Years ago asset protection planning was an infrequently discussed topic between CPAs and their clients. Today, however, the topic often arises. Therefore, CPAs must have a basic knowledge of the strategies and techniques available to their clients to be able to intelligently respond to client inquiries.
In response to the deficiencies in domestic trust law, and seeking to obtain potential benefits from estate freeze structures, certain State legislatures have introduced “protective” features in their trust legislation.
The Cook Islands and Nevis have recently enacted anti-money laundering legislation in response to being included in negative reports issued earlier this year by the OECD and the FATF. Neither enactment will have any negative effect on legitimate asset protection planning.
Contractual arrangements which qualify as annuities for U.S. income tax purposes provide a tax-deferred (not tax-free) environment within which investments can grow. “Tax-deferred” means that, as long as certain statutory and regulatory requirements are satisfied, no U.S. income tax will be imposed on the earnings and gains generated within the annuity contract. Annuities are available in a variety of “shapes and sizes”.