Our firm has vast experience in setting up of private foundations and trusts. Private Foundations are set up via a public deed, whereby a Deed of Foundation is drawn up and signed by the Founder or Founders who is/are setting up the Foundation for the benefits of one or more persons (beneficiaries).
The creation of a Foundation is sanctioned by the Registry of Legal Persons, which is the government-appointed body which is responsible for the regulation and authorisation of private foundations. A new private foundation is endowed with separate juridical personality, which makes it a distinct legal person. There exists also the possibility of setting up cells within a private foundation, which is a novel feature in Maltese law which allows the assets of each cell to be separate patrimonies at law. Each cell could be set up with separate beneficiary, and may be endowed with separate cellular assets within the terms of the Deed of Foundation.
A trust is set up whereby a settlor is transferring the legal title of certain assets to a trustee who is holding such assets for the benefit of one or more persons, hence creating a legal obligation between the trustee and the settlor. Trusts can take various forms, and the drafting of a trust deed is a very important aspect to this contractual obligation whereby the responsibilities of the trustee are clearly outlined together with various provisions on the manner in which the trust is to be administered and operated.
The Administrator of a Private Foundation has a fiduciary duty towards to the beneficiaries of a private foundation, and has to carry out his acts with professionalism and within the ambit of the Deed of Foundation. The administrator is to draw up regular financial statements and also ensure that the assets of the foundation are appropriately held and invested for the best interests of the foundation and the beneficiaries. Griffiths + Associates, whilst not providing such administration services directly, relies on the Managing and Tax Director Peter J Griffiths who holds a specific license from the Malta Financial Services Authority to act as the administrator of private foundations.
The provision of trustee services in or from Malta requires an authorisation from the Malta Financial Services Authority. Griffiths + Associates Ltd, whilst not holding such a license, workis with an associated company and refers such trustee and fiduciary services which are carried out and provided by this same associated company. Since the trustee is the legal owner of the particular assets settled within a trust, such a post requires a professional set-up whereby the ongoing trustee services are provided within the ambit of the trust deed and the letter of wishes provided by the Settlor.