Domestic Asset Protection

While experience has proven that the most effective asset protection strategies are implemented offshore, going offshore is not appropriate for every client. Moreover, some assets – such as real estate and operating businesses – cannot be relocated overseas.  For these reasons, we have developed a number of domestic asset protection planning strategies with highly effective results for our clients.

For an overview of the tools and strategies we use to create a domestic asset protection plan, please visit our Planning Tools page.

When is Domestic Asset Protection Planning Advantageous?

Domestic asset protection techniques are essential to shield immovable assets from the reach of creditors. Examples of immovable assets include:  real estate; operating businesses with facilities and equipment in the USA; fine art and collectibles stored domestically; and certain retirement plans that require a domestic custodian.

Are Domestic Asset Protection Plans Effective?

There are a number of domestic asset protection planning techniques that are surprisingly effective when measured against international solutions.  Of course, every client situation is unique, and many factors influence the efficacy of a domestic asset protection plan.  The professionals at the Speiser Law Firm analyze your situation and make recommendations that enable you to evaluate a range of domestic and international solutions.

Do Domestic Asset Protection Trusts Work?

Not really.  While "DAPTs" are now available in a select number of states, the few cases in which they have been challenged have proven disastrous for clients and their planners. DAPT legislation has been heavily promoted by domestic trust companies focused more on collecting fees than serving the best interests of their clients.

If I Implement a Domestic Asset Protection Plan, Can I Migrate My Plan Overseas at a Later Time?

Yes, it is possible to migrate a domestic asset protection plan offshore.  However, this is dependent on circumstances at the time you choose to effect the migration.  If you are subject to litigation at the time of migration, you may find your offshore planning options to be constrained.

Are Domestic Plans Less Expensive Than Going Offshore?

Not always.  Certain costs are higher domestically, such as the service fee charged by a domestic trust service provider.  Other costs – such as for banking and investment accounts – are much lower in the USA than overseas.

Is There a Minimum Net Worth for Going Offshore?

Not really.  The decision to stay domestic or go international is affected more by the type of assets you own than by your net worth.  For example, if nearly all of your wealth is tied up in domestic real estate, there is not much benefit to setting up an international plan unless you will be liquidating significant amounts of equity by selling your property or borrowing against it.  By comparison, if your net worth consists primarily of stocks, bonds, and cash, then international planning is a highly effective tool. While there may be other legal considerations that justify international planning, most clients would not consider funding an international plan with less than $500,000 in liquid assets.