• Frank R. Suess

This is a Great Time For Planning - The 10 Cornerstones of an Effective Offshore Strategy

Updated: Sep 4

Under the current context of the crisis, with deflated asset prices, business losses and the overall spectre of more economic turbulences ahead, now provides a prime time to consider implementing or upgrading your wealth protection and estate planning. The damage done affords an opportunity - a rare opportunity - to convert the negative into a positive from an estate planning and business succession perspective.


As stated recently by Jim Duggan of Duggan & Bertsch, LLC, one of BFI’s preferred US estate and asset protection partners in America, this is a once-in-a-decade opportunity:


“Strictly from an estate tax and business succession perspective, this is likely a once-in-a-decade type of event offering you a rare and meaningful planning opportunity. Think back to valuation dips during the dotcom bubble in 2001 and the financial crisis in 2008, followed by the subsequent bull markets. There is a strong likelihood that history will repeat itself in our current circumstance, especially since expectations are to some level of certainty for mitigation, and possibly a vaccine, for the virus in the next 12 – 18 months, if not sooner.”


There are manifold ways in which to plan and reap benefits in your planning for this situation. Jim Duggan, for instance, likes to talk about so-called “freeze transactions”. Moreover, in the context of estate planning, when you are looking to remove assets from your estate, the lower valuations offer obvious advantages – e.g. allowing you to remove more wealth from your estate, ceteris paribus. The benefits of integrating these kinds of transactions with your overall estate plan, including the international components thereof, can be substantial.


At BFI, we are currently experiencing an uptick in the inquiries on that front, working with our estate planning partners and the planners of our clients to take advantage of the situation.


In many cases, the basic principles and considerations overlap and repeat. I therefore set to summarize them and provide a meaningful overview for our blog. However, when I started to write, I was reminded of a video we had produced a few years ago under the title of “10 Cornerstones of an effective offshore strategy”. That video actually sums things up quite well and is still 99% current and valid.


Things to consider as you setup and maintain your offshore “nest egg”



As you consider the key aspects of planning, particularly the type of planning that involves higher levels of safety and asset protection available in an international, cross-border dimension, you need to have clear objectives and priorities.


Amongst those priorities and goals are SAFETY – jurisdictional, institutional, and procedural. Moreover, particularly for American families and entrepreneurs with wealth, the element of offshore-enhanced asset protection can be of interest. Next you need to consider angles such as flexibility of investing and global investment reach, long-term planning flexibility, and, of course, compliance with US and international rules.


I hope you enjoy the video. And, please do feel free to contact me should you have any questions or would like to dig a little deeper.


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