Foreign trusts might conjure up thoughts of tax evasion and money laundering, but in reality, when created and maintained legally, they can be powerful and completely legitimate asset protection tools for clients against creditors.

Like ordinary trusts, foreign trusts transfer control of one person’s assets to someone else, which can help keep the money out of creditors’ hands. But because the trusts are outside the United States and the jurisdiction of American courts, anyone wishing to get at the money will likely have to go to greater lengths to navigate other countries’ legal and banking systems, creating a powerful incentive to settle.

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