Expanded Worldwide Planning Stories – Continuation
Asset Protection – Part 2
We continue with Part 2 in the story of Janice Johansen, which finds her in Switzerland, and basking in the false security of a $100M pay out from the sale of her business in NYC. As the story unfolds, we find out how Janice created the business that brought about this potential pay out, and how a critical error by one of her advisors was about to be exposed.
Before we begin the story, we give you a few thoughts on asset protection, and how an EWP (Expanded Worldwide Planning) Asset Structure can give you the asset protection that you need in a simple, straightforward, and comprehensive structure.
Both Sides of the Sharp Blade
What we term the Sharp Blade is our legal system, particularly in the U.S. According to One Legal, it is estimated that there are more than 40 million lawsuits filed in the U.S. every year.
For better or worse, the legal system is adversarial. If you are sued you must defend yourself or risk losing the lawsuit by inaction. Both sides present their best case and a judge or jury decides what shall be done with the issue, or the parties negotiate a settlement between themselves before the case goes to trial.
If you are a professional person or own a business, you are at risk of being sued, and it behooves you to protect yourself. Different types of insurance can mitigate the risk for you, but not for all situations. If insurance does not come to your rescue, then, your assets are exposed to being seized and sold to pay a judgment against you.
Wealthy families, who may be immigrating from a country like China that is not nearly so litigious, may not even consider this possible threat to their assets. EWP, through the proper implementation of a PPLI policy, offers asset protection by its very nature. Not as a separate complicated trust structure, but because life insurance has a very favored position in the eyes of the law in respect to asset protection. This will be explained in more detail in other sections of our drama.
Hunters vs. Prey
Watch a nature documentary and you will see this sub-plot of the EWP Drama unfold. Frequently, the strong and fast feast on the weak and slow, but not always. Nature has a stealthy way of protecting the weak and slow. You might call this method camouflage or hiding in plain sight. Instead of trying to run away from predators, or overpower them, they quietly remain in the same place. This method of hiding in plain sight is how life insurance achieves its excellent asset protection.
Some asset classes are favored by law. These asset classes provide the debtor with a greater level of protection from the claims of creditors than would other asset classes. This is so for life insurance, because it is considered essential for the debtor’s family to maintain at least a minimum level of well-being, and not become a burden to the state.
The federal bankruptcy exemption for life insurance policy unmatured death benefit is quite small, currently only $12,500. Many states provide a more extensive exemption for life insurance than federal law. The states vary widely in whether they exempt only the beneficiaries of the life insurance contract, family members of the insured, or the owner of the contract. There is also a wide disparity on the protection of the cash value, if any, inside the contract of life insurance. This protection also differs as to whether the exemption is applied in a bankruptcy context or a non-bankruptcy context.
As we have read, life insurance’s role as a protector of assets is quite different from our nature documentary example of a hunter and its prey. Life insurance performs so well in this role because society at large, in the form of governments throughout the world, have cast it in this starring role.
Janice felt on top of the world in more ways than one. She was now looking at the Swiss Alps on her balcony in Spiez on the southern shore of Lake Thun. Janice was also completing the sale of her wine store chain. She would be receiving $100M for her twenty years work. She began the chain with a keen enthusiasm for wine, a small inheritance from her uncle, and a rat infested storefront on the Bowery in New York City.
Through careful sourcing of wines throughout the world, her excellent palate, and buyers hungry for good quality wine at a reasonable price, she had grown her one store into a multi-city chain. She was relaxing, as though for the first time in twenty years. Her taunt athletic frame was not built for relaxation. When she would allow herself time away from her business, relaxation took the form of Triathlons. She did allow herself the time to stay in top physical condition.
The jet streaking above the Alps reminded her of her jet fighter flight several days ago. The ad reads: “Fly a Real Fighter Jet. Be a fighter pilot for a day.” When she saw the ad, she couldn’t resist. To pay $5,000 for 30 minutes with an experienced ex-military, fighter pilot, she had to do it, and she did, exhilarated to the core every minute of the flight. She was transported to a new world, as the pilot navigated the high and jagged peaks of the Alps with its narrow valleys and tightly constricted airspace. She did not want the flight to end.
Her cell phone rang. She glanced at her phone. It was her attorney.
“Janice, I have unwelcome news for you.”
“Yes, Brian, what is it?”
“There has been a serious accident at a store in New York City.”
“Well, don’t we have insurance for this?”
Brian said weakly, “Maybe.”
“Why maybe? Don’t we now have our captive insurance?”
Brian said in a dull tone, “We need to talk.”
Watch the Asset Protection Short Video Series
by Michael Malloy, CLU TEP RFC.
CEO, Founder @EWP Financial
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