A Jersey foundation is designed to blend the highly attractive features of both Jersey corporations and Jersey trusts. It provides Jersey with an alternative financial planning vehicle to companies and trusts for wealth management and charitable purposes.

The Jersey foundation is an entirely new type of Jersey legal entity and is not an exact equivalent or copy of any foundation established in any other jurisdiction, as it has been modelled on the best features present in the laws of other jurisdictions, while also including unique Jersey features. Jersey foundations allow the founder the maximum possible freedom of choice whilst at the same time ensuring that the structure is not susceptible to abuse for money laundering or terrorist financing purposes.

The nature of a foundation is that it has separate legal personality, it is able to contract with third parties, sue and be sued in its own name and holds its own assets. It does not, however, have shareholders; the assets are held for the benefit of beneficiaries or for a specified purpose.

Use of Foundations

Common reasons for the establishment of a foundation could include:

  • Carrying out charitable or philanthropic purposes;
  • Retaining and preserving specific assets, including the holding of wasting assets;
  • Holding assets for estate planning purposes; and
  • To hold assets off balance sheet in connection with the securitisation of mortgages etc.

Foundations provide Jersey with an alternative financial planning vehicle to companies and trusts for wealth management and charitable giving. Many civil law jurisdictions do not recognise the concept of a trust, but are happy with the foundation. Jersey foundations may be used by those who require transparency, wish to control assets (rather than transferring the assets outright to the trustee of a trust), or who prefer a structure with which they are familiar. The flexibility available and the mixture of company and trust aspects will for many avoid the problems of understanding trusts and indeed, in some instances, may avoid the need to have both a company and a trust, thus producing simplicity and cost savings.

Volaw has the necessary expertise to provide all the components to enable the smooth administration of foundations. Our computer systems are able to produce and maintain all the required statutory records, we are also able to provide a licensed entity to register a foundation and can carry on the business of a Council Member (a role similar to that of a company Director). Through our close working relationship with Voisin, Volaw can assist in the preparation of the foundation’s Charter and Regulations (a foundation’s constitutional documents).

For more information and advice on incorporating or migrating a foundation please contact Simon Perchard, Mark Healey or Richard Fagan.