Select the Right International Financial Center
Another common question is which is the best IFC? Many international jurisdictions
can give you excellent protection. But when you choose a country you should
focus on five criteria. You want a country with:
- Strong asset protection laws and pro-debtor policies.
- A predictable and sound legal and political system.
- No taxes on foreign capital.
- Financial privacy and confidentiality.
- No exchange controls.
Other criteria and reasons to have your wealth international can influence
your choice. Choose the IFC which best satisfies those needs. But for
protection, the most important criteria is whether the IFC
will protect your assets. All else is secondary. About twenty IFC's specialize
in asset protection, but closely investigate five features when you select your IFC:
What is their statute of limitation? Your creditor should have the shortest time to challenge a fraudulent transfer.
Only then are you safe. IFC statutes of limitations range from an unlimited
duration to one-year (Nevis).
Will they enforce a foreign judgment? Your IFC must neither recognize nor enforce a foreign civil judgment.
Your creditor must be forced to re-litigate their case in that IFC.
What is the burden of proof to recover a fraudulent transfer? Must your creditor allege your fraudulent transfer was made with fraudulent
intent? That can be a helpful standard.
What is the standard of proof? You also want a rigid standard of proof on fraudulent intent. Some IFCs
require that the creditor establish fraud by a mere preponderance of the
evidence and others want fraud to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. This, of course, is a more difficult standard.
Will they freeze your assets? You do not want an IFC that will allow your creditor to attach your assets
before your creditor obtains judgment from that IFC. Few IFCs will.
IFC's come in every size, variety, and political persuasion. IFCs are
located throughout the world. Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, and
the Bahamas hug America's southeast coast. The Cayman Islands, Turks
and Caicos, Nevis, and Antigua dot the Caribbean. The Isle of Man, Channel
Islands, Jersey, and Guernsey shadow England. Switzerland, Liechtenstein,
Luxembourg, Hungary, and Austria are good European havens. The Philippines,
Singapore, and Hong Kong serve the Pacific Rim. Cyprus, Malta, and Gibraltar
are Mediterranean IFCs. And there are also the Cook Islands, near New Zealand.
IFC's are clustered nearby the industrialized countries whose laws
force their wealthier citizens to find friendlier environments for their
money. The world is shrinking so your choice of IFC no longer depends
upon geography. Electronic banking lets you easily move your money to
whatever country best satisfies your needs. You can as easily bank in
another hemisphere as you can at the local savings and loan.
IFC's rapidly rise and fall. Newer, more competitive IFCs continue
to arise. Gibraltar, the Cook Islands, Nevis, the Marianas, Belize, the
Turks and Caicos and Montserrat are relatively new international contenders.
Other bright stars are on the horizon. Nevis and the Cook Islands are
two of the more protective foreign assets protection jurisdictions and
our favorites. Yet, asset protection lawyers have their own favorite jurisdiction
and affiliations (trustees, protectors, banks, etc.). You won't get
a unanimous opinion when you ask which IFC is best.
Your international asset protection plan will also be multi-national. For
example, you may have a Nevis trust as your primary protective shield,
but your trust may bank or invest its funds in Switzerland, Panama, Singapore,
YES, YOU CAN LOSE EVERYTHING!
You may think that your wealth is safe and that you don't need protection.
But don't delude yourself and accept reality —
for every 60 minutes you spend making money, spend 60 seconds thinking
about how to protect it!