The United States has an international reputation as a litigious society. Unscrupulous characters file frivolous lawsuits to win money from successful businesses and individuals, forcing them to settle to avoid even higher legal fees and reputational damage. Despite legislative attempts to curb these trends through tort reform, high net worth individuals based in the U.S. should explore options like offshore companies and trusts to protect their assets.
If you have over $1 million in liquid assets, you are a high net individual. Your wealth will allow you to take care of your family and generally lead a comfortable lifestyle. But, it can also expose you to lawsuits, taxes and other costs which will erode your hard-earned nest egg.
Here are five reasons to consider offshore companies as a way to protect your assets.
1. Limited Liability
Many high net worth individuals choose to protect their assets through a limited liability company. When you set up a limited liability company in a jurisdiction with favorable laws like Anguilla, you gain certain advantages, such as:
- limited creditor rights
- limited recognition and enforcement of certain judgments
- enhanced privacy protection.
Locating these companies offshore discourages frivolous lawsuits because of the heightened complexity of pursuing baseless claims in a foreign jurisdiction.
2. Easier Inheritance and Probate
A major reason to protect your hard earned wealth is so that you may bequeath it as you see fit. You want your money and property to go to your children, your spouse, or your favorite charity. You do not want to see it eaten up by exorbitant inheritance taxes, lawyers fees and other claims.
Setting up offshore trusts is a well-established way of separating your family’s assets from your business assets. Trusts provide a layer of protection from creditors and claims arising from both business and personal relationships.
4. Tax Benefits
The United States taxes its citizens on their income. It does not matter where they live. It does not matter whether they are paid a salary or earn income from investments. However, offshore companies do offer many tax advantages to both businesses and individuals.
Talk to an expert about setting up an offshore structure. It could help take advantage of all relevant exclusions and result in a reduced tax liability.
5. Divorce and Personal Claims
Wealthy individuals are not immune to broken relationships. Divorce proceedings often lead to bitter battles over personal property.
Placing art, real estate, cars or boats in an offshore company or trust will protect these items from being subject to a contentious divorce proceeding.
Parents can protect the dilution of family wealth in the case of their children’s divorce by protecting assets in an offshore trust or company.
Offshore Companies: For More Control over Your Assets
With great wealth comes great responsibility. Make sure you and your family can enjoy the fruits of your labors instead of allowing baseless legal claims and burdensome taxes to eat away at your estate.
Speak to a qualified expert on offshore companies and see if there may be viable options for you to protect what is rightfully yours.