An introduction to fiduciary holding structures
Fiduciary holding structures such as trusts and foundations can be useful to achieve a wealthy family’s succession planning, asset protection, and tax efficiency objectives, whilst bringing a sense of order to the family’s wealth. This article explores these objectives and how such structures can help achieve them.

What you need to know

  • Wealthy families generally have a few choices as to how they can hold their wealth. Oftentimes, they can hold it personally and devolve wealth on death, opt for a holding company held personally, or through a holding structure, such as a trust or foundation.
  • Fiduciary holding structures such as trusts and foundations can be useful to achieve a wealthy family’s succession planning, asset protection, and tax efficiency objectives, whilst bringing a sense of order to the family’s wealth.
Operations Published on Simple August 12, 2022

Wealthy families are often confronted with choices as to how they can hold their wealth. Broadly, the choices are holding these personally and devolving wealth on death, in a holding company held personally, or through a holding structure, such as a trust or foundation. Why do families choose trusts and foundations to structure their affairs and what advantages and disadvantages do they have to offer? This depends to a significant degree on the family itself, and specifically, where they are located, what assets they own, tax treatment, and the objectives of the family (or decision makers within it).

Quite often, the decision maker for families is vested in the older generation, perhaps a matriarch, a patriarch or both. Their objectives as regards their wealth generally fit under the following categories:

  • smooth succession planning, that is, how the family wealth is passed on and how investments are managed;
  • asset protection;
  • tax efficiency;
  • order; and
  • cost (which will be addressed in another article).

About the Authors

Alex Porter

Alex Porter

Wealth planning & fiduciary structures

Alex Porter assists wealthy families and entrepreneurs with selecting and administering fiduciary structures to hold their assets and provide for smooth succession.

Connect with Alex Porter

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