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Offshore asset protection may be worth considering, P.1

Asset protection is a valuable part of estate planning in which can enhance anybody's estate planning. But it is critical for those looking into asset protection to try to find strategies that will afford them real protection. Because of the uncertainty around certain asset protection strategies devised here in the states, it is worth it to look into the possibility of offshore asset protection.

It is important to realize that offshore plans are a legitimate approach to asset protection, despite the bad press they sometimes receive. Unfortunately, the media focuses on offshore strategies that have gone bad rather than those that are perfectly legal, and that work. In addition to estate planning matters, it is also worth it to consider going offshore with respect to financial and banking structuring.

One of the main reasons to go offshore is that it can protect assets from creditor claims. Offshore plans can work because creditors have no power to act in a different jurisdiction, since the laws they use against the debtor would not apply. Of course, going offshore means that one's financial affairs must be structured in such a way that they accord to local laws.

Privacy is another reason to go offshore. By trading and banking in a different jurisdiction with strong privacy laws, a debtor's financial information will remain secure. In the states, financial institutions and many private organizations are compelled to report their customer's personal information and details, including financial information, but in many other countries the laws protect this information.

Decrease in taxation is yet another reason to go offshore. Earning income offshore through a separate entity allows a debtor to reduce their taxable income.

A final reason to consider an offshore approach is that it gives one access to world markets and gain significantly higher returns than would be possible domestically.

In our next post, we'll look at some basic tips for doing offshore with respect to estate planning.

Source: Lawyers Weekly, "Look offshore for asset protection," Bruce Sockhill, March 26, 2013

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