As our society becomes more litigation-prone, and as litigation costs becomes increasingly expensive, our clients ask about ways to bullet-proof themselves (i.e., insulate themselves from creditors) or to bullet-proof the inheritances they leave to their children.
The tools available to our clients range from the easy and inexpensive to the more exotic and very expensive. An example of “easy and inexpensive” is taking advantage of the “tenants by the entirety” form of ownership in the State of Missouri. An example of “exotic and very expensive” is the creation, funding and maintenance of a Cook Islands Trust. In addition, there are numerous devices that fall somewhere in between the tenants by the entirety on the one hand and the Cook Island Trust on the other.
Since every asset protection technique carries with it some element of additional cost and paperwork, we counsel our clients on the “side effects” that accompany the use of each technique so that the client doesn’t wind up with an administrative headache greater than the one they sought to fix.