Asset Protection Solutions
The Concept and
Strategies for Guarding One’s Wealth
Asset protection is a type of planning intended to protect one’s assets from creditor claims. Individuals and business entities use asset protection techniques to limit creditors’ access to certain valuable assets, while operating within the bounds of debtor-creditor law.
Asset protection helps insulate assets in a legal manner – without engaging in the illegal practices of concealment (hiding of the assets), contempt, fraudulent transfer (as defined in the 1984 Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act), tax evasion or bankruptcy fraud. Experts advise that effective asset protection begins before a claim or liability occurs, since it is usually too late to initiate any worthwhile protection after the fact.
In the current economic climate and most probably for some years to come, the Governments of most countries will continue to focus on increasing tax revenues.
The tax regime is becoming ever more complex and as a result all taxpayers need professional advice and support in order to ensure that they pay the minimum tax that is required by law.
At TBA we can help you to create wealth, protect assets and extract capital from your business in the most tax efficient manner.
Changing the environment in which your assets are held changes the way they are treated for taxation, including Capital Gains Tax, Inheritance Tax, Income Tax and Corporation Tax.
The key is in transferring your assets using relevant statutory reliefs without triggering a tax event or falling foul of the Government’s tax avoidance legislation. When considering asset protection it makes sense to look at the different assets that you hold. The types of assets we are talking about here fall broadly into three main groups, your personal wealth and estate; your business assets and profits and your pension fund. Each is governed by their own tax regimes which dictate how those assets can be moved, which is where the expertise of our professional partners can really make a difference. In broad terms we can help you structure your pension wealth, your personal assets, your company assets, company profits and private shares into structures which will legitimately minimise your tax obligations and give you significantly better returns on your investments.
The assets remain in their present state, able to interact with the outside world but totally tax protected and unencumbered, inviolate and secure….. and growing in value, tax free.
This transference into a well-designed trust structure allows you to take complete control of all your assets and secure your financial future and that of your family and loved ones.
Asset Protection Structures
Protecting your assets offshore can, in many cases, provide for much stronger asset protection than domestic business structures and trusts. Domestic asset protection vehicles are more readily accessible to seizure through US or local court rulings and judgements. Many offshore asset protection jurisdictions do not recognize foreign judgements. Therefore, a judgement creditor would face a substantial hurdle to attempt to pursue your assets in the jurisdiction where your assets are held. Strong offshore asset protection jurisdictions create a formidable challenge to those pursuing your hard-earned wealth.
One of the pillars of protecting assets from judgements is the offshore asset protection trust. Even if a monetary judgment is rendered against you, your assets can be safe and sound using the powerful international asset protection trust laws in the Cook Islands or Belize for example. A judge can rule against you, giving your enemy-at-law a license to pursue your assets. However a foreign trustee is not subject to your countries court rulings and therefore is not required to release your assets to the judgment creditor.
You control the day-to-day activities of your financial accounts within your offshore company and trust. Then, when legal duress arises, such as a lawsuit or judgement, asset protection trust provisions allow the licensed, bonded trustee to step in and provide a legal wall between your creditors and your assets. The highly-respected foreign trustee steps in and follows your recommendations on asset management while, at the same time, keeping your wealth safely shielded from legal attack. The trustee only needs to step in when the courts would take your money. So would you rather have a 100% chance of your money being seized by the courts? Or would you rather have a regulated, licensed and insured trustee step in and do what you have paid him to do: protect your money?
While the offshore trust, especially the Cook Island Trust, has a longer history, the Cook Islands Foundation is another efficient advanced asset protection structure available. With a Cook Islands Foundation, you can appoint anyone you like to handle your estate should you become incapacitated. Also, unlike a Belize trust, you can be the manager of the Foundation, controlling its investments for the benefits of your heirs.
Please contact one of our Consultants, who will be more than happy to properly assist and helping you choosing the right structure for your personal asset protection needs.