Arizona Asset Protection Attorneys Featured at 17th Annual Wealth Protection Conference, May 2014

Attorneys Charlie Davis and Ike Devji will be speaking at the 17th Annual Wealth Protection Conference on May 9 and 10 in Mesa Arizona.

From Left, Attorneys Charlie Davis and Ike Devji

From Left, Attorneys Charlie Davis and Ike Devji

Topics covered at the conference will include:

How To Protect Your Assets For Generations,   How to Safely and Legally Use Offshore Trusts and Banks,  Common Fatal Flaws and Misconceptions That Cost Successful People Everything,  Asset Protection Blueprint,   Estate Planning Tips,   Must Have Assets for 2014, Tools To Help You Put Your Business Into Hyper Growth Mode, Profiting During the Impending Dollar Collapse,   Where Energy is Headed & How to Profit, Taxpayers Rights and Abuse Prevention.

Take a look at the Conference website at www.wealthprotectionconf.com and sign up today to secure your spot. If you want to bring a colleague, spouse, child, or a friend the price of a second ticket is half price.

Charlie Davis is the founding partner of Davis Miles McGuire Gardner (DMMG) in Tempe Arizona and has decades of experience in dealing with business owners and other successful Americans on issues related to real estate, tax law and advanced business planning including Asset Protection.

See more on Charlie here: http://www.davismiles.com/attorney/charles-e-davis/

Ike Devji has over a decade of national legal practice devoted solely to Asset Protection and Wealth Preservation and helps protects billions of dollars in personal assets for client base that includes thousands of businesses owners and physicians among others. Ike joined Davis Miles McGuire Gardner earlier this year to help create formal practice groups in theses areas.

See more on Ike here: http://www.davismiles.com/attorney/ike-z-devji-j-d/

About the DMMG Asset Protection Practice group:

http://www.davismiles.com/practice-areas/asset-protection/

 

 

 

Asset Protection Attorney Ike Devji featured on Esq. Resource Radio

Slide1Attorney Ike Devji was a featured guest for a 60 minute interview on Esq. Resource Radio in Scottsdale, Arizona with host Frank Lopo recently.

The interview introduced the idea of Asset Protection, common Asset Protection mistakes and misconceptions, the role of liability insurance and a number of other issues that successful individuals like doctors and business owners should consider in their own legal and financial planning.

You can hear the entire interview at the link below.

 

Estate Planning, Sugar Daddies and Lawsuits, Oh My

Given the current and often predatory nature of modern personal relationships I thought this piece by my friend and colleague Robert Sewell of Davis Miles McGuire Gardner was interesting and timely, to say the least. Bob practices heavily in the area of probate litigation, which is where late or poorly drafted estate plans end-up, usually at the detriment of the estate. – Ike Devji

Sugar-Daddy-1THE POWER OF SEDUCTION AND A DYING MAN’S WILL

Nothing looks more suspicious, though quite common, than the dying man who makes a deathbed will.  It is the stuff of Hollywood.  Picture the elderly man summoning his lawyer to his deathbed.  The lawyer drafts the will as the invalid dictates the contents.  The invalid declares that his entire estate shall pass to his wicked mistress—a young looker and manipulative gold digger.  The scarlet woman places the pen in the man’s hand and firmly demands, “sign it.”  The will is signed.  The priest reads the testator’s last rites as his soul leaves his body.  His faithful children are now destitute.

Of course, a lawsuit will follow.  The faithful children accuse the mistress (or new wife) of unduly influencing their father and demanding, in court, that the judge refuse the will.

After all, why would a loving father not provide for his children at death?  Had the mistress not used her seductive powers and lies to poison the mind of their father, the children would enjoy a profitable future.

 

Unfortunately for the children, a woman’s seduction alone is not enough to invalidate a will.

 

In the case of Parrisella v. Fotopulos, 111 Ariz. 4, 6, 522 P.2d 1081, 1083 (Ariz. 1974), the Arizona Supreme Court defines “undue influence” as follows:

Conduct by which a person unduly influences a testator in executing a will, when that person through his power over the mind of the testator makes the latter’s desires conform to his own, thereby overmastering the volition of the testator.

The court reasoned that a woman’s seductive power does meet this standard:

It is settled law of this state that [an] illicit relationship is not sufficient per se to warrant a conclusion of undue influence.  And no presumption of undue influence arises merely from the fact that a man  . . . makes a will in favor of his mistress.” Id. (citations omitted).

So, unlike in the movies, in real life, the wicked mistress just might win.

ABOUT OUR GUEST AUTHOR:

Robert Sewell Partner at Davis Miles McGuire Gardner, PLLC

Robert Sewell
Partner at Davis Miles McGuire Gardner, PLLC

 

 

Robert Sewell is a partner at the law firm of Davis Miles McGuire Gardner in Phoenix, Arizona and practices primarily in the areas of  Commercial Litigation, Probate Litigation and Real Estate Litigation. He has written on a variety or related issues. Mr. Sewell’s litigation experience involves cases in federal, state and administrative settings. He has also resolved disputes through mediation, arbitration, as well as bench and jury trials. Mr. Sewell has also worked as a professor of business law. You can contact him directly for help or through Ike Devji. http://www.davismiles.com/attorney/robert-n-sewell/

 

Attorney Ike Devji Joins Davis Miles Mcguire Gardner to Create Asset Protection & Wealth Preservation Law Group

Press Release 

Asset Protection Attorney Ike Devji joins multi-state law firm of Davis Miles McGuire Gardner, PLLC – expanding needed legal services to high net worth clients and their advisors.

Asset Protection Lawyer Ike Devji

Phoenix, February 10, 2014:  

Noted Asset Protection Attorney Ike Devji has joined the law firm of Davis Miles McGuire Gardner, PLLC (DMMG) and its multi-state legal practice in an of-counsel capacity.

Lawyer Devji is in his 11th year of focused Asset Protection legal practice and has helped protect over $5 Billion in personal assets for a national client base of several thousand physicians and private business owners, c-level executives and a small but growing group of professional athletes and entertainers for over a decade. Devji formerly acted as the managing attorney of one of the nation’s leading asset protection only law firms and remains of counsel with that firm as well.

“This new relationship does not distract from my practice focus, which remains centered on Asset Protection, Wealth Transfer and Risk Management for successful individuals”, said Devji in a recent interview.

What this new partnership achieves is the creation of a focused asset protection practice group at DMMG and an expansion of the level of service I can bring my clients and the financial advisors, CPAs and medical practice management groups that refer their most cherished clients to me. I now have the additional legal expertise of some 70 odd attorneys with a high degree of skill and experience in 17 additional legal practice areas ranging from real estate to estate planning. This allows me to focus on what I’m best at and help coordinate my clients’ other complex planning and litigation needs in the holistic way they increasingly want and need”.

The timing of this new partnership is key for several reasons, not the least of which is the vulnerable state of the wealth of many of the Southwest’s most successful business people. The last 6 years in particular has shown that there is a substantial disconnect between the needs of many Arizona residents and the relatively low level of asset protection and defensive risk management planning they have in place. “The fact so many people in Arizona and across the U.S. lost a lifetime’s worth of work by relying on insurance and traditional estate planning alone speaks for itself” says Devji. “My new associates and I are going to work hard to increase not only the level of service and protection these folks have in place, but also the level of awareness of the needs of successful entrepreneurs of all types with public at large and legal and advisory communities in particular”.

Devji and his new associates will be hosting a variety of educational events for both the public and advisors which will continue the focus of Devji’s national speaking and educational activities and expend them by adding the expertise of DMMG’s other attorneys in other areas of the law. Devji is a popular and in-demand national speaker and has taught on this issue to literally thousands of advisors and consumers nationally. His scheduled speaking engagements include presentations at the request of the Financial Planning Association of Greater Phoenix, The Arizona State Physicians Association, a private surgery group and private presentation for professional athletes at the request of a boutique wealth management firm in Atlanta. This is in addition to video teaching presentations for NBI and The American Educational Institute (AEI), which will be shown to physicians across the United States over 1000 times in AEI’s classrooms.

Ike Devji’s work as an author has appeared in print and online in countless medical journals including Physicians Practice, Worth Magazine, Advisor Today, Public Accountant, Life Insurance Selling, Financial Consultant, Best Thinking. Expert Beacon and many other sources in additional to his being a contributing author to the book Optimal Financial Health, The Doctor’s Essential Wealth Management and Preservation Handbook. Devji is has been rated “10.0 Superb” by AVVO for the years 2013, 2012 and 2011 in addition to being named a WORTH magazine “Leading Wealth and Legal Advisor” and among North Valley magazine’s “Top Lawyers” in 2013.  He is a 30 year plus Arizona resident and a double ASU Alumni.

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Contact: IKE DEVJIPro Asset ProtectionPhone: (602) 808-5540Fax: (602) 808-5553 3131 E. Camelback   Road, Suite 350Phoenix, AZ 85016www.ProAssetProtection.com

pro asset protection

Asset Protection with Offshore Trusts – The Cook Islands

OFFSHORE TRUSTSThis article is somewhat sensational (like most lay-articles on the subject of Asset Protection)  in that it focuses on the “bad users” but the science is still sound.

There are likely more people abusing tax deductions and self-directed IRAs than the kind of well timed and tax neutral offshore trust planning which we’ve helped 1000′s put in place legally.

I’m still a big believer in the Offshore Asset Protection Trust when done right. This means:

1.  Fully disclosed and with no abusive tax plan involved;

2.  Done by a professional; and

3. Done with no pending creditor issues.

SEE THE NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE HERE:

http://preview.tinyurl.com/COOKTRUST

 

See the

Asset Protection and Wealth Preservation Attorney and Author to Speak on in Maui, November 21st, 2013

A Seminar About Protecting Your Wealth and AssetsFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  

Maui, HI.  November 17, 2013.

Asset Protection Attorney Ike Devji will be the featured guest speaker at a November 21st, 2013 educational seminar for doctors, business owners and other high net worth individuals sponsored by Ronsman & Associates, a wealth advisory firm serving specially qualified clients in Hawaii, Arizona and Alaska.

 

The complimentary event will be held from 5:30 to 7:00 PM at the Maui Beach Hotel’s Molokai Room.

Attorney Ike Devji will share insight gained as a former litigator who has spent the last decade of his legal career helping thousands of successful individuals across the United States protect over $5 Billion dollars of their personal assets from litigation, risk and other variables.

“We are at a point where we have 70,000 lawsuits filed per day in the U.S., and Hawaii is not immune to this issue, or the many other areas of risk management not addressed by basic liability or malpractice insurance that continually take successful people by surprise”, said Devji. “Wayne Ronsman, President of Ronsman & Associates, has many existing Maui clients who he originally wanted to share this vital educational content with and he decided to make it available to general

Maui community as a public service. Wayne understands that it’s not just what you make, it’s what you keep, and the most successful Americans are more worried about loss than growth right now. We are going to make sure they have a starting point in defending their success in plain English.”

The seminar will common cover the risk picture in the U.S. and address key issues like the difference between traditional estate planning and asset protection planning and a variety of key issues that must be addressed by every doctor, business owner and executive. Ike Devji is a national speaker, author and educator on the area of his practice and was recently a guest speaker at ACR 13, the annual convention of the American College of Rheumatology in San Diego.

He is the former managing of attorney of one of the United States leading asset protection law firms and has been listed among a select group of WORTH magazine’s “Leading Wealth and Legal Advisors”, is rated a “Perfect 10.0 by AVVO, appears on various Top Lawyer lists and has literally hundreds of nationally published articles in publications including Financial Consultant, Advisor Today, Public Accountant, countless medical journals (with over 130 articles for doctors at Physicians Practice alone), in addition to being a contributing author to the book, Optimal Financial Health. He has also recently completed an CME (continuing medical education) course for doctors at the request of the American Educational Institute (AEI) that will be shown in AEI’s marquee classrooms all over the U.S 1000 times in the next 12 months.

For his part, Wayne Ronsman brings Maui 40 years of financial industry experience with high net worth clients like doctors and business owners and is the Founder and President of the Benefit Institute which is in the business of providing financial services. The Company works extensively with Trust Officers, CPA’s and Attorneys, frequently playing a key role in finding solutions to their clients’ tax and estate problems and in taking advantage of their existing financial opportunities. Part of this work includes finding experts in other fields that are vital to persevering his clients’ success and using them to educate and serve his clients.

For More Information or To Reserve a Seat:

Wayne Ronsman, President, The Benefit Institute

toll-free at (877) 759-2181 EMAIL: wjronsman@msn.com or FAX to (480) 460-5748

Website: http://waynejronsmanassociates.com/About.html

FOR MORE INFO ON THE SEPAKER:

Ike Devji, J.D. Managing Attorney – Pro Asset Protection

(602) 808-5540 EMAIL: ID@thewealthy100.com

Website: http://www.proassetprotection.com

Tagged: Lawsuits, Asset Protection, Wealth Preservation, Maui, Hawaii, Doctors, Executives, Physicians, Business, wealth, Wayne Ronsman, Ike Devji, medical, seminars, continuing education, CME, medical practice management, CEO, entrepreneur, Business Owner, CPA

 

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Asset Protection Lawyer in Phoenix – What to Ask

ARIZONA ASSET PROTECTION LAWYERSArizona lawyers are piling into the Asset Protection planning field due to both the large number of people who have finally realized that their wealth is more finite and fragile than they ever imagined and the litigation boom that inevitably follows tough times.

Unfortunately, this new found interest in Asset Protection and the large number of people seeking to profit from has created a more puzzling and fraud-ridden landscape for legal services consumers in Phoenix, Arizona and surrounding communities like Scottsdale and Paradise Valley than ever before.

Every lawyer that has attended even a single continuing legal education (CLE) class on Asset Protection now feels qualified to implement tools and strategies that have far reaching and potentially fatal effects if misused or not completely understood. While I myself take CLE classes in a variety of areas outside my very narrow practice field, I do so simply to be generally educated and to help me spot issues for clients so I know when to get them help from qualified and experienced counsel, not to try and keep work I don’t know how to do inside my firm. Unfortunately, that’s what is happening in Arizona, as many lawyers and estate planners in particular are looking for extra work and are being told to add asset protection to their list of services whether they know what they are doing or not (most don’t).

As one simple example, the thought of litigating a divorce case for a client despite the fact that I have a general understanding of the marital property laws in my state would be ridiculous. Not only would it jeopardize my client but create a substantial liability for me, especially since I have a roster of exceptionally qualified help in this area at specialty firms that will serve my client better in that area than I could ever hope to.

Even worse, attorneys that I have personally met with and discussed issues for planners or co-counsel opportunities who flat out told me that they don’t practice in this area at all are going back to their offices and adding “Asset Protection” to their websites.

A review of the websites of many small and mid-size law firms that have recently tacked this area onto their websites will reveal that that their “expert” is also listed in a number of other categories, like estate planning (at least this one is close), contracts, employment, real estate and etc. what this tells me as an attorney is that they don’t have enough work in any single category to have a focused practice and will handle anything that comes across their desk. This is appropriate for some simple, general legal issues, but not Asset Protection planning. Additionally, most lawyers, and estate planners in particular, often in engage inn planning without any real knowledge of your business and the specific professional risks you face.

If your attorney can’t help you avoid harm, manage risk, spot issues related to your specific business AND draft legal tools, get better help.

The last ten years of my national legal practice have been devoted exclusively to Asset Protection law. In that capacity I have been fortunate to help protect a client base of thousands of clients representing billions of dollars in safely protected assets. This very concentrated practice has also provided a good understanding of the plans and planners at work in this specialized field and I have seen the very best and very worst of the plans being sold across the country.

In the worst cases we are asked to appraise the protective value of existing poorly implemented plans using bad tools, jurisdictions or both by either lay-people facing a threat or their experienced litigation counsel that know that my associates and I practice in this area and want a real appraisal of the system that they have in place and its protective value. Unfortunately, this 11th hour stress-testing is often limited to an informational exercise as many of the good, valid legal moves and tools are outside the reach and use of the client at that point because they are already in trouble and the kind of changes needed to make their planning useful would constitute fraudulent conveyance.

20/20 HINDSIGHT BY LAWYERS

Another common issue I experience is being approached by a potential client who is concerned about their wealth and the level of exposure they have. After a thorough review and the delivery of a specific written plan to protect them by myself or other qualified counsel they often go back to their existing legal team (that allowed them to get where they are today without protection) to get their input. What is stunning is the number of attorneys who will review an expert’s plan, make a couple of minor comments or changes and then say, “Yes you need some more planning, we can do that”.

What puzzles me is that if the lawyer and client had a long relationship and the lawyer was privy to all the details of their business, liability, assets and etc., knew the client needed additional planning and was qualified to deliver it, why did they wait years and until their client took action on their own to try and jump in and do work outside their skill set and practice area? If your lawyer did not know enough to do it or at least suggest considering Asset Protection when you were first qualified based on your assets and liabilities, they probably don’t know enough to put it in place for you now, no matter how badly they want a reason to bill you.

IMPORTANT DUE DILLIGENCE QUESTIONS TO ASK AN “ARIZONA ASSET PROTECTION LAWYER”

#1: Are you a lawyer or part of a law firm that will keep our discussion privileged?

Remember that dealing with “promoters” or LLC Mills does not provide the skill set and training required. More importantly, if you are not dealing with a law firm that allows all your communications to be attorney privileged everything you do is discoverable with a simple subpoena, including all emails and other communications.

#2: How many clients have you done this specific type of planning for?

An East Coast law firm has nearly plagiarized the website of my associates. On it they claim to serve thousands of clients and be a top asset protection law firm. Closer examination of the site reveals that they have a dozen plus distinct practice areas and are simply intentionally misrepresenting that client base as if all of it is with Asset Protection clients. Be very specific and watch out for this common legal bait and switch their marketing team is suggesting in big seminars.

#3: What’s the average net worth of your clients?

It’s important to deal with a lawyer and firm that has a depth of experience with businesses, assets and families like yours. Knowing what your liquidity needs are and not using outdated estate planning tools that are not income, business and age appropriate (like using a QPRT for a 33 year old) are common amateur mistakes we see other lawyers make. Also, be aware that a number of different specialties now classify themselves as “Asset Protection” planners when it was formerly used only for the kind of pro-active, defensive legal planning I am focusing on in this article. The field now includes elder care lawyers, annuity and insurance salesman and variety of other folks that may have good products and services, but are probably not what you are looking for. If your planner is an Elder Care planner, as one example, they are probably not equipped to handle and as familiar with the needs of a high net worth business owner, physician, or high visibility individual like a professional athlete or entertainer.

#4: Where do you work?

Having a law firm that works nationally is a good hedge. It’s important that they understand the protection available by statue in your locality and give you a plan that will stand up to attacks in any jurisdiction. It’s also important that it is portable so it can travel with you if you move and flexible enough to allow you to do business and own assets in more than one jurisdiction, i.e. something as simple as a vacation home in another state or a life insurance policy with a high cash value that could be lost in a lawsuit.

#5: How many types of law do you practice and how long has Asset Protection been part of your practice?

See my more detailed explanation of this concern at the opening of this article. Make sure you are comfortable with their experience level. Lawyers are increasingly specialized and while many of have a good general knowledge of a variety of concepts and issues we tend, like all professionals, to be good at only one or two on a good day.

#6: How many doctors do you protect?

This is obviously a doctor specific question, but an important one if you are a physician or the advisor of a physician doing due diligence on their behalf. In my experience with a client bas that includes thousands of doctors we have learned that medical professionals of all types including MD, DDS and DC have unique needs and specific technical and legal exposures that only get more onerous as their success grows. Make sure the planner you are dealing with understands those unique issues and is trained well enough to be another set of eyes on your behalf for a holistic check-up of your wide array planning needs.

#7: Can you provide any professional recommendations?

This can be tricky for lawyers, especially those who practice in sensitive fields where people value their privacy like Asset Protection as opposed to say, a real estate lawyer. Nevertheless, they should be able to provide at least a couple of professional references that speak specifically to their experience in this field or from related professionals outside their own firm that refer clients to them for this specific service.

#8: Have you written anything on this topic that outlines your tools and strategies?

If your planner is even marginally qualified to work in this area with you they should have extensive educational materials that describe the tools they use and what each tool does. If they can’t educate you about the tools they will likely do more harm than good, as part of our job as planners in this area is to educate our clients on what works best, why and how to use it going forward. No matter how much support a firm offers they can’t be with you 24/7 so they better be able to train you.

#9: Can you provide a specific written plan that outlines costs, results and requirements?

Every firm prices its services differently, and that’s OK, but they should be able to show you in writing what result they are going to attempt to achieve ( I say attempt because there is no such thing as certainty in the law, all we can do is follow proven best practices supported by law and experience with others. Anyone who tells you their system is undefeatable and “will” never be broken is lying, or worse, stupid) for a specific price.

#10: What kind of on-going support and education do you provide to your clients and at what cost?

Hiring an Asset Protection lawyer is one step in a holistic multi-step process with many pieces, not a one-shot magic bullet. If you pay someone in my business to build you a “Legal Vault” that is capable of containing your life’s work, they better be there to help you put the assets in it, use it the right way, teach you to lock the door and show you how to open it when you need your assets or use of them. Merely getting a box of legal papers on its own is not going to serve you and your family well. Be wary of the fees involved to use the plan, in addition to what it costs to set up. Ask specific questions about accounting, compliance and tax status and reporting burdens, many of the best Asset Protection tools and plans are explicitly tax neutral. Finally, be clear about how accessible your planner is going to be going forward and at what cost. Many hide huge fees on the back end to lure you in up front.

This list will doubtless be fluid and expanded as other issues prove outside the experience of clients and advisors. For now, consider it a starting point on your journey to financial security and to having your own “net worth insurance” policy in place.

 

RED FLAGS FOR FRAUD OR LEGAL MALPRACTICE:

1. The are not a licensed attorney

2. The promise “secrecy”

3. They lack experience in this specific area of law

4. They promise huge income tax savings

5. They require secrecy from you about the nature of their planning (i.e. an NDA agreement)

6. They want to be a trustee or want some other individual you don’t know (as opposed to a corporate fiduciary) to be a trustee

8. They promise results no other firm can deliver based on your situation

9. They offer to commit illegal acts, like concealing assets from a spouse

10. They don’t have any risk management questions or resources and talk only about their legal tools

11. They say that you need no help beyond what their office delivers. No man is an island, lawyers are no exception.

12. They want you to assign any assets, power of attorney or other means of transfer and control to them directly

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Attorney Ike Devji has ten years of Asset Protection only legal experience and helps protect a national client base of thousands of clients comprising over $5 billion in personal assets. This client base includes several thousand doctors and a wide variety of high net worth business owners, C-level executives and other affluent individuals. He is a frequent teacher, speaker and author on this subject and has over 200 bylines in publications ranging from WORTH magazine to Advisor Today and Physicians Practice. To learn more about him and how he can help you, your practice or your clients please visit www.ProAssetProtection.com today.

Asset Protection Trust Jurisdictions For Doctors Part 2: Going Offshore

OFFSHORE TRUSTSLast week marked the second chapter of our discussion of asset protection trusts for doctors, with a look some basic issues of jurisdiction, that is, what geographic location’s set of laws control the trust. For those who want a potentially higher degree of security with a longer track record, offshore tools like international asset protection trusts (IAPTs) are often attractive. 

 

Although painted in a negative light in recent popular lore because of issues with large numbers of tax evaders (many of who are American doctors) the defensive value of the IAPT remains intact. The simple mistake made by most of the people you read about having trouble with offshore accounts can be reduced to simply failing to report the accounts as the law requires. You do have a well-established right to have offshore bank accounts and trusts and the event of moving money to a foreign bank account owned by a trust or held personally as we covered in our previous article on offshore finance is typically not taxable in and of itself. 

A large number of successful American doctors set up this kind of defensive planning in the first place because they lack full confidence in the often inconsistent and subjective nature of the American court system and are unwilling to remain exposed to any claim or lawsuit that may come along, regardless of its validity and amount. One of the questions that I’ve asked clients pondering the domestic vs. foreign asset protection trust question is this: If you feel you that ensuring your life’s efforts against the above mentioned exposures in the U.S. court system is a good idea, does it make sense to rely on that very same system’s laws and subjective judgment in the planning you implement against it? While opinions and tactics vary widely among planners not all of those strong opinions are backed by actual long-term experience; make sure the answers you are getting actually are.

There are many international jurisdictions to choose from when creating an IAPT ranging from familiar Caribbean islands to Belize, Jersey, The Isle of Mann and the Cook Islands, one of my personal favorites. Some jurisdictions (especially many of the romanticized Caribbean ones) are now too close and connected to the United States to provide the full value of an offshore trust structure and others may be too remote, politically unstable or under-developed to provide many westerners comfort. This author’s personal experience with several thousand of these structures has been to use a remote but well-established protective jurisdiction staffed by top international banks and trust companies that controls assets housed in first-world, European-state-owned and insured banks. These provide superior solvency risk and political stability.  Banks such as these provide the many layers of protection and part of the system of checks and balances so important when moving your assets.

Once assets are moved, the “investment advisor” to the trust can allocate the trust’s assets to nearly any imaginable conventional investment and a few you can’t participate in directly as an individual U.S. citizen. In addition to the basic legitimate business purposes of wealth preservation and estate planning, the IAPT is also gaining popularity with those who have concerns about having their entire investment portfolio here in the United States. Currency stability as well as social political and economic variables have prompted more Americans than ever before to investigate these options over the last five years.

The costs and legal formalities, as well as the history and legal protection afforded, vary widely between jurisdictions, so it’s important to work with an experienced planner that has full range of required support resources like banks, trust companies, protectors, and investment advisors. As always, timing is key, so looking at these tools after an exposure has occurred dramatically reduces their effectiveness and legality.  In this limited forum we can’t possibly cover every detail, so get personalized professional legal help when examining this important asset protection strategy or any other.

 

 

Asset Protection Trust Jurisdictions for Physicians – Part 1, Domestic

law and money for doctorsIn our discussion two weeks ago we introduced the Asset Protection Trust (or APT) as a tool and answered some of the most frequently asked questions regarding what it is and how it differs from the estate-planning trust many doctors already have in place. We continue our discussion of the APT this week and examine the often argued and misunderstood issue of jurisdiction, that is, the place and laws under which the trust is created that ideally control any legal action with or against it.

The Options

The most basic division between choices is simple; APTs can be on-shore or “domestic” or offshore, typically referred to as “international” or “foreign.” Look for these prefixes to indicate this elemental distinction. Both DAPTs and their offshore or international (IAPT) counterparts share some common elements:

 They are irrevocable

They must strictly comply with all legal, formational and operational requirements imposed by a specific jurisdiction and state so in their drafting

They have trustees appointed to mange the trust and its assets

Some require that the assets seeking legal protection are actually located within the jurisdiction and that an approved local agent, trustee or authority is appointed

 They must be set up and funded in advance of any claim or specific liability you want them to be effective against

 Neither structure is secret or tax free, despite what’s promised

Both are usually ineffective against a current spouse when used in a legal way

There are a number of states that have created laws that allow the formation of a domestic APT or DAPT in their jurisdictions. This number has grown over the last few years due to consumer demand and the states’ realizations that they can generate significant fees as part of being in the trust business.

Among the most popular of the DAPT jurisdictions are Nevada, Montana, Delaware, and Wyoming but there are many others that have similar statutes. Experienced planners have strong opinions about which jurisdictions are best and why and should be able to explain the benefits and how they can effectively apply to you and your assets well beyond just, “Because we are in state X”.  

These trusts are typically less expensive than their offshore counterparts but are as yet untested on any wide scale and rely on the hope that, for instance, a judge in California with jurisdiction over a California defendant will refrain from trying to grab that defendant’s assets in Nevada because Nevada says they are in a special trust. This also unfortunately flies in the face of “full faith and credit” which essentially states that a judgment in any state is good and enforceable against a defendant and their asset in every other state. Large numbers of DAPTS have been established over the last few years in various jurisdictions by planners of widely varying skill for clients with questionable timing.

I’m a strong believer that “bad facts make bad law” and given the number of bad fact-planning cases that have been executed in the last few years, I feel it is likely that you will see many of these structures pierced. Although these cases should be judged individually on their merits, human nature makes it more likely that they will begin to be viewed as a group by the courts and either generally upheld or viewed as ineffective. Until that drama plays out I advise not be in the legal equivalent of a clinical trial.

Consumers must be wary of who they chose to work with for both DAPT and offshore-based planning. There are significant ramifications for making transfers to these kinds of vehicles including tax, estate, and fraudulent conveyance issues that you must understand or have counsel that does. Many recent entrants to the asset-protection business are applying form documents without a full understanding of their use and how it will affect your future defense, control, and use of those assets. Get personalized help from an experienced attorney who can help make sure that you are following the letter of the law to get any and every possible benefit the trust may provide.

Our next discussion on this issue will turn to the use of offshore asset protection trusts by doctors and the myths surrounding IAPT planning and its effectiveness.

 This article was originally written for and published by www.PhysiciansPractice.Com, The Nation’s Leading Practice Mgmt. Resource, where Mr. Devji is also a regular contributor.

Professional Athletes: Fraud, Investing and Lawsuits

 

We work with professional athletes on a variety of asset protection and business related issues. Although surrounded by managers and agents, they are often victimized by fraud schemes and increasingly coming under fire themselves, in many cases after making bad moves due to financial pressures. Here are 3 recent articles on these exposures, check the index to the right for others. – Ike Devji

 

 

College Football Hall Of Famer Charged With Ponzi Scheme

The SEC charged a former University of Georgia football coach and ESPN analyst with running an $80 million Ponzi scheme using assets from other coaches and former players.  

http://www.proassetprotection.com/wp-admin/post-new.php

 Ex-Dallas Cowboy Sentenced  In Scam

A former Dallas Cowboys linebacker was sentenced to four and a half years in prison for his role in a $20.5 million mortgage fraud that traded on his association with the NFL

http://www.fa-mag.com/news/ex-dallas-cowboy-sentenced-in-scam-12833.html?section=43

Football Star Vince Young Sues Advisors

Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Vince Young sued his former financial advisor and former agent for fraud and breach of contract. 

http://www.fa-mag.com/news/football-star-viince-young-sues-advisors–10972.html