Foundations are structures to which legal ownership of property or assets (money, shares, gifts, or land) is transferred. They are hybrid in essence, containing the principal features of a corporation (legal attributes) and the trust (created for a purpose or benefit). As such, foundations are especially useful for asset management and tax planning, but can also be utilized to accomplish a wide range of goals that offer certain advantages over trusts and other international financial tools.
Foundations are unique and independent legal entities that are widely-recognized in civil law jurisdictions and a growing number of common law jurisdictions as well. Foundations can be established for any purposes—charitable or otherwise–which are capable of fulfillment, and are not unlawful, immoral, or contrary to public policy.