Asset Protection in a Litigious Society

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Anyone who owns property or has assets valued in excess of $300K should take steps to protect themselves from a possible lawsuit. Litigation has become a popular means for the accumulation of and the loss of wealth. Ask your attorney about creating an offshore trust.

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Asset Protection in a Litigious Society

  1. 1. Using Offshore Trusts: Asset Protection in a Litigious Society By Michael D. WildAnyone who has property or assets valued over $300,000 shouldconsider protecting them from a possible lawsuit. Litigation has becomea popular means for the accumulation of wealth. We see it on televisionevery day; people "recover" exaggerated sums of money for just aboutany reason. Today, if a person believes there is any possibility ofobtaining money by means of a lawsuit, they will file a lawsuit.Defendants in a lawsuit settle without ever doing anything wrongbecause a defense attorney usually charges on an hourly basis. It is lessexpensive to settle than to litigate and defend yourself against the claim.Plaintiffs attorneys, on the other hand, are likely to take the case on acontingency basis. Many times claims are filed because the plaintiff hasnothing to lose.When an attorney discusses a possible lawsuit with a prospective client,the lawyer will look at the probability of success. If probability is low,he or she will not take the case; if the probability is high, the next thingthe attorney does is investigate whether the defendants assets are largeenough to justify investing his time in the lawsuit. If the assets are small,the amount recovered would probably be small. As a result the attorneywill probably decline the case. In South Florida Contact Wild Felice and Pardo Fort Lauderdale Asset Protection & Estate Planning AttorneysOne way to protect your assets is through offshore trusts. Trustsoriginated in medieval times when English nobles entrusted their landsand wealth to friends and other close relations before they went oncrusade in order to ensure that their families were provided for duringtheir absence. Over time the Trust has developed into the legal entity weknow today. In the last few decades, the offshore trust has becomepopular. However, its improper and illegal use by some has given it abad reputation as an asset protection tool.
  2. 2. There are many reasons why an offshore Trust can is an effective assetprotection vehicle. The main reason to go offshore is because thecountries that cater to asset protection dont enforce U.S. judgments orliens. As a result, a creditor must litigate their claim within the foreignjurisdiction. For practical and economic reasons it is unlikely that acreditor will pursue the claim outside the United States.The misconception about offshore trusts comes about because manyfalsely believe that an offshore trust will avoid having to pay incometaxes. They have tried to unlawfully evade U.S. income taxes by using"secret" offshore accounts. Recent IRS measures are making itincreasingly difficult to keep these accounts secret. There is nothinginherently wrong with offshore accounts. However, they cannot be usedfor tax evasion. Failing to report income and paying the appropriate taxcan have devastating consequences. In South Florida Contact Wild Felice and Pardo, Fort Lauderdale Asset Protection & Estate Planning AttorneysWhen an offshore trust is part of an advanced plan it can legally andethically safeguard your assets. Lets assume that a prospectivedefendant has a high net worth and that the danger of losing it in alawsuit exists. The assets can be protected by placing them in anoffshore trust before a suit is brought. As with any legal matter,advanced planning is of vital importance. While few people everimagine they will be sued and lose their assets in a lawsuit, however, inthe current litigious society, advanced planning is necessary. Anoffshore trust is one of many alternatives that exist to protect yourwealth.For more information on successful Florida estate planning and assetprotection techniques, please contact the South Florida law firm of WildFelice & Pardo, P.A. at 954-944-2855 or via email at info@wfplaw.comto schedule your free consultation. It’s a Wild world. Are youprotected?

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