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Curaçao’s Private Foundations offer an ideal way to invest in the island’s booming property market

21 June 2021

Marlene Silva

Business Unit Manager, Private Wealth, Curaçao

Marlene Silva

Business Unit Manager, Private Wealth, Curaçao

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A little-known wealth planning vehicle offers asset protection for those seeking to enjoy this Caribbean paradise

The picturesque towns and golden beaches of Curaçao make the most developed island in the former Dutch Antilles a popular destination for Europeans and Americans seeking retirement or second homes. That’s why real estate purchases are booming there.

The Caribbean island has high living standards, good infrastructure and great international connections via direct flights to the capital, Willemstad, from the US, South America, elsewhere in the Caribbean and the Netherlands.

The beautifully preserved 17th and 18th-century Dutch buildings in Willemstad, golf courses and opportunities for scuba diving at the 65 highly regarded dive sites all serve to attract tourists. Even better, the island lies outside the hurricane belt, making it a very attractive place to invest.

And as part of the Dutch kingdom, Curaçao is an economically stable parliamentary democracy that follows Dutch guidance on corporate governance, with a currency pegged to the US dollar – all of which offers reassurance to potential investors.

Curaçao has a diversified economy and a strong rental market. The pillars of the economy are its financial sector, refinery sector, logistics – including aviation, maritime and trade distribution – and of course its tourism industry. So this certainly is a great time to invest in real estate there, as demand for luxury properties is growing strongly.

Protecting your assets

If you are considering buying luxury real estate in Curaçao, you should consider how to structure your purchase to protect your assets and plan for your family.

A little-known but effective vehicle for wealth planning and asset protection that is unique to the island is the Curaçao Private Foundation. This legal entity was introduced in 1998 to offer an alternative to common law trusts. Its main attraction is the fact that it is a separate legal entity, which does not have a shareholder. Furthermore, a Private Foundation isn’t limited to charity or non-profit purposes, and it can make distributions from its assets to any third parties.

Popular as a way to protect assets and for estate planning, a Curaçao Private Foundation combines a corporation and a common law trust. In principle it will be incorporated for a perpetual term but may be dissolved at any time. It can perform legal acts and enter transactions independently.

Why choose a Curaçao Private Foundation?

A Private Foundation offers supreme control, flexibility and confidentiality.

It has no owners or shareholders, and the identity of the founder/settlor and beneficiaries need not be disclosed in any incorporation documentation. This can be particularly effective if you want to separate and protect your assets.

Typically, a Private Foundation is used for managing, preserving or investing in luxury real estate and offers a flexible solution for investment or inheritance purposes, all at relatively low costs for set-up and maintenance.

A Private Foundation can carry out any kind of holding or investment transaction anywhere in the world in any currency. It also functions as an instrument to protect assets from various risks. These might include political risks in the settlor’s country of residence, possible devaluation or future claims arising from professional liabilities.

It also can be a holding vehicle for portfolio management. It is frequently used to preserve or invest in luxury real estate, providing a flexible solution for inheritance purposes.

Intertrust Group can assist with the setting-up of a Private Foundation

Intertrust Group in Curaçao is part of the global Intertrust Group, with offices in more than 30 jurisdictions. Listed on the Euronext Amsterdam Stock Exchange, it has been providing services for over 40 years.

Our Curaçao team has deep local knowledge of the island’s culture and customs. They speak Spanish, Dutch, English and Papiamento, the local language, can therefore help with any enquiry.

Curaçao is the ideal place to invest in luxury real estate and the Private Foundation is the ideal way to hold your property and other assets. Though often confused with more traditional “foundations”, this little-known structure can actually be one of the best estate or wealth planning tools for families.

Why Intertrust Group in Curaçao?

  • We can guide you through the process with our highly trained staff, local knowledge, language skills and expertise
  • We are part of the global Intertrust Group which has offices in more than 30 jurisdictions and over 40 years of experience
  • Our Private Wealth team has deep local knowledge of the island’s culture and customs, and can assist with the set-up of Curaçao Private Foundations
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