Your Assets Need Protection We can help
Because of the high quality of our lawyers, coupled with the flexibility and economy of a tailored practice, our firm has a philosophy of providing sophisticated legal services at fair rates substantially below those of traditional big firms. This is because we see our clients as more than mere “business transactions” – our goal is to establish long-term relationships with our clients and serve as a primary resource and partner in all aspects of our client’s business growth and development.
50+ Years of Asset Protection Experience
It is unfortunate, but true: We live in a highly litigious society and people today seem to sue one another over just about anything. Worse, you never really know what a jury might decide, regardless of how frivolous a lawsuit may appear. Even some of the people you love the most may need protection from themselves, such as those who suffer from drug or alcohol dependency, or who lack the maturity to handle a large inheritance on their own. All of this helps explain why Asset Protection Planning is such a rapidly growing area of the law and why it is so important for you to have a plan expertly tailored to your specific needs – particularly if you are a physician, attorney, CPA, business owner, real estate developer, or member of a profession that is subject to an unusually high number of lawsuits.
At Bohm Wildish & Matsen, LLP, our top asset protection lawyers provide the guidance that individuals, families and owners of closely-held companies need in understanding the risks they face. We then design creative asset protection plans to guard against potential liabilities. With years of experience in all areas of asset protection law, and an extensive network of leading financial professionals world-wide, we are particularly skilled at establishing and managing offshore trusts and corporations. The techniques and strategies we can use to protect your hard-won assets and legacy include:
- Offshore and domestic business entity formation
- Domestic trusts designed to safeguard assets from predators
- Offshore trusts, placing your assets beyond the jurisdiction of U.S. Courts and out of harm’s way
- Equity stripping and asset isolation strategies to minimize the risks posed by potential predators and which ensure your privacy
Cook Island Advantage
Cook Islands are a stable democracy with modern infrastructure, but what makes moving a trust to this location so beneficial?
- Constitutional Legal System: incorporating English common law, certain British and New Zealand statutes and customary laws
- Formally part of New Zealand Gained independence in 1964
- Highly respected New Zealand judges
- Competent professionals to provide backup services to offshore financial services industry
- Highly educated English speaking labor force
- No FX controls
- Boast the highest GDP per capita amongst the South Pacific small island nations
So why the Cook Islands?
1. Pioneering Trust laws:
- In the 1980s, the Cook Islands codified the concept of Asset Protection Trusts through the enactment of the International Trusts Act
- modifies certain common law trust principles, which were contrary to asset protection
- Considered the leading asset protection jurisdiction in the world
- Legislation has been copied by other jurisdictions
- Long track record and case-law that has provided certainty
2. Cook Islands International Trusts Act
- Foreign judgments NOT enforceable
- Self-settled Trusts permitted
- Settlor permitted to retain powers and benefits in a trust
- Spendthrift provisions – an interest in trust property cannot be alienated or pass from the trust by bankruptcy of, or process of law relating to beneficiaries
- Bankruptcy – an International Trust is not void or voidable in the event of the Settlor’s bankruptcy
3. Cook Islands International Trust
- Trust can only be challenged on the grounds of a fraudulent transfer
- Comprehensive fraudulent transfer rules
- Limited time to commence action against trust
4. The Need of the 2 Step Test
- Did the transfer occur within two years of a cause of action arising, and if so;
- were proceedings commenced in the Cook Islands within 1 year of the settlement or transfer to the Trust?
5. Test to establish Fraudulent Transfer:
- Must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the transfer was with the principal intent to defraud a specific creditor AND it rendered the Settlor unable to pay that creditor
- Fraudulent intent negated under circumstances in which such intent would almost certainly be found under USA fraudulent transfer/conveyance laws.
- Privacy is guaranteed
- Foreign process – a strong deterrent to creditors
- Security for costs
- Contingency fees not permitted
- Finding a lawyer that hasn’t already been conflicted by the trustee….
- Highly regulated jurisdiction; Trustee Companies subject to strict monitoring and supervision
- Professional Indemnity insurance is a pre-requisite for licensing
- No Cook Island tax on assets and income of offshore vehicles
If you are a professional or have a business and you need to protect your assets, call our asset protection attorneys today. Reach Bohm Wildish & Matsen, LLP at 714-384-6580.
- WE GET RESULTS
- WE’RE EXPERIENCED
- WE’RE WELL RESPECTED