What’s Asset Protection? What’s a Good Asset Protection Plan? Which Asset Protection is Right for You? Offshore Scams and Know the Facts of Asset Protection.
Keys to an Asset Protection Plan
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“If you’ve taken NO steps to protect yourself, your wealth, and your family from thieves, con artists, ruthless greedy lawyers, overzealous bureaucrats; you have underestimated the abilities of these shrewd, ruthless, invasive, money-hungry, predators.” – Rocco Beatrice, CPA, MST, MBA
Asset Protection Defined:
Asset protection is the concept of protecting and preserving one’s assets from frivolous, illogical, ill motivated, more often than not, devastating catastrophic claims against your wealth, designed to destroy your current and future lifestyle. In short, they want what you’ve got and they want to inflict maximum pain.
Asset protection has two goals:
To make the enforcement of judgments against your protected assets virtually impossible, and
To allow the “owner” of protected assets to retain engineered “control” over his assets
How Good Asset Protection can Protect Your Privacy:
“Identity Theft” is the fastest growing financial crime in America – source: the U.S. Secret Service
There are literally hundreds of ways to protect your assets. Some are just common sense. Don’t flash your money around; don’t talk too much at parties, etc. By implementing a properly crafted asset protection plan, your creditor will have to jump through several hoops, before he even finds your money. A contingent fee predator lawyer will want an easier target.
There are approximately 950,000 lawyers. Just go through your own yellow pages. Most of them live on what they can “squeeze out of you.” Don’t become a statistic. Learn from other people’s mistakes. Learn how to become every contingency-fee lawyer’s nightmare.
The Internet is spyware on steroids and can be used as invisible wealth snatchers. Information collection about you, your associates, your family, your finances, has been compromised by the enhancement of data gathering technology through the internet. “Even if you’ve got nothing to hide” your very basic privacy can be had for a few bucks by thieves, con artists, ruthless greedy lawyers, and overzealous bureaucrats.
How “paranoid” are you? How “paranoid” should you be? the problem is not the zillion merchants collecting data about your spending habits. The problem is who’s collecting the data without your knowledge. And, for what purpose?
A Good Asset Protection Plan will:
Protect your current and future lifestyle
Discourage litigation and promote settlements, in your favor
Keep the ownership of your assets confidential and hard to find
Eliminate the need of prenuptial agreements
Internationalize your investments as a hedge against the unexpected surprise
Spread out your control over your most valuable assets
Help you in getting a fresh start, if you ever became insolvent in any of your other assets
Hedge against potential political, economic, and personal instability
Chartered Blueprint of Wealth Preservation and Steps to Protecting Assets:
What are your financial goals?
Think about each of your personal/business assets that you need or wish to protect
Will there be domestic and/or international platform(s)?
*Customized Hybrids, i.e. LLC, Family LLC, Limited Partnership, Family Limited Partnership or General Parntership is owned by an UltraTrust®
* = My preferred structures
Foreign Platform(s)1 (please read note – 1)
Foreign Bank Account
International Business Company
Foreign Asset Protection Trust
Foreign Security Trust
Foreign Limited Liability Company (FAPT)
Offshore Uni Trusts
Offshore Mutual Fund
International Trading Company
Multi-Currency Bank Deposits
Foreign Credit Card
Foreign Stock Trading Account
Registered Foreign Office
Registered Foreign Sales Facilities
Note – Use “Good” planning NOT “Secrecy.” Rely on “Law” NOT “Secrecy.”
1**Watch out for Foreign and Offshore Scams & Practitioners**
There’s a thriving industry of “offshore practitioners” advising IRS definition of “U.S. Person” to set-up offshore bank accounts and other financial structures thinking that they have “just become NON-U.S. Taxable.” They persuade the U.S. Persons to trust the “Iron Clad” secrecy laws of the jurisdiction and not to report ownership of their funds or structures to the Internal Revenue Service and other agencies. This is pure and simple tax fraud and gets many U.S. Persons in trouble.
WARNING: Complexity(ies) of U.S. laws requires many tax reporting and other various reporting requirements. Protect yourself, make absolutely sure that you seek competent professional expert legal, accounting, and tax advice before you consider implementing your foreign asset protection plan. Contact Estate Street Partneres and get the facts for proper U.S. reporting procedures.
Authorities are looking for NON-COMPLIANCE, not for those who report and comply. We believe in full disclosure. If there’s no reporting form, we make-up our own and file.
To my knowledge, there are no laws prohibiting you from protecting your hard-earned money with offshore international structures, as long as you file all proper documentation with proper reporting agencies. When your asset protection / wealth preservation plan is professionally and carefully implemented by competent professionals, the foreign side of life becomes significantly enhanced. Most international jurisdictions do not recognize U.S. based creditor judgments.
For example: a proper utilization of a foreign bank account should be part of every good asset protection / wealth preservation plan, it’s the less complex and the most useful part of your asset protection / wealth preservation strategy. Your cash will become an “asset protection fortress,” just make sure that you check the box on your Form 1040 schedule B, and file TD F 90-22.1. NO BIG DEAL. There is absolutely no downside to proper reporting on the existence of a foreign bank account.
No Financial plan is ever 100% bullet proof: Know These Facts about a good plan
You can’t lose your assets without first being sued and them winning the lawsuit. Winning and getting the money are two separate issues.
Implement your asset protection strategy when times are good. It’s too late when the crap starts flying. You will have to deal with several “fraudulent conveyance” laws – that is, if you had some warning, or you merely became aware (real or potential), or you should have been aware that someone was going to potentially sue you. By implementing any asset protection plan, you made your assets unavailable to satisfy creditor claims. Therefore, you may be found guilty of a “fraudulent conveyance.” The judge may set aside your attempt to hide your assets and hand it over to your creditors. In addition, the judge may decide to throw the book at you with other financial and possibly other consequences. PLAN EARLY, when the sea is calm. Don’t become a statistic.
Your creditors can’t take what you don’t have. Don’t put everything in your name. Don’t be so obvious.
What your creditor’s don’t know becomes your asset. Don’t volunteer information, don’t flaunt your wealth, don’t talk too much at parties, don’t tell them your business, don’t tell them how smart you are.
No country in the world will automatically honor a judgment against you. Outside the United States there are no contingency lawyers. Your creditor must re-litigate his case in the foreign country. Your creditor must put up a bond. Your creditor must pre-pay attorney fees. If your creditor loses his case he must pay your attorney fees. Finally, your creditor must prove that the laws of their country are invalid, the judge is a bum, and that the whole country should disappear into the sea.
There’s a greater chance that you will be sued more times than you will have a hospital stay.
Your Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is not protected by ERISA. Your Individual Retirement Account is usually the second asset to be attacked, behind your cash and investment account. Your IRA is an easy target because (1) It’s always in the United States and (2) Your IRA is usually in cash or near cash.
The United States is the only country that permits contingent fee litigation.
There are approximately 950,000 lawyers. Just go through your own yellow pages. Most of them live on what they can squeeze out of you. Don’t become a statistic.
For many self-made, hard working citizens, the “American Dream” can become the “American Nightmare.” Exorbitant taxes, lawsuit-friendly courtrooms, persistent predator plaintiffs, and contingent-fee clever lawyers are a constant threat to everything you’ve worked so hard to accomplish. It could all evaporate before your very eyes.
Take personal responsibility. If you’ve taken no steps to protect yourself, your wealth, and your family from thieves, con artists, ruthless greedy lawyers, overzealous bureaucrats…you have underestimated the abilities of these shrewd, ruthless, invasive, money-hungry predators.