The diversity of foundations
In some jurisdictions a foundation is known as a family foundation and in others as a private foundation. Foundations can be used in a similar way to trusts, such as for wealth protection, privacy and wealth planning, but originally only existed in civil-law countries. Nowadays, some common-law countries also offer the option of setting up foundations, for example, Jersey and Guernsey.
In contrast to a trust, a foundation is a legal entity and is often used as an alternative to a will. Although all kinds of assets can be held in foundations, they were historically often used to only keep offshore private swiss bank accounts. Another well-known use of the structure is a philanthropy foundation, the purpose of the structure in such cases being charitable (for example the Swiss foundation). Family offices in Switzerland regularly set up Swiss charitable foundations for their clients.