The practical aspects of the meaning of the Swiss family foundation have been discussed for decades. The literature has primarily been concerned with the boundaries separating family foundations, which have yet to be put in place under Swiss law, and entailed family estates for which creation is no longer permitted. The essential thrust of the discussion was that family foundations with enhanced benefits derived from the endowment fund display no particular link to any requirements of special life circumstances, and simply correspond to providing a higher or more comfortable standard of living, are prohibited. It may thus be concluded that Swiss family foundations are ill-suited for asset planning and estate planning. However, substantial disbursements to a beneficiary from a Swiss family foundation are allowed.
The issue of Swiss family foundations enjoying a less attractive tax environment was further touched upon. What was overlooked – especially at a time during which it is increasingly difficult to consider that the establishment of an "offshore" foundation entails no tax consequences for either the foundation or for the founder/the beneficiary – is that it offers some quite interesting opportunities for tax planning, at least as far as international relations are concerned.
Moreover, the Swiss approach to family foundations has changed in recent years for a variety of reasons.
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