Succession, Foundations and Trusts

Broad-based expertise in all areas

The business inheritance tax reforms of 2016 did not abolish tax exemption for the transfer of family-owned businesses to next-generation family members or foundations/trusts; they did, however, make it more complicated. Creating tax-optimised and legally sound structures is a complex matter requiring tailored, expert advice. Working with clients at an early stage allows us to develop the best possible solutions for their specific needs. As a full service law firm with extensive experience in counselling enterprises and family-run businesses, we offer integrated advice on all aspects of succession planning and asset structuring. Boasting an excellent reputation in tax and corporate law, our lawyers collaborate regularly with other practices within and outside the firm to provide seamless, coordinated service to clients. Our company succession and trusts practice prides itself on developing creative and flexible solutions adapted to the vast array of domestic and international tax, corporate and inheritance rules and regulations.

JUVE Handbuch 2021/2022

“For many large companies and the families behind them the team is regarded as the first port of call for complex tax issues in connection with succession and asset structuring with and without a foreign dimension.”

Succession planning

Gleiss Lutz advises entrepreneurs and their families on the development and design of effective succession plans. We advise on the transition of businesses and assets to next-generation family members or foundations/trusts, as well as issues of relocation and multiple domiciles.

We take a structured approach to creating the most economic, legally sound and tax-efficient business succession solutions and strategies for the transfer of private assets. As a full service law firm, our advice covers the full range of corporate, tax and inheritance law aspects as well as all other relevant topics, such as employment law or co-determination issues, or capital market issues in connection with holdings in listed companies.

Innovative and tailored solutions

Not only are inheritance and gift tax regimes more complicated than ever before, so too are asset and company structures as well as clients’ goals and objectives. The international mobility of the younger generation of entrepreneurs only adds to this complexity.

We provide sound advice and expert guidance to allow family-run businesses to effectively structure their assets across borders. What’s more, our tax team is particularly adept at delivering innovative, bespoke solutions to complex problems – no matter how challenging they are. Our tax specialists not only advise on inheritance and gift tax, but also on reorganisation tax issues and necessary structural changes. As a result, we help clients avoid the legal hurdles and headaches while minimising their tax burden.

Foundations and trusts

Foundations and trusts can be a useful tool for protecting and preserving assets when it comes to estate and business planning. We advise clients on the tax and legal issues in connection with structuring foundations and trusts, making the most of the fiscal benefits available. Our advice also covers issues relating to non-profit organisations.

Cross-border asset structuring

The protection of assets frequently raises complicated – and often closely intertwined – multi-jurisdictional issues involving tax, trust and corporate law. To help clients navigate this maze we offer seamless, quality advice across borders.

We have established a trusted and flexible network of tax experts spanning all key jurisdictions, built on close working relationships. Our excellent ties with Swiss, Austrian and US law firms, in particular, play a key role when it comes to relocation issues and foundations/trusts.

Corporate disputes

To minimise the risk of getting drawn into lawsuits and disputes, we offer clients cost-effective conflict avoidance advice. Sometimes, however, shareholder and partnership disputes are unavoidable. In such cases, we advise and represent family members or their companies in or out of court.


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