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The Bahamas - an Asset Protection / Privacy Jurisdiction  
The Bahamas, known officially as the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is an archipelagic state within the Lucayan Archipelago. It consists of more than 700 islands, cays, and islets in the Atlantic Ocean, and is located north of Cuba and Hispaniola, northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, southeast of the United States state of Florida, and east of the Florida Keys.

An independent nation since 1973, The Bahamas has passed legislation to meet the requirements of an increasingly sophisticated financial services marketplace and its reputation as an experienced and knowledgeable player in this area is well known. In fact, many of the world’s largest and most prestigious financial institutions have branches or subsidiary operations in The Bahamas, There are no income, capital, gift or estate taxes in the jurisdiction.

The Commonwealth of The Bahamas may be one of the best jurisdictions in the world for an Asset Protection Trust. The Trust legislation is advanced (amended in 2011) and has many advanced asset protection features including the protection of the the Fraudulent Disposition Act, 1991 where a creditor must initiate (extremely costly) proceedings in the Supreme Courts of the Bahamas to prove that the Settlor willfully intended to defraud him, that the obligation owed was in existence at the time of the formation of the trust and that the Trust serves no other purpose than to defraud him. When a Trust is settled with multiple Beneficiaries including several international charities it is easy to understand that this is nearly an insurmountable task. The Fraudulent Disposition Act, 1991 establishes that any such action must be commenced within two years of the date of the Asset transfer. Once the statute of limitations runs out, the creditor can no longer bring a claim of fraudulent conveyance. Other great features of the Bahamas jurisdiction include:
  • No registration/recording of the Trust Document/Settlor/Beneficiaries/Trustees.
  • Trusts have no statutory prescribed perpetuity period.
  • Trusts can create an everlasting legacy for generations to come.
  • No income, capital, gift or estate taxes in the jurisdiction.
  • U.S. (or foreign) judgments against the Settlor are NOT enforceable against a Bahamian Trust.
  • A Settlor of a Bahamian Trust may also be named as a Beneficiary.
  • A Protector may be appointed and is given the power to remove and appoint trustees.
  • Trustee may be granted broad discretionary power so the Settlor can swear (under oath) that he has "no control".
A trust is considered a Bahamian trust where the trust instrument confers jurisdiction on the court and no further nexus is required.Because there is no requirement in the Bahamas to register a trust, so the arrangement remains completely confidential between the Settlor and the Trustee. Unlike most other asset protection jurisdictions, there is also no requirement to use a Bahamas Trustee when establishing a Bahamas trust, thereby creating the opportunity to eliminate ANY record of the parties to the Trust in The Bahamas and to move this confidential (due diligence) data to the second (well established and private) jurisdiction of Hong Kong for the provision of Trustee services.

Additionally, the Settlor of a Bahamas Trust (unlike most U.S. Trusts) may also be named as a Beneficiary, so if you choose this option, even though the Trust is IRREVOCABLE, a distribution (return) of Trust Assets may be made to you as a beneficiary.
Bahamas International Asset Protection (Legacy) Trust   
This is the Ultimate International Asset Protection Vehicle that allows you to diversify and divest your assets OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES in a highly secure and confidential environment. - a Bahamas Irrevocable Discretionary Asset Protection (Legacy) Trust with an International Trustee and an International Protector that will allow you to "control everything, but own nothing!" ...... A total package value worth tens of thousands of dollars - available at a fraction of the cost.

It is common to hear "offshore planning requires substantial liquidity"; usually because the Attorneys that say this, are the ones that charge  $20,000 - $50,000 to set up an Offshore Trust.

We know better! ..... We have put together a (relatively) simple offshore asset protection structure, inexpensively, that will provide "Bullet Proof" Asset Protection.

We have done this by limiting the activities of the Trustee to the operation of a simple Trust Bank Account and Precious Metals Storage rather than providing expensive "Asset Management Services". Certainly the Trust can hold shares or membership interests in both U.S. and offshore companies, so it is a well rounded, but simplified Trustee Service. The Trust is a perpetual trust so it can be used for legacy estate planning.

We have developed a basic international structure designed to give you the very best in asset protection, investment options and financial privacy. This structure allows you to diversify and divest your assets OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES in a highly secure and confidential environment.

Here is the basic structure so that you may better understand how an international strategy actually works:
Download a .PDF Version
The Strategy:
The basic structure establishes a Irrevocable Discretionary Legacy Trust using a carefully chosen jurisdiction (The Bahamas) where Trusts are NOT registered and therefore remain PRIVATE. The Settlor of a Bahamas Trust may also be named as a Beneficiary, so if you choose to make yourself a Beneficiary, even though the Trust is irrevocable, a distribution (return) of Trust Assets may be made to you.

Additionally, unlike other jurisdictions, there is no requirement to use a Bahamas Trustee, allowing us to further enhance privacy by using the second (well established and private) jurisdiction of Hong Kong for the Trustee services. The Trustee Service provider is a licenced and bonded Hong Kong company and all liquid assets are held in a segregated bank account in the name of your Trust. Upon Trust Acceptance, the Trustee opens the Trust Bank Account as well as optional Brokerage and Precious Metals Storage Accounts. You (the Settlor) would then then begin to transfer both liquid assets and other interests in U.S. or Offshore Companies to your Trust.

The Protector:
The Protector is an essential component of the Bahamas International Asset Protection Legacy Trust.The function of the Protector is to supervise the Trustee, thus providing additional assurances to the Settlor that the trust assets are properly managed. The function of the Protector may legally be undertaken by the Settlor or by a beneficiary, although, for asset protection purposes, this is NOT recommended.
The Protector may be your trusted advisor or an optional OFFSHORE NOMINEE (International Protector - additional US$1000 yr.) so that a united states court of law (or your home Country Courts) may not excerpt power over it. Having an International Protector provides for Bullet Proof Asset Protection.

Legal vs. Beneficial Ownership:
The most distinct feature of a Trust is the clear separation of the legal ownership (title) of the asset from the beneficial ownership of the asset. While the Trust is the holder of the legal title to the Trust Assets, the rights to the benefits and gains from the trust assets lie with the Beneficiaries. The Settlor (you) is clearly NOT the holder of the legal title to the Trust Assets, however through written instruments, you prescribe how the Trust assets shall be used and who shall receive the gains and benefits from the Trust property.

Trust Effectiveness:
The effectiveness of an asset protection trust is contingent that the trust is maintained as DISCRETIONARY, with the Trustee having the ultimate final word with regard to the investment of the trust property and the size, timing and destination of any future distributions made.  Your estate planning should include naming multiple Beneficiaries including international charities, giving the trustee wide discretion, so you may appear in a united states court of law and swear under oath that you do not own or control these assets (held in trust).

The Trustee:
The Trustee is in control of the trust assets, the Trustee is under a legal obligation to maintain the trust property in the best possible manner for the benefit of the members of the beneficial class. The Trustee MUST be located outside of the United States, or the Trust would be subject to the order of a United States Court and deemed a UNITED STATES TRUST.

The initial annual trustee fee is a flat fee of US$2500.00 and includes the management of a simple Trust Bank Account. However, upon renewal, where the trustee is managing liquid assets in excess of US$250,000, the trustee fees will be assessed at the rate of 1% of the value of those funds under management. For Trust Funds with liquid assets in excess of US$1M the percentage rate is reduced substantially.

From time to time the trustee will be required to execute certain documents (such as annual stockholder proxies etc); The annual Trustee Fee includes such document execution. It does not however include transactions such as the transfer of assets, or other special requests and these will be billed separately according to the time, effort and expertise required to complete the transaction.
The Assault on Financial Privacy  
Kevin Brekke an editor at Casey Research, wrote an article in Mountain Vision entitled "The Assault on Financial Privacy goes on". At the end of the article, he summarizes as follows:

"Whatever the IRS has in store for US taxpayers, the only way to fight back is to keep what you have. And to do that means complying with reporting requirements no matter how offensive, intrusive, maddening, or unjust they are. Penalties are now defined by the IRS as a revenue raising measure. The new mindset is clear: If we can´t tax them, we will penalize them.

Unfortunately, a new era for individual privacy is upon us. We must sacrifice our financial privacy for our financial security. We will accomplish this by staying compliant with reporting requirements and safeguarding our wealth from confiscation via seizure and penalties.

We will prevail by keeping our wealth outside the US and invested in assets that will protect and grow our wealth. That is the mission of today´s international investor."

We at agree with this. You should stay compliant. It does not make any sense to create these offshore structures and fail to comply, subjecting yourself to substantial penalties. Do not get overwhelmed, stay focused on the goal: Move your Wealth outside of the United States and in doing so enjoy a freedom that you perhaps do not yet fully understand!!
Taxation and FATCA Reporting for International Trusts   
The Jurisdiction of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas imposes No income, capital, gift or estate taxes on the Trust Fund and if you are NOT a U.S. Person and are tax resident in a jurisdiction with a sensible tax policy you may be able to take advantage of this - Please discuss this with your tax advisor.

For U.S. Persons, our Trust Package is designed to be TAX NEUTRAL and will be treated as a “Foreign Grantor Trust” by the I.R.S. and just like any U.S. Trust, it will need to file form 1041. The income (if any) from the Trust Fund will pass through the Trust to the U.S. Settlor and will end up on your form 1040. Although our Bahamas International Asset Protection (Legacy) Trust structure is extremely private,  if you are a U.S. PERSON, IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO REMAIN PRIVATE FROM THE I.R.S.

For U.S. Person Settlors, the Trustee will prepare I.R.S. Form 3520a (annual information return of foreign trust detail) that will include any applicable K-1 forms showing any income attributed to or distributions made to U.S. persons, making compliance for U.S. Persons really not that complicated.

The necessary “offshore” I.R.S. forms that the Settlor needs to take care of are both “Trust Related” and “Asset Related”. The only Offshore “Trust Related” form that you will need to work with an accountant or C.P.A. to file is:
  • Form 3520 (detail) - Transactions with Foreign Trusts
This form lists any transfers you made to or any distributions you received from the Trust Fund during the year. It is filed for the year you establish the Trust and then annually. The return is an "informational return" and no tax is paid with the return.

The “Asset Related” forms are based on the value of the assets, your residency, and how you file your taxes. These are "disclosure forms" with no tax due. There are however penalties for not filing timely. The first form is:
  • Form 8938 (detail) - Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets
and is required to be added to your personal form 1040 if you meet a certain thresholds; If you are single, live in the U.S, and have offshore assets (including the Trust Fund) in excess of $50,000 at the end of the year or assets totaled $75,000 or more at any time during the year, then you are required to file the form. If you are married (filing jointly) the limit is raised to $100,000 / $150,000 and if you are a U.S. Person living outside the U.S the limits are raised even further to $200,000 / $400,000. You may or may not need your accountant's help with this form. If you DO NOT EXCEED THE THRESHOLDS, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO FILE THE FORM.

The final form is:
  • Form FinCEN Form 114 (detail) - Foreign Financial Accounts
This form is about your ownership of Bank and Brokerage account etc. If you had a financial interest in at least one financial account located outside of the United States (including the Trust Bank Account); and the aggregate value of all foreign financial accounts exceeded $10,000 at any time during the calendar year, then ALL financial accounts need to be reported on this form (not just the ones in excess of $10,000). Although most clients consider this the most invasive of the forms, the form will not take long to complete as it is actually filed online. You will probably not need your accountant's help with this form.

PLEASE REMEMBER: We will prevail by keeping our wealth outside the US and invested in assets that will protect and grow our wealth. That is the mission of today´s international investor."

PLEASE NOTE: Just because the assets are disclosed to the I.R.S. does not mean that the I.R.S. can seize the assets! Once outside the USA, the I.R.S. becomes a creditor, just like any other creditor and must go through a VERY COMPLEX LEGAL PROCEDURE before it can hope to collect on any of these assets and will have no more success than the average (disappointed) creditor.

PLEASE ALSO NOTE: After the Death of a U.S. Settlor the Trust will become a TRUE FOREIGN TRUST for tax purposes and the Trust Fund may grow TAX FREE for generations to come with NO U.S. TAX DUE AND NO U.S. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS except simply to report any distributions made to any U.S. beneficiaries.
Bahamas International Asset Protection (Legacy) Trust Package   

Our Package is a comprehensive yet inexpensive package that is unmatched in the industry. This package includes a comprehensive list of services, and THERE ARE NO SURPRISES!

Bahamas International Asset Protection (legacy) Trust Package includes:

In order to proceed with the formation of an International Company (IBC), LLC or International Trust we must meet the international legal requirements regarding "money laundering" and the "know your customer" laws of the various jurisdictions involved. You will be asked to provide Identification and proof of your residential address. Immediately upon receiving your order, we will send you these requirements. If you are unable or unwilling to meet these requirements and you inform us of this within the first 48 hours, your order will be cancelled and you will receive a full refund. PLEASE NOTE that any and all client due diligence provided will be held confidentially OUTSIDE of the United States.

Trust + International Protector Service
Price: $3500.00 order

Trust ONLY
Price: $2500.00 order

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