Asset seizures are becoming increasingly common throughout the western world. Government agencies routinely seize bank accounts and assets. This can be based on little more than suspicion that a crime has been committed. Or a tax debt that’s due.. All this is managed by government employees.. The kind of incompetent bureaucrats that work in government offices often make mistakes.
In the US assets seizures can happen even if there’s only the most innocuous link to a crime. Under asset forfeiture regulations police and other law enforcement agencies can seize assets on suspicion of a crime. They don’t have to prove any crime was committed. The burden of proof is reversed and you must prove that your assets are not connected to crime to reverse the asset seizure. Houses, cars and cash are routinely seized by police forces in the US. 80% of those who are subject to asset seizures are never charged with a crime.
In the UK there are now Unexplained Wealth Orders. If you are living an ostentatious life without the government knowing where your money comes from you can be subject to an Unexplained Wealth order. The government will seize all your assets and you must go to court and explain where your money came from to get them back. The burden of proof is on the person who has their assets seized to show that they weren’t proceeds of crime.
Don’t Keep Money in Your Country of Residence or Citizenship
Any assets held in your country of citizenship or residence are at grave risk. As we can see governments everywhere are increasingly using asset seizures not to tackle rime but to increase their on budgets. This is a trend that’s going to continue as governments struggle to fund their budgets. Keeping your money in a safe location where you don’t live or do business is becoming essential.
Own Real Estate Overseas
Real estate owned overseas can’t be easily seized by your government. As real estate held overseas is not reportable to your government they shouldn’t even know that you own it. Real estate overseas gives you multiple benefits. Not only is it a way to keep assets out of reach of your government, it provides you with a safe haven to escape should you need it. It can also be used to get residency and citizenship in certain countries.
Hold Your Assets in a Foundation or Trust
A foundation or a trust, by its very nature, can’t have an owner. Although they can’t be owned, they can be controlled by the founder. This give the unique benefit of keeping assets under your control but not legally owning them. This strategy avoids the risk of asset seizures by your government or any other predator seeking to deprive you of your assets. Your goal should be to own nothing but control everything.
Use Overseas Companies to Conduct Business
Overseas companies don’t need to be traditional offshore companies. They only need to be incorporated outside the jurisdiction where you live. That means that your government can’t monitor them. They can have overseas bank and brokerage accounts. While a domestic corporation may have very little privacy, an overseas corporation, if set up correctly, can offer high levels of confidentiality. Particularly if your adversaries are in a different country.
Make Sure Assets in Your Country of Residence and Citizenship are owned by an Overseas Company or Your Overseas Company Owns the Mortgage
Even if you do everything correctly with overseas companies and bank accounts, you’re likely to own assets in the country where you live. This can be real estate, businesses, cars, etc. Things that you may use day to day that are going to be the first items at risk of asset seizures.
The way to deal with this is to either have them owned directly by an overseas company or for the overseas company or trust to have a security over the asset. For example, you could lease your car from your overseas company. The foundation you control can have a mortgage on your house. That means that if any predator tries to seize your assets it’ll be impossible. The assets that you use day to day will be rented, leased or mortgaged to the hilt to avoid asset seizures.
These are just a few of the techniques you can use to avoid asset seizures. The point is that you should take action. Even if you think it can never happen o you. In today’s world it’s difficult to know where the next problem may arise. In the US, houses have been seized because offspring have used drugs there. In the UK assets have been confiscated from people that can’t prove where their money came from. These laws are getting more draconian every year. If you have any wealth at all it’s important to safeguard it. Put asset protection measures in place to protect your assets and get a second passport and second residencies to protect yourself.
Your always best to be a year too early than a day too late.
For the latest strategies and tips to protect yourself against asset seizures see our report Bulletproof Asset Protection.
Get in touch with us for help with asset protection, residency overseas and second citizenships.
How does asset seizure work?
In many jurisdictions assets can be seized where a crime is suspected. It’s then up to the owner of the assets to prove that no crim was committed.