Article written for: Forbes.com
The Great Recession of the mid-2000s forced us to view economics, banking, wealth and security in new ways. The concept of asset protection, already a growing area, saw an explosion in popularity, which has given rise to an ever-evolving cat and mouse game between creditors and debtors and their respective advisors. Meanwhile, distrust in banks and governments fueled the creation and rise of Bitcoin, which spurred interest in new digital currencies relying upon similar technologies.
Article Written for : Forbes.com
Is it any surprise that our new president, Donald Trump, may have strategically manipulated the tax code to avoid paying federal income tax? Mr. Trump calls this “smart,” and many in the same boat would agree. Similarly, sophisticated clients and advisors implement legal tactics to prudently preserve and protect wealth.
One strategy growing in popularity is the “self-settled” trust for asset protection. Under traditional trust law, a grantor conveys assets to a trustee, for the benefit of someone else, such as his children. The gift “divides” ownership between so-called legal title and equitable title. The trustee may legally oversee the assets (pursuant to a trust agreement) benefitting beneficiaries (who have no control over trust assets). Once the assets are in trust, they are generally protected from future creditors of the grantor, trustee (with legal title), and beneficiaries (with equitable title).