Offshore Asset Protection Trusts
Trusts, which are fiduciary arrangements in which a trustor places certain assets into the hands of a trustee, can be useful in many different situations. Trusts can help minimize or even avoid certain taxes, provide for the care of a loved one, and maybe even help someone qualify for certain government benefits such as TennCare. In some situations, a trust can also help protect the trustor’s hard-earned assets from collection efforts by creditors, including former spouses and other litigants. Such an asset protection trusts may be domestic or offshore. A knowledgeable Nashville estate planning lawyer at the Randy Ratliff Law Offices, PLLC, can explain more about how these types of trusts work, and help you decide whether an offshore asset protection trust might be a workable solution for you.Offshore Asset Protection Trusts
It is important to understand what an offshore asset protection trust can potentially accomplish, as well as what it most certainly cannot do, before entering into such an arrangement. For instance, if a testator’s ultimate goal is avoiding paying taxes that are legally due and owing to the Internal Revenue Service, there are substantial penalties and even the threat of criminal prosecution awaiting those who seek to shelter their assets in this manner. However, there may be other, more legitimate reasons for the establishment of an asset protection trust, either offshore or domestic. Of course, not every offshore asset protection trust is created equally, as the particular location in which such a trust is settled, as well as the duration of such an arrangement, can impact the amount of protection that is ultimately afforded by the trust. Some offshore asset protection trusts have even been accused of being “too effective,” in that it may be difficult for the trustor to reach the assets himself or herself – which could result in a contempt of court charge if he or she is ordered by a court to turn over the assets held in trust. Because of these and other potential issues, it is important that a person who is considering an offshore asset protection trust discuss his or her concerns with a competent professional before going forward.Trusts as Part of an Effective Estate Plan
For most individuals, an offshore asset protection trust is just one component of an effective overall estate plan. Other types of trusts may help an individual or family accomplish other goals, and a pour-over will may be in order in the event that there are non-trust assets that should be placed into an existing trust upon the trustor’s death. Other estate planning documents, such as a power of attorney, health care proxy, or living will, may also be advisable, giving an individual peace of mind about not only financial matters but also issues such as the continuation of life support or the use of extraordinary measures to prolong life despite the unlikelihood of recovery from an accident or illness.
The particular tools that will best serve an individual or family’s estate planning needs can vary considerably, depending upon the circumstances. Issues such as second or subsequent marriages, unmarried couples, non-citizen spouses, spendthrift beneficiaries, and the like should be appropriately dealt with during the estate planning process rather than during probate. If not handled on the front end, these issues can – and usually do – crop up later on, potentially resulting in protracted litigation, waste of financial resources, and the public airing of private matters. A knowledgeable estate planning attorney can help make sure that troublesome situations are handled in the best way, as well as assist a family make decisions that will help conserve their hard-earned assets rather than waste them.Talk to a Nashville Lawyer Regarding Your Estate Planning Needs
At the Randy Ratliff Law Offices, PLLC, our established estate planning team helps those in Davidson and Williamson Counties, including families in Antioch, Hermitage, Madison, Goodlettsville, Joelton, Franklin, Brentwood, Cool Springs, and Nashville as they go about putting their affairs in order. For an appointment with an attorney, call us at 615-656-8282 or contact us online. We appreciate the opportunity to be of service to you and your family as you make these important decisions about your family’s future.