Phoenix Living Trusts & Wills Lawyer

Expert planning advice

No surprises – fixed fees

Unlimited access

Free seminars

Protect your hard-earned assets with an offshore trust

Gilbert & Chandler Offshore Trusts LawyersProtecting your assets and ensuring that they are maximized for the future benefit of intended beneficiaries is a key aim of estate planning.

One of the best vehicles for achieving this is trust formation.

But which type of trust suits you best?

The answer will depend on personal circumstances but, for many high net-worth individuals, an offshore trust is a good option.

We’ll help you:

  • Understand who might consider an offshore trust
  • Understand what you should look for in an offshore trust location
  • Set up your trust according to your main estate planning goals
  • Minimize the tax you pay

What is an offshore trust?

Most trusts, like living trusts, retirement account trusts, gun trusts and other asset protection trusts, are based domestically within the U.S.

An offshore trust is based in an overseas jurisdiction.

While offshore entities received some negative publicity after the Panama Papers were released in 2016, there are perfectly legitimate reasons to consider offshore trusts as a useful estate planning tool. If you have paid taxes all your life, it makes sense to protect what is left and shield yourself from paying unnecessary taxes.

Most supposed “tax haven” jurisdictions have entered into “exchange of tax information” agreements with the U.S. government, so if you try to avoid taxes unfairly, you are likely to be caught. With an offshore trust, you are able to keep taxes to a legal minimum while maintaining control over your assets. And, contrary to popular belief, they are generally affordable for most people with assets to protect.

It is important, of course, to select a stable jurisdiction. 

Many individuals choose the Isle of Man, the Cayman Islands or the Cook Islands because of:

  • Favorable eligibility requirements 
  • Relative political stability
  • Attractive tax laws
  • General absence of corruption in government and/or judicial activities

The amount of protection that an offshore trust provides from creditors depends upon where the trust is established. The laws of that jurisdiction apply and these vary from country to country.

Main benefits of offshore trusts

There are several major benefits of offshore trusts, namely:

  • Asset protection advantages from the foreign law governing the trust, when compared with the U.S. laws
  • Creditor protection: in most cases, litigation may be very expensive for the creditor and will not be worth the investment (e.g. for commercial and civil tort claims, matrimonial claims, forced inheritance claims, etc.)
  • Favorable tax conditions

With the litigation climate in the U.S., many professionals in certain business sectors (such as healthcare), often face frivolous and expensive lawsuits. 

These cannot usually affect assets held in an offshore trust.

What are the downsides of an offshore trust?

Never attempt to open an offshore trust (or any other trust) without the appropriate legal advice. It is asking for trouble.

Individuals who make mistakes with their fund setups expose themselves to the potential of: 

  • Falling foul of U.S. tax laws, if the assets held by the trust (or the actual trustee) are located in the U.S. 
  • Violation of anti-fraud laws in the U.S.
  • Failing to meet stringent reporting laws

The U.S. government keeps a keen eye on the use of offshore trusts to ensure they are not used for tax evasion purposes and to curb “abusive trust arrangements.”

Since the advent of the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996, they have come under particularly close scrutiny.

Penalties for getting it wrong can be severe.

It will certainly pay to get experienced  legal advice on offshore trusts before pushing ahead. Together, we will sit down and consider what you want to achieve and why.  Then we will assess how best to proceed, taking all the relevant risks into account. 

Contact Us Today

We have appeared in:

phoenix estate planning attorneys

Testimonials

When it was time to update our estate plan we turned to Kent Phelps.  We were only two days away from an extended trip overseas and needed it done fast but done right – especially with a child who has special needs.  Our documents were completed, signed, notarized and witnessed in a day! And we were confident it was done right because we had the help of an experienced attorney.  So grateful to Kent for going above and beyond so we could enjoy our trip with peace of mind!
Sarah & Andy Weir
We had known for many years that we needed an estate plan but just never got around to doing it.  Our son hired Kent Phelps to do his estate plan and encouraged us to contact Kent and get it done – so we did!   We immediately felt like Kent “got” our unique family situation and knew just what to do. We wish we had done this sooner but what a great feeling it is to know that what we’ve worked so hard for all these years will be protected and go to the right people when it’s our time.  We highly recommend Kent to anybody who needs an estate planning attorney.
Christine & Arvon Jones
Amazing In Every Way! Kent was amazing. He excelled in communication, and he was very understanding and listened to our unique situation. He explained everything in detail and was an amazing advocate for what we wanted to do. I would highly recommend him and his services. 
Eric Zimmerman
We were looking for an estate planning attorney and were referred to Kent Phelps by a friend.  We felt like he really listened to us as we talked about our family and business and what we wanted to accomplish.  Kent took the time to help us understand how living trusts and LLC’s work and how they can help protect our family and property.   The fixed fee approach was also very appealing to us. We were excited when we received our estate planning and LLC notebooks! Being able to have instructions in our trust that make sure our children receive what we leave them in a way that will truly help, rather than harm them has given us the peace of mind we were hoping for.  So grateful we found Kent!
James & Tiffany Larson
Mr. Phelps has provided exceptional work and advice. I have recommended many family and friends to Mr. Phelps because of his professionalism.
Melissa Debnar
Kent’s unique perspective and focused expertise set him apart from his peers. His willingness to completely understand his client’s goals, and only then offer appropriate suggestions is refreshing. With an ability to take complex asset protection strategy and explain it in common context, it is easy to recommend him.
Tim Norris
Mr. Phelps’s services have been used to handle some amendments to business documents following my divorce. The amendments were thorough and filed in a timely manner. While this was a simple transaction, I fully expect the same level of effort on complex transactions. I highly recommend Mr. Phelps for legal needs.
Lance Weber
Kent has ideas and solutions that were very valuable to us. I have recommended Kent and his firm to many of my associates.
Fred Buck
Kent is an exemplary advocate for his clients. It is an honor to have worked with him and witness his high ethical standards.
Kenneth Shapiro

Upcoming Seminars

Peace of Mind Through Proper Estate Planning  

Presented by Attorney Kent Phelps

Monday, March 16, 2020

6:30pm

Sullivans Steakhouse
1785 East River Road
Tucson, AZ 85718

(Dinner Served)

SEMINAR FULL - Call (833) 927-1031 to get on the wait list

Peace of Mind Through Proper Estate Planning  

Presented by Attorney Kent Phelps

Tuesday, March 24th, 2020

6:30pm

Sullivans Steakhouse
1785 East River Road
Tucson, AZ 85718

(Dinner Served)

SEMINAR POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19 - Call (480) 771-0707 to be first in line for the reschedule!

Start your estate plan with a free consultation from our Arizona estate planning attorneys.

Book Now