Between the economic crash, lawsuits, identity theft, and the sense that the IRS constantly has its hand in our pockets, people are looking for ways to hold on to what they’ve got.
Effective asset protection planning can help you preserve your hard earned wealth for your future and that of your heirs. A well-prepared plan will discourage potential attackers from coming after or gaining access to your assets through frivolous claims. It will allow you to segregate and insulate liabilities and assets to the greatest extent allowed by law. You can do this by setting up trusts, corporations, partnerships, and other entities to hold legal title to the assets that you own.
To even further protect your assets, you can take them offshore. Some foreign entities offer better asset protection than U.S. entities. This adds an extra layer of security because with your wealth overseas, it is outside the reach of U.S. jurisdiction where U.S. creditors will have a tough time getting them.
Some people believe that offshore asset protection is just for “wealthy” and that their assets are too modest to justify implementing an asset protection plan. This is a dangerous mindset because if you lose a lawsuit and have a judgment against you personally, it is possible for a creditor to collect against your future earnings and assets. This can often be avoided by having an asset protection plan in place before a lawsuit arises.
Frivolous lawsuits aren’t the only reason to have an offshore asset protection plan. In recent years, there’s been a rash of financial crimes that include identity theft and other predatory schemes. Placing your valuable assets in the name of an entity or by reporting them under an employer identification number rather than your social security number offers additional protection from criminal activity.
Finally, asset protection planning offers privacy, something that is quickly eroding in the information age. By using trusts and other entities you can manage your affairs discreetly. If your assets are held in a name other than your own, it decreases the likelihood someone will discover that those assets belong to you. Although Esquire Group believes that privacy is an important consideration in the formation of an asset protection plan, we stress that they must be in full compliance with the law.
So where do you start? The first step in the planning process is for you to take inventory of your offshore assets, including property, investments, income, and any potential inheritances. Then you will need to determine and quantify areas of risk.
Esquire Group will sit down with you to assess your personal degree of exposure and develop a personalized strategy to protect your assets and achieve your short and long term goals. We will then recommend the most secure strategies for your protection, relying on techniques that have been tested and proven to be effective. Our recommendation is that the plan be reviewed every few years to adapt it to your changing circumstances.