What Is an Offshore Asset Protection Trust?

An offshore asset protection trust is an effective tool for protecting assets from future lawsuits and potential creditors. A trust is established under the laws of a foreign country and managed by a professional trustee not subject to the jurisdiction of the settlor’s home country.

An offshore asset protection trust can provide peace of mind to people whose wealth makes them vulnerable to legal threats, like physicians, business managers, and entrepreneurs.

In the United States, the cost of defending a lawsuit can quickly amount to hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. In the event of a lawsuit, assets placed in an offshore asset protection trust will be extremely difficult to reach, even if the plaintiff gets a favorable judgment in a U.S. court. The most reputable offshore jurisdictions are the Cooks Islands, Nevis, and Belize which have favorable laws and court systems for asset protection trusts.

Why Set Up an Offshore Trust?

Ultimately, the enemy of all wealth-builders is risk. Risk of legal threats multiplies as the amount of wealth increases. Wealth can attract unwanted attention, and people can see success as a target. Offshore asset protection trust are a practical and effective strategy to protect assets.

Many high net-worth people have lost their fortunes to:

  • Creditors
  • Malpractice Claims
  • Lawsuits
  • Business disputes

A lawsuit can threaten someone’s entire net worth but offshore trusts are the most effective means to protect generational wealth and enjoy peace of mind during your lifetime.

In order to reach assets protected by an offshore trust, if a lawsuit is filed against a settlor, the plaintiff would have to continue the lawsuit it in the jurisdiction where the trust is managed. Litigating a case in the Cook Islands or St. Kitts and Nevis can be very different from filing suit in a U.S. court. The plaintiff would need to hire foreign counsel, pay a bond with the court, as well as face a legal system that is generally not sympathetic to plaintiffs.

What Is an Offshore Asset Protection Trust?

An offshore asset protection trust is an effective tool for protecting assets from future lawsuits and potential creditors. A trust is established under the laws of a foreign country and managed by a professional trustee not subject to the jurisdiction of the settlor’s home country.

An offshore asset protection trust can provide peace of mind to people whose wealth makes them vulnerable to legal threats, like physicians, business managers, and entrepreneurs.

In the United States, the cost of defending a lawsuit can quickly amount to hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. In the event of a lawsuit, assets placed in an offshore asset protection trust will be extremely difficult to reach, even if the plaintiff gets a favorable judgment in a U.S. court. The most reputable offshore jurisdictions are the Cooks Islands, Nevis, and Belize which have favorable laws and court systems for asset protection trusts.

Why Set Up an Offshore Trust?

Ultimately, the enemy of all wealth-builders is risk. Risk of legal threats multiplies as the amount of wealth increases. Wealth can attract unwanted attention, and people can see success as a target. Offshore asset protection trust are a practical and effective strategy to protect assets.

Many high net-worth people have lost their fortunes to:

  • Creditors
  • Malpractice Claims
  • Lawsuits
  • Business disputes

A lawsuit can threaten someone’s entire net worth but offshore trusts are the most effective means to protect generational wealth and enjoy peace of mind during your lifetime.

In order to reach assets protected by an offshore trust, if a lawsuit is filed against a settlor, the plaintiff would have to continue the lawsuit it in the jurisdiction where the trust is managed. Litigating a case in the Cook Islands or St. Kitts and Nevis can be very different from filing suit in a U.S. court. The plaintiff would need to hire foreign counsel, pay a bond with the court, as well as face a legal system that is generally not sympathetic to plaintiffs.

What Is an Offshore Asset Protection Trust?

An offshore asset protection trust is an effective tool for protecting assets from future lawsuits and potential creditors. A trust is established under the laws of a foreign country and managed by a professional trustee not subject to the jurisdiction of the settlor’s home country.

An offshore asset protection trust can provide peace of mind to people whose wealth makes them vulnerable to legal threats, like physicians, business managers, and entrepreneurs.

In the United States, the cost of defending a lawsuit can quickly amount to hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. In the event of a lawsuit, assets placed in an offshore asset protection trust will be extremely difficult to reach, even if the plaintiff gets a favorable judgment in a U.S. court. The most reputable offshore jurisdictions are the Cooks Islands, Nevis, and Belize which have favorable laws and court systems for asset protection trusts.

Why Set Up an Offshore Trust?

Ultimately, the enemy of all wealth-builders is risk. Risk of legal threats multiplies as the amount of wealth increases. Wealth can attract unwanted attention, and people can see success as a target. Offshore asset protection trust are a practical and effective strategy to protect assets.

Many high net-worth people have lost their fortunes to:

  • Creditors
  • Malpractice Claims
  • Lawsuits
  • Business disputes

A lawsuit can threaten someone’s entire net worth but offshore trusts are the most effective means to protect generational wealth and enjoy peace of mind during your lifetime.

In order to reach assets protected by an offshore trust, if a lawsuit is filed against a settlor, the plaintiff would have to continue the lawsuit it in the jurisdiction where the trust is managed. Litigating a case in the Cook Islands or St. Kitts and Nevis can be very different from filing suit in a U.S. court. The plaintiff would need to hire foreign counsel, pay a bond with the court, as well as face a legal system that is generally not sympathetic to plaintiffs.

How Does It Work?

In order to escape the reach of the U.S. court system, an individual can set up a trust and limited liability company established under the laws of a foreign jurisdiction. The trustee, trust protector, as well as the bank holding the deposits should be domiciled outside the United States. Generally, an offshore asset protection plan combines an offshore trust, offshore limited liability entities, as well as bank accounts all housed in different jurisdictions.

In the event of a lawsuit, the person or institution serving as trustee can be changed.

Offshore Trust Jurisdiction

One of the most important things to consider when setting up an offshore trust is using the most favorable jurisdiction. A good jurisdiction means being able to take advantage of a favorable legal system with strong asset protection laws, while ideally paying no local income taxes.

Some of the most sought-after offshore jurisdictions are:

  • The Cook Islands
  • Nevis
  • Belize

At Mile High Estate Planning, we are able to bring together a team of offshore Trustees, Trust Protectors, Bankers, and Financial Managers from around the world in order to ensure the highest levels of offshore asset protection for our clients.

Cook Islands Trusts

Clients who are looking for the highest levels of offshore protection should consider the Cook Islands as a principal jurisdiction thanks to its unparalleled asset protection trust statues.

The Cook Islands International Trusts Act of 1989 firmly established this island nation as a pioneer in the offshore asset protection arena. Since then, asset protection trusts housed in the Cook Islands have become more common, as decades of favorable caselaw have helped prove the high degree of protection offered by these trusts. Although in most jurisdictions, a Trust is considered a private document, it is believed that the Cook Islands now has more registered asset protection trusts than any other country.

How Does It Work?

In order to escape the reach of the U.S. court system, an individual can set up a trust and limited liability company established under the laws of a foreign jurisdiction. The trustee, trust protector, as well as the bank holding the deposits should be domiciled outside the United States. Generally, an offshore asset protection plan combines an offshore trust, offshore limited liability entities, as well as bank accounts all housed in different jurisdictions.

In the event of a lawsuit, the person or institution serving as trustee can be changed.

Offshore Trust Jurisdiction

One of the most important things to consider when setting up an offshore trust is using the most favorable jurisdiction. A good jurisdiction means being able to take advantage of a favorable legal system with strong asset protection laws, while ideally paying no local income taxes.

Some of the most sought-after offshore jurisdictions are:

  • The Cook Islands
  • Nevis
  • Belize

At Mile High Estate Planning, we are able to bring together a team of offshore Trustees, Trust Protectors, Bankers, and Financial Managers from around the world in order to ensure the highest levels of offshore asset protection for our clients.

Cook Islands Trusts

Clients who are looking for the highest levels of offshore protection should consider the Cook Islands as a principal jurisdiction thanks to its unparalleled asset protection trust statues.

The Cook Islands International Trusts Act of 1989 firmly established this island nation as a pioneer in the offshore asset protection arena. Since then, asset protection trusts housed in the Cook Islands have become more common, as decades of favorable caselaw have helped prove the high degree of protection offered by these trusts. Although in most jurisdictions, a Trust is considered a private document, it is believed that the Cook Islands now has more registered asset protection trusts than any other country.

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Types of Assets

An offshore asset protection trust can hold a variety of different assets:

  • Cash
  • Securities
  • Limited liability companies
  • Real estate
  • Intellectual property
  • Business inventory and equipment
  • Recreational assets such as private jets, cars, and yachts

An Offshore Trustee

A key element of an offshore asset protection trust is ensuring that the trust management has no ties or business presence in the U.S. Fortunately, there are many foreign fiduciary companies that operate with the same degree of integrity and professionalism as their U.S. counterparts. While not regulated by U.S. government bodies, offshore trustee companies are registered and regulated by the governments under which they operate. Many offshore fiduciaries have been operating for decades and have served as trustees for thousands of clients around the world.

Mile High Estate Planning has connections with multiple established offshore trustee companies that are beyond the reach of the U.S. court system.

Types of Assets

An offshore asset protection trust can hold a variety of different assets:

  • Cash
  • Securities
  • Limited liability companies
  • Real estate
  • Intellectual property
  • Business inventory and equipment
  • Recreational assets such as private jets, cars, and yachts

An Offshore Trustee

A key element of an offshore asset protection trust is ensuring that the trust management has no ties or business presence in the U.S. Fortunately, there are many foreign fiduciary companies that operate with the same degree of integrity and professionalism as their U.S. counterparts. While not regulated by U.S. government bodies, offshore trustee companies are registered and regulated by the governments under which they operate. Many offshore fiduciaries have been operating for decades and have served as trustees for thousands of clients around the world.

Mile High Estate Planning has connections with multiple established offshore trustee companies that are beyond the reach of the U.S. court system.

Taxes

A common misconception is that high net-worth-individuals can avoid paying their income taxes by stashing their money offshore. Offshore trusts are not a means to avoid paying taxes or hiding assets from the tax authorities.


Contact an Offshore Trust Attorney

Unfortunately, the American legal system no longer affords a defendant the protections it once did. The existence of offshore asset protection trusts means people have options. They can benefit from more favorable governments and legal systems when taking efforts to preserve their assets.

Offshore asset protection plans are not just for the super-rich, if you are a business owner, real estate investor, medical professional, or have a reason to believe you might be at risk, Mile High Estate Planning can evaluate your particular situation and propose an asset protection plan that fits your needs.

1What is an offshore trust?

An offshore trust is simply a trust that is formed under the laws of an offshore jurisdiction, generally the management of the trust is carried out overseas and the trust assets are also deposited in an offshore jurisdiction.

2How is an offshore trust set up?

To establish an offshore trust, it is not necessary to travel to a different country. A local attorney can help set up offshore asset protection structures for your benefit. You can meet with potential offshore trustees and bankers via phone or teleconference software, and select the partners you feel most comfortable with. Once a fiduciary is selected, you can sign and fund an offshore trust.

3How much money do you need to have an offshore trust?

Generally, established international bankers require account minimums of between $200,000 and $500,000. Thanks to our trusted connections abroad, we are able to establish offshore asset protection trusts with an initial funding requirements of $50,000 or less.


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