Find Reliable Asset Protection Overseas

Physician's Money DigestDecember31 2003
Volume 10
Issue 24

While the US tax and legal systems appear to excessively punish the wealthy, some international jurisdictions remain balanced, even prowealth. In fact, international trusts offer American physician-investors an excellent wealth protection opportunity. These trusts are part of an array of global protection strategies that can build an impenetrable fortress around your assets. Sanctioned by the IRS, international trusts are 100% legal in this country.

Benefits and Advantages

Safely tucked away:

Tax reduction, asset protection, and professional asset management are a few of the benefits that an international trust provides an investor. Physicians can place all sorts of assets in their international trust, including cash, bonds, stock shares, real estate, private companies, intangible assets, intellectual property, and even racehorses and yachts. These trusts can last for months, years, or even several generations.

In addition, foreign trusts offer American investors a number of advantages. The first advantage is geographic distance. Because the trusts are outside the United States, investors have an extra layer of privacy. More importantly, some foreign trust laws are designed to attract foreign investors. Unlike other asset protection vehicles, these trusts generally favor wealthy investors and their beneficiaries.

International Freedom

Where should an interested physician-investor consider establishing an international trust? You'll find the most useful trusts in Belize, Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Channel Islands, Liechtenstein, the Cayman Islands, and the British Virgin Islands. Here, assets generally do not have to be located within the trust's legal jurisdiction. For example, a physician can have their Belize trust hold assets that are located in the Cayman Islands.

Under Belize law, trust assets are protected and beyond a creditor's reach. In most US states, courts can disallow a trust a year after its creation. In Belize, once a trust is established, the assets are protected from creditors. Furthermore, trust assets cannot be surrendered if the request is made "under duress." Under Belize law, a request is considered under duress if it is made pursuant to a court order. When faced with a court order, an investor can comply with and reveal assets, but no disclosure will be made.

Joel M. Nagel, a frequent writer and speaker on international asset protection concepts, is the creator of "The Physician's Asset Protection Plan." He practices law in Pittsburgh, creating legal structures around the world to protect his global clientele. He welcomes questions or comments at, or visit

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