Basel Group

Asset Protection

Asset protection is not a matter of keeping assets secret or hidden from prying eyes.  Since the late 16th century, hiding assets has never been a legally effective way of shielding them from creditors.  If and when a debtor is forced to disclose the extent of his assets he must disclose everything.  The penalties for doing otherwise can be severe.

A creditor can reach any asset owned by a debtor, with few exceptions, but he cannot make a claim on assets that are not owned by the debtor. Consequently, the focus of all asset protection planning is to remove the debtor from legal ownership of assets, whilst, as far as possible, retaining the debtor’s enjoyment of the assets.

A properly structured asset protection plan allows a debtor to disclose the nature and the structure of the asset protection plan quite openly and honestly and with impunity.

Over the years, numerous legal structures in many jurisdictions have been developed to divorce legal title to assets from control and  enjoyment and these vehicles include trusts, foundations, limited partnerships and limited liability companies. These legal entities are often situated offshore to take advantage of fiscal neutrality and robust legal systems. Jersey and Switzerland are ideally placed to provide the structures needed.