Should You Consider Asset Protection?
A great many wealthy people have been practicing asset protection for years. It only makes sense that those with significant assets to protect are going to take steps to put them beyond the reach of the courts, since we live in a society where it is possible for both individuals and organizations to take legal action against another individual or organization. This is easier said than done, for many people have spent a lot of money setting up structures--steps which ultimately were not effective enough. Not only that, in a marketplace where things are constantly changing, it is also crucial to keep up with changes in the laws.
The need and desire to be able to protect assets has been growing, considering the number of people who own valuable real estate, along with other sizable assets. Now many of those structures which were previously only available to the wealthy can be now accessed by virtually anyone. Even the use of offshore planning is available less expensively than ever before, and the initial information on how to do this is easy obtained by searching the Internet. It is another matter, however, to ensure that the system is secure enough to be able to sustain outside attacks.
In more recent years, there has been a sustained effort by governments to make sure than any money or assets stored in trusts or other asset protection instruments is as transparent as possible. In particular, the US Government has increasingly stringent reporting requirements for any money stored in trusts. This does not imply that it is illegal for the money to be there, but the ease with which it is found, implies some degree of vulnerability should there be a civil court case.
So for you, the obvious question is whether it is worth your while to set up a trust to protect your assets. If you are in a situation of having a considerable amount of equity in real estate or other important assets, the answer is most certainly yes. Just understand from the very beginning that there is no system which can be guaranteed to insulate your assets from every possible threat. A considerable part of your planning process will consist of identifying those threats which you consider to be most applicable to you.
The first key to navigating this process successfully is finding the right asset protections lawyer. This whole arena is much too complex to be taken on by the layperson, although you will necessarily want to widen your understanding as much as possible, so that you are in a better position to evaluate whether you are getting good advice. Now, more than ever, it is easier to become more knowledgeable about various aspects of offshore financial planning and trust creation, because the Internet allows you the advantage of accessing highly specialized knowledge without leaving home. You will be able to find plenty of material on asset protection; that will allow you to become much more familiar with this subject before you take on this important undertaking.
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