asset protection course
Asset Protection Case Studies
Take the Free Quiz
Change the Font-Size on this pageLargest Article Text SizeLarger Article Text SizeNormal Article Text Size

Case Studies

The Power Of Asset Protection - Real Examples

Forewarning: The following examples demonstrate some of the power of asset protection. Trustmakers makes this same technology available to everyday people.

With that said, if the financial seas are not calm professional advice from a good lawyer skilled in asset protection is highly advised. There are many nuances, which require years of experience. This is why we make this available to you as a STRONGLY suggested option.

We don't practice law and are not lawyers but are always willing to arrange low cost legal consultation for any clients of Trust Makers with a qualified asset protection lawyer.

The below stories are based on actual cases, names have been changed to protect privacy and confidentiality. Dramatic license has been taken in some cases for purposes of illustration.


Case Study #1- How Tragedy And Human Weakness Can Endanger Your Life's Work

Case Study #2- Fool Me Once Shame On You, Fool Me Twice…Shame On Me!

Case Study #3- Love, Love American Style…

Case Study #4- How to Avoid the Buyers Remorse Blues

Case Study #5- Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Case Study #6- How Good Asset Protection Plans Work…Even Against The Good Guy

Case Study #7- Good Loving Gone Bad

Case Study #8- You Can Hate Me Cause I'm Beautiful…But You Can't Take My Money

Case Study #9- Do The Footwork And Leave the Results Up To God

Case Study #10- Even A Little Is Too Much To Lose

Case Study #11- Sex, Drugs and Rock Solid Protection

Case Study #12- The Scam That Almost Was



Case Study #1

How Tragedy And Human Weakness Can Endanger Your Life's Work

Richard was a fairly wealthy man. He had three beautiful adult children, all of whom were married to great partners. He himself had been married to the same women for 35 years. At the age of 57, Jacque, his still young and beautiful wife, had a car accident that disfigured her face so badly that even plastic surgery did very little to restore her once beautiful countenance.

Richard and Jacque were accustomed to a life that included socializing with what I call "the beautiful people." Some of Jacque's friends were starlets and quite notable individuals. With the disfigurement resulting from the accident, she never seemed to feel comfortable in the same circles. Jacque went into a deep depression over this and her Dr. put her on prescription medications for anxiety.

Unfortunately, her withdrawal from the social circles left her home with her feelings and she started turning to alcohol and eventually cocaine as an escape. She started herself in a cycle of being up and down, depending on how much of what substance she had in her. The only time she ventured out of the home was to make a trip to the drive-thru liquor store or to see her "dealer." This was devastating to Richard. He couldn't comfort her and she was spinning out of control.

Soon came another car accident - Jacque was inebriated, at fault, and she caused injuries to the other parties. With a DUI charge under her belt, Richard, fearing that the worst was yet to come, set up an asset protection plan making their three children equal beneficiaries.

About eight months passed, Jacque had sought help for her substance abuse and was attending AA meetings and had been sober for almost six months. Even though her license had been suspended due too accident number two, she still drove to her meetings occasionally, whenever Richard or a friend couldn't drive her.

She still struggled with depression but was making what "seemed" like progress. Until one night on her way to a meeting, she decided instead to stop and get a single wine cooler. Tragically, this led to a four-hour relapse and ended in a third automobile accident and the bills soared, as well as the legal fees for her defense and the lawsuits from the victims and their insurance companies.

This story doesn't get any better.

Three months later, Richard left town on a business trip and Jacque, so deep in her guilt, shame, depression and loneliness, spent the next four days on a cocaine binge which ended in a cardiac arrest. Richard returned from his trip to find his once lovely wife sprawled out on the floor, drugs and paraphernalia scattered about their home.

Suspecting foul play, Richard immediately called the paramedics…but it was far too late. Once they pronounced Jacque dead, Richard called his oldest son to break the news. The next five hours or so must have been very difficult with the police swarming his home gathering evidence.

Sixteen hours later, when the first of his three children arrived at the estate, Richard was also dead…his son found him in his study…with an empty bottle of his wife's prescription Klonopin, a half bottle of Kelt Petra "Tour du Monde" on the table in front of him and in his lap…a picture of him and Jacque on their 25th wedding anniversary trip.

This story made the local news and the media had a heyday with it… but none of the judgment creditors were able to access any of Richard's wealth, nobody except his children, because he had set up an ironclad asset protection plan.

This is a story that is so tragic that it's hard to say there were any winners. This story does show the frailty and unpredictability of life. The ONLY positive thing here is that the children weren't further tortured by a long and arduous probate period or watching their parents estate be gobbled up by greedy litigants. The painful loss of both parents was excruciating enough for them.


Case Study #2

Fool Me Once Shame On You, Fool Me Twice…Shame On Me!

Sherwin, the head of a large accounting firm's audit department, was sued by the resolution trust company for billions. He approached me for help, but I couldn't set up asset protection while this suit was pending. Once it was dismissed, he contacted me and asked me to protect him. I did so, using almost the exact same technology as what Trust Makers offers. (The only difference being he paid almost seven times as much as you would pay if now if you went through Trust Makers).

Three months later, he left the accounting firm and went to work for a large HMO as its CFO. Fourteen months later, he was sued in a shareholder's derivative suit in Federal court. His lawyers showed the suing lawyers the details of his asset protection plan (obscuring only the details of the jurisdiction) and delivered a financial statement (remember, protected assets are not normally disclosed on your balance sheet) showing him to have a very small net worth.

The plaintiff's lawyers made the decision that the battle was not worth the cost and they dismissed the action. It would simply cost more to pursue his assets (in an OLD AND COLD plan... put in place BEFORE the claim arose) than the potential recovery.

We took away the motivation of the professional takers (AKA Lawyers).


Case Study #3

Love, Love American Style…

Sylvia was a 50-year-old divorcee with several million in the bank (the spoils of an earlier marriage). She had fallen in love and was not thinking of all the possible outcomes, she had deep emotional feelings and wanted to get married.

Her long-time friend, and client of mine, knew that her new love was likely to go the way of her earlier loves... so she convinced Sylvia to consider a pre-nuptial agreement. Now, Sylvia was no dummy, but she was head-in-the-clouds over her new love and was afraid that bringing this would take the heat out of the love relationship because a pre-nup says on its face "I DO NOT TRUST YOU."

On the urging of her friend, she contacted me for advice. What I did was prepare an asset protection trust and named the new love as the beneficiary (he never knew that he could be removed by Sylvia at any time with the stroke of a pen)... when he saw this... it made the marriage bed even hotter. Everybody's happy.

Sylvia kept the winds of passion in the marriage sails, and protected her money too. (Side note: as of the writing of this page, she's still with the guy).


Case Study #4

How to Avoid the Buyers Remorse Blues

Wayne, a successful software developer, was selling his business for several million dollars. As is common in such sales, he had to make representations and warranties about the quality of the software. As is also common (more than 45% of the time), the buyer ended up suing the seller for breach of warranty.

Knowing that this was a possibility, Wayne put the proceeds of the sale into an asset protection trust. A year later, when the suit came, his assets were out of the reach of the creditor.

Simple…Anybody selling a business should have an asset protection plan.


Case Study #5

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

It was the middle of the night; Brent and Traci were suddenly awakened by a swarm of armed, black-clad law enforcement agents who stormed through their front door with a warrant to search the property. After ripping the place apart, they found nothing. But based on information they'd obtained; they informed the young couple that their property was being seized.

"Never. Not in America," you're probably saying. But if you think this couldn't happen to you, you'd better think twice. The advent of America's "war on drugs" in the 1980s greatly expanded the power of law enforcement to seize private property based on suspicion of illegal activity alone. The current threat of terrorism may further decrease our ability to be protected from the law.

They were charged with drug trafficking and even though they were eventually found innocent, their lives were turned upside-down. Fortunately Brent had an asset protection plan in place and although they seized the house and cars, without having had their properly prepared asset protection plan in place they would have been in dire straits. Brent and Traci had a protected nest egg available that helped them get through the duration of the legal circus.

Even though Brent and Tracy had innocently fallen victim to this outrageous abuse of government power, these are exactly the kind of circumstances that can place your property at risk. You can and must protect your assets before it happens to you.


Case Study #6

How Good Asset Protection Plans Work…Even Against The Good Guy

John was an energetic young information marketer. He created a course to help people in a particular service business double their incomes. About six months after he started selling his products in a national magazine, a competitor arose that had actually bought one of John's courses. He was selling the exact same thing (John's course with a few changes to make it appear different); even the copyright page was word-for-word taken from John's manual.

It seemed like a clear case of copyright infringement and John sued. The problem was the competitor had protected himself with an asset protection plan that prevented John from getting a dime. Eventually, the competitor was forced to stop selling his product, but John experienced severe financial damage in the process and spent a great deal of time and money trying to recapture some of his financial losses… he finally gave up.

Although we do not endorse or seek to help protect undesirable, dishonest predators, it is proof positive that properly done asset protection can make you untouchable.


Case Study #7

Good Loving Gone Bad

Ringo, a handsome young entrepreneur, was on top of the world. He was one of the "new millionaires of the new millennium" in his business of Internet marketing. Then the inevitable happened. He fell in love and got married. Everything was fine for a while, but Ringo was away from home a lot and his new bride, being young and NOT used to being a homebody, was getting irritated with his constant absence.

Ringo, smart but still thinking like a man, decided that as a present for his new wife he would deed his home, which he had before the marriage, to his love. This only enraged her already unhappy disposition; after all, it was being stuck in the house alone that was driving her nuts. The VERY next morning she announced that she would be filing for divorce.

On an overnight basis, Ringo implemented an asset protection plan and funded it with nearly four million dollars, which he had saved up before his marriage. He knew that all divorce papers contain an automatic order preventing (in some cases) any movement of assets. Four days later, when she served Ringo, he was breathing a lot easier.

When the dust settled, she got some of the money, (and kept part of the house); however, he was done with a bad relationship and at least was in the driver's seat during the divorce in that it was his CHOICE what he dolled out in money to his soon to be EX-wife.

Buy her jewelry or take her someplace tropical…Sheez! But make sure you've protected your assets.


Case Study #8

You Can Hate Me Cause I'm Beautiful…But You Can't Take My Money

Sinthia is, in all respects, one of those women regular people just love to hate. She's gorgeous, classy, tough and cunning. She had just finished a hard-fought divorce, breaking her pre-nup with her husband (remember, pre-nups not only destroy trust but they normally are easy to break). She, on the rebound, met - in her weakened psychological state - and began dating a handsome and notorious European, rumored to be quite the playboy. (My personal opinion is the gentleman - and I use that term very loosely - was simply in the game of wooing older, wealthier women with his charm and sophistication). After a few months, they announced that they would be married. However, Sinthia was no dummy… she was willing to roll the dice, and have some fun with this guy… but she held the secret trump card.

A pre-nup was out of the question (she was having too much fun AND knew that they don't work from personal experience); so she put her money into an asset protection trust. They married. And when the inevitable divorce came, he was incapable of claiming a dime - without even the ability to tie up her money. She continued in her fancy lifestyle and the playboy had to look for some other woman to exploit.

Sinthia's asset protection plan kept her from getting a single wrinkle on that beautiful face… did I mention smart as one of her traits?


Case Study #9

Do The Footwork And Leave the Results Up To God

Grant didn't have much. He was a hard-working minister from a small mid-western town who had the terrible experience of running into a young pedestrian with his car and slightly injuring her. He had $100K of medical insurance on his automobile policy, which he felt would be more than enough to cover any medical expenses and loss damages from the inevitable judgment.

Grant visited the girl bedside at the hospital and expressed his sorrow for her pain, even prayed with her and over her for a speedy healing. She assured him she was feeling okay, that she knew it was an accident. What Grant didn't know was her loser of a boyfriend had a serious gambling problem and was in deep with some bad people that he owed money. So when the girl called him on the phone a week later, asking for a six-figure amount or she would sue, Grant hit his knees… then called his mother.

You see he also knew that his mother was leaving him a sizeable sum of money, which would go directly to the injured girl if he received it. Grant had his mother put an asset protection trust together (with strong spendthrift provisions) and when his mother died, his inheritance went into the trust with himself and other family members named as the beneficiaries. The money was not reachable by the injured girl AND Grant remained in control of the money by virtue of the fact that he was the trustee of the trust.

Good guys can finish first. Even greed and opportunity can't penetrate good asset protection technology.


Case Study #10

Even A Little Is Too Much To Lose

Imelda and her husband Javier worked hard and were able to scrape together enough money to open a discount cigarette store/coffee shop. They set up in a good area right on a main street and had a lot of traffic into their shop. They decided to put an ATM machine in their store because of the constant requests from customers for cash back.

They arranged a good deal with the ATM machine company and were pulling in an extra $1,000 per month in profits from having the machine in their store. After 18 months, things went sour. The company stopped sending them their profits but was still charging them for the lease on the ATM machine.

They found out that there were two separate companies involved in the use of the machine. The company that would send them profits was the same company that serviced and refilled the machine, but there was a different company charging the lease. The first company had gone belly-up, so they closed the account that was still being charged for the leasing fee.

The second company sued them. But because they had set up an asset protection plan with everything in their asset protection trust, the company couldn't get a dime from them. They did not have a lot to lose, but they had a net worth of about $80K. It is a sizable amount for such a young hard-working couple, and worth protecting.

Every individual, especially a business owner with at least $25K in assets, NEEDS to consider some type of asset protection.


Case Study #11

Sex, Drugs and Rock Solid Protection

Tom was 34 and an industrious young man. He owned his first house at 24, was a corporate VP at 26 and married at 31. Now, six years into the marriage, he was having marital problems. His wife Liz was hooked on prescription medications and was in "la-la land" most of the time.

When she wasn't whacked out on medications, she displayed such a nasty disposition that Tom and their children hated being around her. Tom put up with it as long as he could until a sexy young saleswoman caught his eye. She paid attention to him and was a delight to be around. The inevitable happened and Tom wound up sleeping with this woman. Wracked with guilt, he confessed his infidelity to his wife and she went ballistic.

Infidelity is never an easy topic to deal with, but Liz's drug-induced state of mind made it impossible to see how her behaviors might have contributed to Tom's infidelity. In her anger, she began a string of insane behaviors which resulted in her totaling all of the family cars and filing for a divorce, making Tom look like the bad guy and her the complete victim. Her lawyers couldn't penetrate Tom's asset protection, which had been established before the marriage. All Liz got was a small spousal maintenance award and he got the house, the kids and eventually… a new gal.

We all have the capacity to make bad decisions now and again, make sure you make a good one by choosing to properly protect your assets.


Case Study #12

The Scam That Almost Was

Wesley was a moderately wealthy, retired saddle maker who had a good heart but wished to leave more to his grown children. One day, he fell victim to one of the Nigerian banking letter scams. (Now known as one of the most publicized scams on Americans).

In the letter, he was promised a handsome return on his money if he would allow Nigerian Bankers to deposit money into his US account if he was first willing to wire transfer some of his money into their account. He wasn't about to do business without an "old fashioned sit down" with the folks. So he told his sons that he was actually flying to Nigeria to meet with these Nigerian officials and firm up the deal.

Wesley was one of the people who made the tragic mistake of traveling overseas to investigate or carry out this scam thinking it might be valid. Once you are overseas, there are a variety of ways the Nigerians will get to you. Typically, the Nigerians will bribe the customs officials when you arrive so that you do not have to pass through Customs. This is a huge mistake, for then you are a foreigner in Nigeria without a visa -- a very serious offense.

The Nigerians can then threaten to turn you into the authorities until you cough up money. Even after you have paid them money, the local police are about as likely to run this extortion racket themselves, with the result that you will not get out of the country until they have gotten every last dime out of you, and maybe not even then. Fortunately for Wesley, he got back alive and with only a moderate financial loss because of his asset protection plan.

Even ruthless, crazy scam artists will be unable to get into your assets with the proper plan in place. If, in response to one of these letters, you are simply so gullible that you wire-transfer or mail money to the Nigerians, then be thankful that you're lucky enough to have only been that stupid.


There are more case studies and examples in Mr. Lamberts Books.


About Trust Makers Services

As of the date of this writing Trust Makers have never had a complaint against them and none of their clients plans have failed or been penetrated. It should be understood that having asset protection is not a GUARANTEE that you will never be sued, it is just a technique, which at a minimum makes it very unattractive for a plaintiff to collect. Trust Makers is not a law firm, nor will/are the representatives of Trust Makers act/acting as your attorney. Trust Makers does not practice law and does not give legal advice. This site is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship, and no attorney-client relationship will be created with Trust Makers by using Trust Makers or their services.