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Choosing An Asset Protection Advisor
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Choosing an Asset Protection Advisor

How to choose an Asset Protection Advisor

This is one of my favorite topics, because itís so simple, and an enormous amount of energy is spent on this issue. One of the first questions Iím always asked is: How do I pick a trustee, or how do I decide where to put my trust? And the bottom line is, it normally doesnít matter provided the trust is properly structured so that youíre never vulnerable to the asset protection advisor, and provided the trust is settled, meaning put into a place and funded, when the financial seas are calm.

As long as your trust is set up without any risk of fraudulent conveyance, you should pick any solid country that recognizes trust. Any place will do. If we have to migrate the trust because problems come around at a later date, itís a simple matter to do that. You simply fire the trustee in one country and hire an asset protection specialist in another that normally, in a properly done trust, will change the situs, and it will expose the creditor to a whole other set of difficult to overcome laws.

But thereís no need to go to some fancy asset protection favoring country on day one. In fact, that can be a negative. Certain places, like the Cook Islands, have spent such a great deal of effort promoting their asset protection business, that theyíve attracted a lot of the "scumbags" of the world. You want to avoid places that are perceived as tainted in any way at all. So go to a nice, clean country that recognizes trusts, and hire a solid trustee. That solid Asset Protection Advisor should not charge you more then $2000 a year. And that solid trustee should never ask for access to your money. I never, ever, give the trustees control over my clientís money, because that exposes the money to theft, and itís not necessary to have that in a solid plan. In addition, I never, ever, go to a country that is perceived as even potentially dirty. Thereís no need to. Thereís plenty of great places that are just as good and actually quite inexpensive.

Now, choosing an expert. Thatís a different story. Your expert should be somebody I have discussed before, with solid tax and solid international experience. The Asset Protection Advisor should be willing and, in fact, encourage working with your local lawyer and should encourage working with your local CPA. The person should offer several references, and you should check them carefully. Unless you can have all of that, and somebody who doesnít promise the moon, or anything thatís too good to be true, you should be just fine. Thereís a handful of really qualified asset protection experts in the country, and asset protection specialists all are willing to give references and let their past work speak for themselves.