Offshore Trust Benefits
The primary benefit of a trust is the protection it offers. Assets are kept out of reach of creditors and judgments. A US judge cannot compel a foreign trustee to release funds or assets to a judgment creditor. Offshore trusts are strong tools to protect your assets, since many of the popular jurisdictions DO NOT recognize judgments that originate in a foreign country. If your judgment creditor decided to pursue your assets held in an offshore trust, then he or she would be forced to initiate expensive litigation in the offshore trust jurisdiction.
Its unlikely that a US creditor would pursue assets held in an offshore trust, furthermore it is less likely that the case would be considered by the jurisdiction and even less likely, if not legally impermissible, that your assets could be touched.
In the Cook Islands, you can name yourself as the sole beneficiary of your offshore trust. Any appointed trustee must be licensed in the jurisdiction to provide trustee services. In the jurisdictions we utilize they also must be bonded so that an insurance company backs up the safety of your trust assets. In the event that a trustee is disagreeable to you, simply have him or her replaced. There are legal provisions that can force the trustee to take your direction in the event there is an issue with investments or assets. This allows you substantial control, while, technically, owning nothing that can be seized in a lawsuit. Your assets are safe from creditors, legal enemies and judges, while you maintain significant control.
Some offshore trust jurisdictions have incredibly strong laws protecting the assets of the trust beneficiary. (Again, the beneficiary, such as you, “owns” the trust.) There are cases where the statute of limitations for fraudulent transfers into an offshore trust, are one year. This means that even in the event of a court ruling, your assets could still be safe, even after an ill transfer simply due to the laws in the jurisdiction in which the trust was established.
Short statutes of limitations on fraudulent transfer make the Cook Island most favorable. By the time the legal battle has concluded in the US plus any appeals or bankruptcy, the statute of limitations bars the suit. Moreover, if fraudulent transfer claims are made the court battle must take place in the Cook Islands. That, alone, would discourage most litigants. Most substantial of all is that the plaintiff must prove beyond the shadow of a reasonable doubt that assets were placed in the trust strictly for the purpose of defrauding creditors. This is both a very high legal hurdle, which is usually only seen is criminal cases, plus it is very difficult to prove. One could use the argument that the trust was created for estate planning or international investment purposes.
OffshoreCompany.com can assist with your offshore trust establishment and aid in your asset protection, we establish trusts, bank accounts and companies for a worldwide audience.