Individuals who have vast wealth often want to do something for their communities, which is usually best accomplished through philanthropic giving to specific charities by way of establishing either a trust fund or a foundation. However, trust funds can be complicated financial instruments with significant legalities associated with the use of assets. Trusts and foundations differ in certain aspects of operation. Goals of a foundation should be set from the very beginning, and it should be structured in a way that meets those particular goals. Taxation is also a concern when funds are also invested with proceeds being applied toward the foundation. In addition, foundations also accept contributions unlike a trust. These processes are not always as fluid as envisioned, and having an experienced attorney like Anthony J. Madonia & Associates Chicago IL estate planning lawyers handling the foundation set up and ongoing oversight is vital.

Type of Foundation

There are effectively two type of foundations, those being operational and nonoperational. Non-operational foundations typically supply financial resources for on-theground charitable organizations. Operational foundations actually conduct the physical work associated with the goals. Just as with any business or estate plan, an experienced estate plan law firm in Chicago can provide invaluable advice on how to go about legal compliance and asset protection throughout foundation operation. Legal structure of the different types varies, and having a knowledgeable attorney involved is very important.

Foundation Structure

The first aspect of setting up a foundation is determining which operational structure is necessary for successful operation. Non-operational foundations merely supply money to charitable organizations, where operational foundations actually perform much of the connected work. Scope of business dictates the structure. Just like with any other business, the management staff will determine how lines of communication and necessary records maintenance will be maintained. Actual physical work conducted by employees or volunteers in terms of legal compliance is important as well depending on foundation dynamics. A foundation is essentially still a business, and there are specific legalities associated with any business, even if it is a 501(c)3 tax exemption operation. An estate plan law firm in Chicago can be invaluable to ensuring all legal compliance.

Anyone considering establishment of a foundation in Illinois should contact the legal professionals at Anthony J. Madonia & Associates Chicago IL estate planning lawyers.


ANTHONY MADONIA is an Attorney and Certified Public Accountant who concentrates in the areas of Estate Planning and Administration, Business Strategy and Planning, Wealth Counseling, Corporate Law, and Taxation.
Mr. Madonia graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting.

He earned his Juris Doctorate from John Marshall Law School while practicing as a Senior Tax Accountant. Anthony Madonia thrives on legal and tax challenges.

Mr. Madonia is highly respected for his knowledge and insightful perspectives on the complexities that affect privately-held businesses. He is dedicated to preserving the wealth of privately held firms and the families they support. Find him at madonia.com.