The wealth management foundation regime was introduced into Hungarian law in March 2019 as a new asset protection and estate planning vehicle, which should serve as an alternative to similar foreign structures.

The wealth management foundation is an entity established for the purpose of managing the assets granted to it by its founder and to distribute assets and the proceeds of its activity to the beneficiaries. The foundation can be established with an initial endowment amounting to at least HUF 600 million (approx. EUR 1.9 million). The guiding principles of the management of the assets granted to the foundation should be stated in an investment policy.

The foundation is governed by a board consisting of at least five individuals. The foundation is required to appoint a statutory auditor and to have a supervisory board consisting of at least three individuals. Under certain circumstances, additionally a protector must be appointed.

The wealth management foundation can be used for asset protection purposes as the founder's creditors can only lay claim to assets managed by the foundation if these were transferred by the founder in a fraudulent manner in order to avoid settling his or her debts. Moreover, the creditors of a beneficiary may only seek to settle their claims from assets managed by the foundation, if the foundation's obligation to transfer assets to the beneficiary is already due.

It is very likely that the new foundation regime will entail the adoption of a set of special tax rules easing e.g., the transfer of assets to the foundation; however, these have not yet been published.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.