There are two areas to focus on when it comes to asset protection:
- the security of your personal assets throughout your lifetime – or straight asset protection
- the ongoing security of your assets after your death – or straight estate planning
Straight Asset Protection
Asset protection includes structuring your personal assets in such a way as to make them unattractive to or unobtainable by a third party (creditors or plaintiffs), reducing your taxation burden, utilizing offshore investment opportunities for your financial goals and needs, and guaranteeing greater privacy.
Sound asset protection does not encourage nor necessitate illegal acts; the law itself recognizes asset protection as indicated by numerous provisions that define permitted and prohibited strategies. In addition, asset protection does not involve hiding assets, defrauding creditors, or evading taxes.
Another view of asset protection is that it should involve the reduction of your visible ownership of your assets to a minimum while increasing your control over your assets to a maximum.
Straight Estate Planning
Estate planning is simply the process of structuring your assets so that they are disposed of in accordance with your wishes after your death. Estate planning usually cannot be separated from asset protection because well-protected assets will outlive their owner.