Asset Protection and The Bridge Trust

6 Replies

There are a lot of options for asset protection, but the only true protection that offers FULL protection is by using a foreign trust. If you are purely domestic in the US with a domestic LLC and Domestic Trust, you are not safe and not protected from liability from judgments. This is due to the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the US Constitution.

The Bridge Trust ® is a breakthrough Asset Protection concept which “bridges” the best features of the Foreign Asset Protection Trust (FAPT) yet is even easier to use and maintain than the Domestic Asset Protection Trust (DAPT).

The Bridge Trust ® is a fully registered Asset Protection Trust with a certificate of registration from an offshore trust jurisdiction right from day one. The foreign Trustee is also in place from Day 1, and the due diligence is done on the client right up front, when it matters and when waters are calm. The Trust is then stepped back into the US for tax purposes and from the perspective of the IRS is considered a simple domestic grantor Trust.

What this means is that the client may be the Trustee, the Trust does not need a separate EIN number, it can use the client’s social security number, and the Trust need not file a separate tax return or any foreign trust compliance forms. The net effect is that The Bridge Trust ® is as easy to use and maintain as a typical Revocable Living Trust – Except if there is ever an “Event of Duress”, the foreign Trustee may be activated by declaration of the Protector and the Trust jurisdiction can be fully moved offshore with all of the protections of a full FAPT, with an inception date of when the Trust was established, not when it becomes foreign!

The Bridge Trust ® offers clients exactly these benefits:

- The Trust “Crosses the Bridge” to the World’s oldest and most tested Asset Protection Jurisdiction – The Cook Islands

- The client can stay in direct control of the Trust as the Trustee until and unless the Trust assets are threatened.

- There is no need for onerous IRS filing and reporting which accompany a typical FAPT such as the 3520, FinCen114 and numerous FATCA requirements.

- The Trust is NOT limited to using one of the DAPT jurisdiction which continue to have damaging cases and are creating a very poor track record of actually protecting assets.

- For 97% of the client, they will remain the Trustee of their Trust and may pass their assets and even the planning to their children. During their lifetime they have received the major benefit of living and working without the fear of losing their assets in a lawsuit. This is perhaps the single greatest benefit of The Bridge Trust ® .

- The annual maintenance fees are very reasonable and provide significant ongoing benefits to the clients, as well as keep your clients connected to you for annual reviews and ongoing issues and planning that they will eventually need.
- It has been our experience with thousands of clients, that The Bridge Trust ® is the best tool for the vast majority of the clients who seek our counsel. If you have questions on how to be truly protected and on a Cook Island Foreign Trust (The Bridge Trust) and how the work and how to set them up, costs, anything, write on this forum, as any questions, IM me. The entire idea is to protect your legacy and hard work that you have built. 

Everybody has their own "Why" Everything I do I do because I believe that you deserve to keep what you earned and built. I believe that you should sleep well at night knowing you’re hard work and efforts are protected. I believe this because I am also an investor besides an attorney. My purpose is to reduce the fear associated with an out-of-control legal system set up on extracting assets through Legal Extortion Rackets by protecting your wealth from such attacks, while leaving you with both control and beneficial use of your assets.

The way I do this is by using the most state of the art and tested legal tools, strategies and methods that are simple to use, legal and that have been tested for over 20 years. These tools include the strategic use of domestic charging order protection (COP) entities in select jurisdictions as well as the revolutionary Bridge Trust ®.

@christopher Smith this is an educational forum on Asset Protection. DO you have a question on Asset Protection or the Bridge Trust and how it works? Are you an investor looking for asset protection? If not then I think you have the wrong forum. Their are lots of misconceptions of AP, especially on this site from non-lawyers and those who do not specialize in this field. SO I suggest you take the info you would learn. 

For those high risk and net worth investors (Doctors, Lawyers, Dentists, chiropractors, etc) The Bridge Trust is really the most secure Asset Protection system available. This is because it combines both domestic and foreign trusts. 

The basics of this type of asset protection trust allows the beneficiaries access to assets in the Trust for their benefit unless an "Event of Duress" occurs. this means any action or activity that threatens the Trust assets. a lawsuit.

When a lawsuit happens, a secondary set of rules that are predetermined called 'triggering events' in the trust are activated so that legally the creditor and the courts are blocked from any access to the Trust assets. During this time, the clients remain the beneficiaries and may still indirectly access Trust assets. (for example: the Offshore Trustee may lease a car for the beneficiary, rent a home or pay credit card bills of the beneficiaries. The net effect is that the Trust assets are permanently preserved for the Trust beneficiaries and completely protected from unauthorized court proceedings and creditors. This is known as The Bridge Trust (TBT).

If triggered by a threatened lawsuit, The Bridge Trust, serving as the majority limited partner, typically pulls the client's assets out of the U.S. jurisdiction by legally transferring them to a foreign jurisdiction under the administration of a foreign Successor Trustee. This occurs without the loss of beneficial ownership or distributive rights by the grantor. Importantly, client assets that are in a holding company never have to leave the U.S. unless the trust is "triggered" by some crisis. Once the threat ends, The Bridge Trust can be re-domesticated to the status of a U.S. grantor trust if the client so desires. It is this working relationship between the domestic and foreign trust and the successor trustee that makes the Bridge Trust to powerful. 

When it comes to asset protection, advance planning is a must. Only assets in the Trust will avoid probate and be protected from future fiscal emergencies. Importantly, funding may occur only when the client has no claims pending, threatened, or expected. Once funding is complete, the client must be able to pay all reasonable anticipated debt from resources outside the Trust. Accordingly, the client must sign and notarize an Affidavit of Accuracy and Solvency before the Trust can be established.

The Bridge Trust may own sub-chapter S stock and annuities. The trust may also own personal residences without loss of tax-free capital gain or home interest deduction benefits. Unlike the Revocable Living Trust, The Bridge Trust, when holding title to a personal residence, can legally remove the equity of those residences to the protection of a foreign jurisdiction, if needed. While IRAs and other qualified retirement plans may not be placed in the trust, The Bridge Trust may be a primary or contingent beneficiary of such plans.

Domestic VS Offshore Asset Protection: Domestic AP is any protection that relies on the laws of the U.S. for its security. You will read plenty about new domestic asset protection system, designed to imitate stronger and more effective offshore jurisdictions. As far as that goes, a good onshore asset protection plan is better than nothing at all. They are simple to set up, easy to implement and sometimes less expensive than international plans. BUT, that simplicity comes with a downside. The simple fact is that a purely domestic asset protection plan is less effective than a offshore plan. For complete asset protection, its best that your domestic asset protection plan be accompanied by a foreign component set up in a jurisdiction out of the U.S.

Any asset protection system based fully within the U.S. will always run the risk that a U.S. judge or court determines that the plan should be pierced or invalidated. This is an unavoidable inherent risk of all domestic plans. Contrast this with a Cook Island Asset Protection Trust where it is statutorily prohibited from recognizing any court order from any outside jurisdiction, including the U.S. This is the major differences and sums up the reason why an Offshore system is proven stronger.

The best system is to utilize both a domestic asset protection component together with a carefully crafted Cook Island Foreign Trust to help build a legal fortress, keeping them safe and out of the grasp of predatory creditors and the U.S. proactive judges. You do this by creating legal separation from you and your assets with a domestic (Asset Management Limited Partnership, or Series LLC, or Traditional LLC) and then ‘internationalizing' those assets into a "Bridge Trust" where if you are threatened by an unanticipated lawsuit or legal action, those assets cross the Bridge to the protection of the Cook islands.

By being proactive, and using both U.S. tools and a trust which can be moved fully offshore, you get the benefit of both jurisdictions.