Contributed By Baker McKenzie S.A.S.
Colombian law allows individuals to create trusts, private foundations, family companies, family partnerships or similar structures to hold, administer and regulate succession to private family wealth. Several commentsmust be made.
Colombian civil law does not provide rules on common law trusts or private foundations. However, there are rules on civil and commercial local trust agreements whereby a settlor transfers the property or administration of certain assets to a trustee in exchange for fiduciary rights.
Local trusts are commonly used in Colombia as instruments to administer properties or businesses with a specific purpose or to grant guaranties or collaterals, considering that trustees are professional regulated entities.
There are no civil or commercial regulations regarding the establishment of foreign trusts and private foundations. However, foreign entities are recognised by Colombian law and tax authorities, and may be used as structures to administer private wealth and circumvent forced heirship rules in Colombia. Anti-abuse rules must be observed.
From a tax perspective, there are no mechanisms that allow the transfer of assets to younger generations tax-free. As a rule, inheritances or legacies are considered as capital gain taxes at a 10% rate. However, certain structures may be used to obtain tax deferral or reduce the taxable base. This would be analysed on a case-by-case basis.
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