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Asset protection planning is the organizing of your business and personal affairs in advance of duress in order to reduce or eliminate liability exposure or financial misfortune by placing assets beyond the reach of future creditors. Asset protection planning has also become a full-grown sub-specialty of estate planning.

Part One
An asset protection trust is any trust that is used to insulate an individual’s assets from creditor attack. An asset protection trust is usually established in an offshore jurisdiction, although the assets will probably remain in the U.S. under the indirect control of the person who established the trust (the “settlor”).

There are a number of unqualified people are marketing themselves as asset protection experts. A good rule of thumb is to thorough check references and the training of the so-called “expert.” Anyone who claims expertise in asset protection should have substantial tax and international law training.

Part Two
Use a separate entity for each liability generating asset and never mix liability generating assets. For instance, an apartment house should not be owned by the same entity which owns a printing business.

Always avoid general partnerships and handshake agreements, because doing so only causes trouble. Many people are unaware that any general partner can commit the partnership (and therefore every other general partner) to any legal contract. All general partners are jointly and individually liable.

Part Three
Avoid general partnerships and handshake agreements. This only causes trouble. Did you know that any general partner can commit the partnership (and hence every other general partner) to any legal contract (like taking out a loan). All general partners are jointly and severally liable.

Even if a person puts into effect a state of the art asset protection plan, he should still keep adequate insurance. Usually the main value of a good policy is that the insurance company must provide him a defense.

Part Four
It’s been said time and again, and that is that no country in the world automatically recognizes U.S. based judgments because that fact is that most countries think that U.S. tort laws, securities laws and anti-trust laws are nonsensical. It’s also true that no country in the world recognizes US tax judgments.

Never show off and never put everything in your own name. If people believe that a person is rich, chances are that he will be sued. If an individual is unwilling to have a modest lifestyle then it would be best for a person to keep a low a profile as possible and to not title assets directly in his own name. It should also be remembered that in order for someone to take away assets they first have to be found. Finally, it should also be remembered that a good asset protection plan does not rely on stealth alone It should work even if every single document is discovered.

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