If you are reading this you are apparently a person concerned with not only protecting that which you have worked hard to obtain, that which you hope to build and acquire in the future, but also with making sure the products of your labor are protected and transferred to those you care about. Sadly, in a society with excessive government bureaucracy, high taxation, as well as persons with a predatory nature and little in the way of moral principles, building and protecting wealth and assets can be a difficult challenge. It is sad that anyone should have to set up a structure so sophisticated just to protect what he/she has lawfully acquired. If we could count on everyone to be as moral as we consider ourselves to be, if we could expect our rights to be properly protected by the courts, having an asset protection plan would not be necessary. Unfortunately this is far from the case. First let us consider the three biggest obstacles to protecting and transferring assets.
If you own your own home you have a one in three chance of being sued in your lifetime. If you own a business those odds increase dramatically. Depending on the nature of your business those odds are multiplied yet again. Countless hard working honest individuals have built prosperous businesses, including businesses that profited in the millions, and been ruined by a lawsuit. One of the biggest get-rich-quick schemes in America has become to sue somebody. Contingency litigation, where the client doesn’t have to pay a dime up front because the lawyer will be working for a percentage of whatever he can get out of you, typically around 30%, is pretty much exclusive to the United States and Canada. Consequently these two countries have 70% of the world’s attorneys and 90% of the world’s lawsuits. There are more than ninety million civil lawsuits filed annually; it’s an epidemic of massive proportions in this country.
Probate/Transferring of Estates
We all want to provide for our loved ones when we pass on. Without preparation though, the passing on of an estate can be very time consuming and costly. Probate often runs between 18 and 24 months. It is very costly. Probate and taxes can consume more than 50 percent of the inherited estate. Through probate, everything becomes public information. Some companies and individuals prey upon people who must sell within a short time frame to satisfy probate and estate taxes. These scavengers buy for pennies on the dollar.
Federal taxes range between 28 percent and 39 percent. State income taxes reach up to 12 percent. Social Security and Medicare taxes or self employment taxes are 15.3 percent. That’s already from 43 percent to 66.3 percent of your earnings gone in income taxes. If you sell real estate in less than 2 years you have capital gains taxes to pay, which can run in the tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Your Financial House
We have all created and are likely still building a financial house for ourselves. However, for the majority of the population that house only has a front wall, and anybody can come in from the sides and the back and pretty much take their stuff.
Have you ever heard of the Rockefellers or the Kennedys being sued? Have you ever seen a word in the newspaper about a member of those families having his/her estate in probate? What about income taxes? Is this by chance? When Ted Kennedy drove his car into the river with Mary Kopechne and she drowned, why didn’t the family sue him? Are not the Kennedys worth millions? They are but Ted Kennedy never had to worry about a lawsuit. Why?
Imagine legally and lawfully slashing your tax liability by 70 to 90 percent. Imagine buying and selling real estate with no capital gains taxes. Imagine your estate being transferred to the next generation instantly and completely privately with no probate, death taxes or estate taxes of any kind. Imagine being completely lien, levy and lawsuit proof; your assets absolutely protected; effectively having virtually no liability connected to you in any way. By learning the strategies the wealthy have been teaching their children for generations, and breaking free of the misinformation and propaganda the wealthy have worked tirelessly to inundate the rest of the population with, you can accomplish all these things.
When before a senate sub-committee hearing, Nelson Rockefeller was questioned. “Mr. Rockefeller, how much money did you make last year?”
“Oh, 650 million or thereabouts.”
“Wow, that’s quite a chunk of change Mr. Rockefeller. How much tax did you pay on that?”
“Oh, I don’t pay any taxes.”
“How is that possible Mr. Rockefeller?”
His answer? “I don’t own any of it.”
He had no liability because his family knows how to “control everything but own nothing.” Access without ownership. Equity without liability.
Actually he did pay a little over $600 in income taxes. $600 on $650 million. And this tradition is still alive. When Hillary Clinton was recently before a similar hearing she disclosed she had paid around $700 and some change in income taxes. Bill and Hillary are also worth millions. And the methods they use are completely compliant and legal.
An example of the aforementioned misinformation is the Foundation. What is a Foundation? From the media, movies, TV news, you are led to believe that a Foundation is just a charitable organization used to raise money for a good cause. Well, while they can function in this capacity, the reason they were created actually had absolutely nothing to do with charity whatsoever. We have all heard of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Carnegie Foundation, the Ford Family Foundation, the Kennedy Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation…and the list could go on. Do you think it is by chance that all of these ultra wealthy families have Foundations or do you think there might be some benefits? Absolutely there are benefits, and when you understand the true nature of a Foundation those benefits will become very apparent.
In the early 1900s those of the ultra wealthy global elite here in the United States first established the Foundation laws, dumped all of their assets into Foundations, and then proceeded to institute a paper fiat “flexible” currency through a central bank (something the Revolutionary War was fought to get away from) disguised under the craftily conceived title, The Federal Reserve System (Not federal and there are no reserves of any kind), an enumeration at birth program (Slave Surveillance Number …I mean, Social Security Number), and an income tax system.
The foundation is a unique financial entity. It is the only financial entity which owns itself, its purpose being to hold, build, and protect assets and wealth for the benefit of the yet to be born. An important legal concept to understand here is that wherever equity finally falls or lands, that is where the liability lies, whether tax liability or civil liability. In the case of a foundation what that means is that the equity is falling to the unborn. Can you tax the unborn? Can you sue the unborn? And because a foundation has all the rights of a person, with all of its equity technically belonging to the unborn, it is completely private. And yet you can be the founder, the protector, and a beneficiary of the Foundation. And you as the protector of the Foundation would actually be breaking the law if the IRS or whoever, requested you to disclose the contents of the Foundation, and you complied. You are legally bound not to disclose the contents of the Foundation and can be prosecuted if you fail in that responsibility.
Are the benefits of a Foundation starting to become apparent? No income tax liability. No civil liability. Instant transference of wealth from one generation to the next without probate or death taxes. Does anyone not want one of these? A Private Interest Foundation (PIF) is the hub of the wheel in a truly comprehensive asset protection strategy, especially when set up in a location outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. Federal Government. And this is not a method of illegally hiding assets. This is an established legal structure that anyone can utilize.
Have you ever done business with a Panamanian Corporation? Most persons when asked that question would reply in the negative. But, have you ever purchased anything from a Sears store? How about a Costco? Have you ever used Federal Express or DHL to deliver a package? Have you ever flown on American Airlines? The fact of the matter is that we all probably do business with corporations based in Panama almost every day.
Why Panama? Well, Panama is the second largest banking district in the world next to Switzerland. Panama is number one though for corporate and banking privacy. There is no piercing of the corporate veil in Panama, unless you are convicted of a serious felony; convicted not accused. There are also no income taxes on money earned outside of Panama. With a PIF set up in Panama, and an International Business Corporation (IBC) set up to do business on behalf of the Foundation (Foundations cannot do business) with the Foundation as the sole shareholder and consequently the owner of the IBC, and you as the manager of that IBC, you can now do business anywhere in the world. You can invest in investments normally not available to U.S. citizens and/or accredited investors. Plus there is no contingency litigation in Panama so the likelihood of ever being sued is next to nothing. And even if you were sued you are now set up so that you own nothing. You use the Foundation’s and the IBC’s stuff. You have access without ownership. You have learned to own nothing but control everything.
For business within the U.S. that requires a government number, such as purchasing real estate, getting a mortgage loan, the Foundation sets up a Nevada Limited Liability Company (LLC). The LLC is issued an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which incidentally has the same amount of digits as a social security number. Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck. But it’s never going to end up on the dinner table. Your LLC purchases the house and you become a renter. You walk into the office, you say, “Hello, I’m here to pay the rent.” You count the money out on the table. Then you walk around to the other side, pick it up and say, “Thank you very much.” Access without ownership. Equity without liability. Own nothing, control everything.
Later you decide you want to sell the property. But wait, it has been less then 2 years since the LLC purchased it. Are capital gains taxes going to take a huge percentage of your profit? Nope. Because you are not going to sell the house. You are going to sell the LLC that owns the house. The house never technically changes hands. Nothing moves anywhere at the county level. No capital gains tax.
And remember all of this is completely compliant and legal. The wealthy have been using these strategies for generations. The Rockefellers have over 7000 offshore entities protecting their wealth. The Kennedys have over 700 and they are government. I think it’s OK if you and I use 1 or 2.
Let’s talk a little about contingency litigation again. Joe Schmo slips on your steps and decides to sue you. He goes to an attorney and what do you think the lawyer’s first question is? It’s not about the merits of the case. He asks what you have to take. And for a $100 asset search he can find out everything you own in your name. Only you are not the average Joe and when he performs the asset search guess what, you don’t own anything. He discovers that a Nevada LLC owns your house and decides to do a little digging. Perhaps he can sue the LLC. But wait, the LLC as a lien against it. It’s in hock to a Corporation based in Panama for all its worth. And guess what? There’s no contingency litigation in Panama. If he wants to go after the IBC in Panama the client now has to pay him up front. Now in the U.S. if my corporation were to come under attack either by the IRS or through litigation, and I move my assets out of reach, that is called Fraudulent Conveyance. It’s illegal and I could go to jail. However in Panama the opposite is the case. It is your duty to protect the assets of the corporation and being as you have this handy little completely private and secure Foundation set up there as well, it is a simple matter to move the IBC’s assets into the Foundation. Now, even if a judgment were won against your IBC, the IBC has no assets. The plaintiff is unable to collect. But here he has a charge off for whatever it is he supposedly won. Guess who comes knocking on his door for their cut? That’s right, the IRS. Now he has to pay taxes on money he was never able to collect. Attorneys already understand all of this. That is why as soon as they see that the LLC is in hock to a Panama IBC, they realize any further pursuit is not worth it, and Joe Schmo has to go looking for an easier target. So the answer to the question, “Why offshore and why Panama,” should be pretty apparent.
What has been covered so far is a very broad brush stroke painting of just some of the basic principles and advantages of a good asset protection strategy. There is still much more.
In conclusion, if you truly desire to break out of the system, build and protect wealth, leave a legacy, you need to learn how to build a secure financial house, with all of the walls intact.
I wish you all the success you are looking for.
R. Wayne Wood
R. Wayne Wood is the author of “Asset Protection – Why Necessary? Why Offshore? The few paragraphs with specific statistics were taken from the book, Inc and Grow Rich; one of the best books ever written on asset protection. Much of the rest of the information, quotes and examples were provided me by Gino Casternovia and his incredible team at Southern Oregon Resource Center Educational Services (SORCE), whom I believe to be the finest asset protection team and consultants anyone could ever have. Their client base is worldwide. They are honest and ethical, and after 1 to several interviews with you will help you to understand what you need based upon your current situation and future plans. On their website there are several audio recordings you can listen to covering asset protection and many of the questions and implications surrounding restructuring your financial house. For that website please give me a call. Thank you.