A Panama Foundation instead of a Will

( July 2010 - This was the information available as of January 2009, all information should be verified with a lawyer first.) A Private Interest Foundation is an entity that has the sole purpose of holding assets and handing over benefits of said assets to the beneficiaries. Many people call it a “Will while Living” or a “Living Will”, because you don’t have to be dead to start allocating your assets and YOU control the allocation process. 

Well, sometimes it’s a funny, personal, sometimes embarrassing process to conform a Foundation, because it helps people that are in the following situation:

  1. If you have a lot of children from different marriages.
  2. If you have children outside your marriage that your current spouse doesn’t know about and you want to keep it that way.
  3. If your spouse is not the only partner you have and you don’t want anybody to know about it.
  4. If you’re a homosexual couple and can’t legally transfer your assets to your life partner or a child that has been raised by both but adopted by the other.
  5. If you have a lot of assets but don’t want a family feud over them or think that one will start because of them.
  6. If you believe that if you die, all of what you have built, saved and cherished will be destroyed by your less than capable beneficiaries (children, spouse or others).
  7. Oh one could go on and on, but I think you all get the picture.

But why does it benefit these people specially?  Well, not specially, anybody can have a Foundation, its useful for anybody, because of the following reasons:

  1. The assets you put into the Foundation’s name, come out of your assets, therefore, will not be part of the Inheritance Process.  This means that no judge can say who gets what from those assets.
  2. The functioning of the Foundation, as well as the beneficiaries and what the get as benefits, is private.  Absolutely private.  Nobody else but you knows this information.  The beneficiaries don’t know how much they are getting, don’t know where it comes from, don’t know who the other beneficiaries are and don’t have a say on what or how much they get.
  3. You can transfer all of your assets during your lifetime, or if you have somebody you trust, you can name them the Administrators of the Foundation, so that if you die, this person can keep administrating the assets even long after you have gone.
  4. And there are so many other ways a Foundation can help you avoid death duties, inheritance tax, transfer taxes, capital gains taxes, etc.

If you have any questions regarding Private Interest Foundations, we will be more than happy to talk to you.  It goes much deeper than what we have stated here, but time, space and finger numbness prevents us from writing any further.

This is a follow-up of our previous article, “How to Issue a Will in Panama”, so there is one more to go.

Until then, be safe and be careful.


The nice people at LEGALCORP.