Client Story: Create Obstacles for Creditors
One of our clients, a very wealthy individual from the Middle East with diplomatic immunity was, to put it mildly, a delinquent. While diplomatic immunity protected him from criminal charges, he discovered, to his chagrin, that the protection did not extend to civil charges. Following a weekend of debauchery at his LA home, he was sued by one of the guests, who saw him as an easy target and a way to get rich quick. In addition to the untold (and possibly unknown) wealth he had overseas, he owned a home in Beverly Hills and significant other assets in the US. He came to us for help. We liquidated all his U.S. holdings and moved all his assets outside the country to jurisdictions where U.S. judgements were not enforceable. He eventually settled the lawsuit for nuisance value.
We advise all of our wealthy clients, foreign or US, never to own assets in their own names. Even simple asset protection structures like LLCs or trusts will create an obstacle for a creditor and will make assets harder to discover and connect to our client. These simple structures will then buy us more time when we need to implement more sophisticated wealth preservation measures.