and the rights of a beneficiary, is a relatively little-known private wealth vehicle. Over the years, we have seen that certain instruments originating from common law jurisdictions may not be recognized in civil law jurisdictions, but foundations are a dependable option due to their non-recognition, meaning they’re not subject to forced heirship statutes applied by civil law countries.

Foundations are often referred to as a “hybrid,” a term used because this instrument has attributes of a trust as well as a company.

Here are the similarities of a foundation to a trust:

And here are the similarities of a foundation to a company:

Coupled with the Bahamas’ stable regulatory framework, foundations are an untapped and practical private wealth option. Get in touch with an expert below to learn more.