Trusts And Other Wealth Planning Strategies

Trusts are at the center of most wealth planning strategies. A trust is an independent legal entity that holds assets. There are testamentary trusts which pass assets at the death of the grantor and inter vivos trust, which allow a living person to setup a trust for their own or other benefit.

In addition to involving these ancient legal concepts, when using trusts for sophisticated asset protection planning, an attorney needs to understand the interaction of tax law, both of the United States and of the location of the trust, if placed offshore. Care must be exercised in the creation of trusts given the potential implications for gift and estate tax, now and at the settlor's death.

The choice of revocable or irrevocable trusts also carries far reaching consequences and should be part of a comprehensive plan that is designed to fully optimize the goals desired, recognizing that some tax savings may be reduced to maximize the asset protection.

Comprehensive Wealth Planning And Preservation Strategies

Trusts are a popular wealth planning and preservation strategy, but there are other vehicles which may be useful when designing a portfolio of asset protection entities. The tools used in a comprehensive asset protection plan may include:

  • Asset protection trusts (APTs): These trust vehicles are incredibly flexible and can include foreign asset protection trust (FAPT) or domestic asset protection trusts (DAPT).
  • Insurance: Liability and life insurance can both offer protection in specific circumstances.
  • Property ownership: Transfers can be made to beneficiaries, but this must be done with an eye toward tax issues, including transfer tax and estate tax.
  • Retirement plans: This includes ERISA plans and 401ks.

Planning Strategies That Are Compliant With U.S. And International Law

Mario A. Mata has decades of experience working with all of these tools in the asset protection toolkit. He understands the international law from jurisdictions like Bahamas, Bermuda, Cook Islands, Cayman Islands, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, New Zealand and Nevis where many of these trusts are situated, and importantly understands how to ensure compliance with all applicable U.S. tax laws.

He also is experienced with maintaining compliance with all state law forms of the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (UFTA), which is critical to prevent months of complex planning from being undone by a creditor's successful attack on an asset protection structure.

Contact Mario

Setting up a comprehensive asset protection plan is complex and takes time. It also must be done in advance of any potential claims. Mario A. Mata is based in Texas and can meet with you in Dallas, Houston, Austin or nationwide. Call Mario or an initial consultation and to set up an appointment at 469-914-8942 or use the online contact form.