Just being located on an out-of-the-way island makes a trust “offshore,” but that by itself won’t deliver the international asset safety you’re looking for. As a threshold requirement, the trust must be both irrevocable and discretionary.
But that’s only a start. To understand what a trust needs in order to deliver real protection and provide an optimum environment for international estate planning, examine the Model Offshore Trust.
The Model Offshore Trust has been carefully designed to put just the right amount of safety-providing legal distance between you and the assets you want to protect. Not too much distance, and not too little.
On the one hand…
- The assets themselves are protected from lawsuit creditors or other attackers because they are legally owned by the licensed trust company you have hired to be your Trustee.
- The Beneficiaries are protected by the Trust’s discretionary character; no Beneficiary has a fixed, percentage interest in the Trust that can be taken from him.
On the other hand…
- Your powers as Trust Protector (including a carefully crafted power to replace the Trustee) assure that the Trustee will never lose sight of your purpose and objectives in establishing the Trust.
- You as Protector are protected by the anti-duress provisions of the Model Terms of Trust, which would frustrate any attempt to force you to use your authority against your will.
And the entire arrangement is protected by being located in a sovereign country that is governed by its own, trust-friendly laws — a country not subject to changes in U.S. laws or to the actions of any U.S. court or government agency.
Offshore trusts are a big and very worthwhile subject. I suggest that you start by reading about What Some Families Already Have Achieved.
Topic Index for Model Offshore Trust
Topic 1 Benefits and Advantages
Topic 2 How a Model Offshore Trust Works
Topic 3 Protection from Lawsuits
Topic 4 Income Tax Savings
Topic 5 Maximum Privacy with an Offshore Trust
Topic 6 Estate Planning
Topic 7 Longe-Term Readiness
Topic 8 Enjoying Your Offshore Trust
Topic 10 Model Terms of Trust
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