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Copyright © 1995-2013 Robert L. Sommers, All rights reserved.
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Copyright © 1995-2013 Robert L. Sommers, All rights reserved.

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Copyright © 1995-2013 Robert L. Sommers, All rights reserved.
< "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> The Tax Prophet
Copyright © 1995-2013 Robert L. Sommers, All rights reserved.
U. S. Asset Protection Introduction   Asset Protection is a concept that has spawned a new sub-specialty within the estate planning community. Asset Protection involves the creation of one or more legal entities to prevent, limit or hinder a creditor's attempt to seize and sell a debtor's assets in satisfaction of a debt owed to the creditor. Usually, the creditor is seeking payment arising from an award of damages obtained in a lawsuit, but a properly constructed asset protection plan will protect against most creditor's claims, regardless of origin.

Often, entities are formed in off-shore jurisdictions which have laws favorable to debtors. Invariably, these plans are dismissed by U.S. courts as shams and offer the debtor no real legal protection.



How Asset Protection Works   Asset Protection (including U. S. asset protection) changes the character of assets held by the debtor from those that can be easily seized and sold, to an asset that the creditor cannot legally seize and sell. By transferring assets into certain types of trusts or limited liability entities (corporations, limited partnerships and limited liability companies) in which the debtor owns a portion of the interest in the entity but not the asset, such as a beneficiary of a trust, stock, partnership interest or membership interest in an LLC, the creditor is restricted to only the debtor's interest in the entity.



U. S. Asset Protection   In contrast to the off-shore asset protection schemes that have failed each and every time they have been challenged in court, U. S. asset protection does not attempt to hide assets or interfere with a creditor's right to enforce a judgment. Instead, U. S. asset protection uses the laws of a favorable jurisdiction (such as Delaware or Nevada) to limit the creditor's rights such such a degree that a prudent creditor would not want to pursue seizing the asset.  Under U. S. asset protection, it is possible to limit the creditor's right to a "charging order" against a debtor's "economic interest" in an entity. A charging order carries no right to vote, manage, liquidate or control the entity or any of the assets held by the entity.



Additional Information   For additional information on U. S. asset protection and asset protection techniques in general, see the Tax Prophet's Tax Class on  Asset Protection.



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Copyright © 1995-2013 Robert L. Sommers, All rights reserved.