The facts and fictions of asset protection with lawyer, Brian Bradley

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Brian T. Bradley, Esq. is a nationally recognized Asset Protection Attorney. He has been interviewed and a featured guest on many top shows such as: Bigger Pockets Rookie, Flipping America Podcast with Roger Blankenship the “Flipping America Guy” and member of the Forbes Magazine Real Estate Council. Brian was selected to the Best Attorney’s of America’s List 2020, Lawyers of Distinction List three years in a row (2018, 2019, 2020,) Super Lawyers Rising Star List 2015, nominated to America's Top 100 High Stake Litigators List, nominated to the 2017 Law Firm 500 Award. Brian also writes on high-end asset protection.

Ownership of real estate has many benefits from an investment and tax standpoint. There is downside risk, however, since the value of real estate holdings may be significant and can be used to cover damages awarded in a lawsuit. Therefore, it’s important to consider asset protection strategies relating to real estate holdings in order to minimize such risk. In today's episode, Brian lays out how asset protection really works from a legal standpoint and dispels some common myths that are thrown around in the industry.

Episode Link:

https://btblegal.com/

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Transcript

Before we jump into the episode, here's a quick disclaimer about our content. The Remote Real Estate Investor podcast is for informational purposes only, and is not intended as investment advice. The views, opinions and strategies of both the hosts and the guests are their own and should not be considered as guidance from Roofstock. Make sure to always run your own numbers, make your own independent decisions and seek investment advice from licensed professionals.

Michael:

What's going on everyone? Welcome to another episode of the Remote Real Estate Investor. I'm Michael Albaum and today I'm joined by Brian Bradley, asset protection attorney and he's going to be dropping some knowledge about all the things we should be aware of as real estate investors when it comes to protecting our assets. So let's get into it.

Brian, what's going on, man? Thanks so much for taking the time to hang out with me today. I really appreciate it.

Brian:

No, absolutely Michael, thanks for having me on. It's going to be an important topic, a fun topic, I'm gonna try to keep it fun and not legally dense and you know, just like I'm not anyone's, you know, Attorney here legal guru. So we're just gonna be talking generalities, right? We're gonna learn a lot in this, you know, it's gonna be a lot of fun and as you're building scale and making more money, you know, you're getting a bigger red button on you and so like this world of where we're gonna be talking about asset protection is kind of a big deal. There's just a lot of ways to skin a cat, different layers, different strategies for where you're at in your life. So, you know, I think as we break these down, hopefully I can, you know, make this will make a little bit more sense for you and your listeners.

Michael:

Yes, it will. Thank you. I am super excited to learn a lot because before we hit record here, you and I were chatting about some of the topics that we'll be covering today and I was like, what is that totally brand new. So I'm really excited from a self-serving perspective. So give everyone that quick and dirty background who doesn't know Brian Bradley, who you are, where you come from, and what is it you're doing in real estate today?

Brian:

Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, I'm an asset protection attorney, you know, we're talking about it off recording, like from Lake Tahoe, so you know, big snowboard ski, you know, ski bum, you know, Lake bum, I got into asset protection from the litigation side of the law, I was selected to America's best attorney list 2021-2020 Super Lawyers rising star 2021-2015.

Michael:

My guess is that no, that's not like an online survey, you filled out to get that…

Brian:

Oh, no, and another do with me, that's really just people that you work their butt up in court, and then they recommend you or judges recommend you and I have nothing to do with it and it's actually pretty, you know, I appreciate even just the nomination, let alone winning it, you know, to where I think they only say 1% of all attorneys in the nation even get nominated for those awards, let alone then, you know, 1% of those even gets picked to as a as a winner and so…

Michael:

Congratulations…

Brian:

Thanks, yeah and for me getting into, you know, asset protection, which will define what that is, you know, in a minute, like, that'll be like our think our base starting point. I just, I just got into this weird area of law, because when I like money, I like investing, I like, you know, not paying as much taxes as you know, as I can and as you grow, you got to be smart with your money, right and who can take it from you and so as a trial lawyer starting out, I just had so many clients who were being sued and their lives just turned completely upside down coming to me after they're already being sued and at that point, you know, you're just too far down the rabbit hole, you know, it's like going to get a car insurance after you already got in an accident or, you know, home insurance after your house already, you know, caught on fire, it's just, it's not gonna happen and so I see a lot of people thinking that they don't need to do anything is another misconception. You know, it's kind of human nature, right? You know, like, I'm just gonna ride lady luck. I'll deal with it when I when, you know, it hits me later on and that's just not how anything that needs to be proactive in the legal sense is going to work like insurance or asset protection. Wishful thinking is not a protection tool. You know, that's how everything you know, like, go to Vegas, go to breaks and hit the roulette table and see how long your wishful thinking is gonna last for you, right? You know or, you know, as you're leveling up, people forget about this. Like, as your wealth is leveling up, you're leveling up, you don't level up your protection, you don't level up your insurance. Yeah, people go buy an umbrella policy, but they don't realize what an umbrella policy is just like everything else, right?

You know, it just provides more access and money to, you know, for coverage, but it doesn't, it's not the same escape clauses, you know, like, there's no insurance in the world that's gonna say, okay, hey, if I go punch you in the face, are you gonna cover it for me? No, like, they don't cover you for intentional wrongdoings or allegations of fraud and intentional wrongs and so that's how they have their escape clauses out especially for very big cases. You know, if you're talking about like a million dollar or more lawsuit. A couple other big misconceptions that we need to address as we lay this landscape is just, you know, the revocable living trust, if people think like, oh, yeah, I have a trust, right, that you know, they don't realize trust. There's a lot of different types of trust. Your family estate plan, your revocable living trust are not designed to protect you while you're living in they don't have the lead have teeth to be able to. So once you pass, they're only designed to avoid probate not protect you while you're living from lawsuits and then over the last five years, I've noticed this massive misconception about the use of limited liability companies. LLCs and they just think that they're like, you know, Silver Bullet Dracula slayers and you guys miss, like, first word first letter, like limited, I tell you. Whereas, whereas this happened, where's this come from? Like, they're not hiding the fact they tell you like they titled it telling you limited liability. So like, now we have to reeducate people on this, like, yeah, don't put everything in the world under one LLC. Otherwise, if it gets pierced, you're gonna lose it on like, What are you talking about, which we'll break that down, you know, in a little bit. And then the sad thing is like, and I think it's worth explaining is this, if you just look around, and you look at, you know, our legal system and the world we live in, it's just broken, it's a broken system, you know, and we're so happy nirvana and just to like, kind of lay this framework down a little bit more. We're no longer about justice. We're about redistributing wealth from the haves, which is you, your listeners, people trying to grow and accumulate more to the have nots and over the last 40-50 years, things that didn't happen in the past, or that weren't allowed to happen in the past like contingency fee lawyers or law from advertising their common place. and then this created a cultural shift of a predatory legal system that's no longer about justice. So it's about profits now and then when you get on the road of high net worth, in affluent families and wealth, this level of protection, now we have to deal with taking a macroeconomic, more of like a global look about what's going on and the big picture here is really that we have a global financial system that has structurally deep rooted issues. You know, we have government backed fiat currencies that are now in question. This is also including the US dollar. So don't think like, just because we're in the US, we're exempt from all of this, you know, monetary policy today, you know, the one that exists is, you know, inflate or die and then you got governments looking for a deep and accessible pools of financing and meaning our money, you know, the hard workers, the people who are investing, along with financial repression, monetary economic manipulation. So this just adds all the challenges that we have to deal with when we're looking to protect your assets and so asset protection is that modern best bet to level this playing field by using a lot of the tools and the combination of the tools that we're going to talk about today to make it very hard for you to be collected on and so what this is really about is just like a talk about giving you peace of mind, lifestyle preservation, and you know, really just how collectible are you at the end of the day…

Michael:

Love it. But well, I am all about doing things to help peace of mind and insulate ourselves from the world at large. This you happy world at large. So help us understand Brian, like, what are some of the things when someone says asset protection to you like, Brian, I gotta protect my assets? What does that mean to you? What alarm bells are going off in your head?

Brian:

Yeah, absolutely. One is like, do you understand the difference between tax mitigation and asset protection and I've been getting this a lot, you know, especially this last year, obviously, as we see what's going on, you know, within inflation, taxes and everything right now, asset protection is not tax mitigation, like that's your CPE and wealth managers job. If creating an asset protection plan or an asset protection, trust or going offshore, you know, where to create tax havens like one that's illegal, it's fraud, you know, so system won't work, and then you go to jail for that type of stuff.

Michael:

So don't do that is what you're saying.

Brian:

That's not what this is about. So people always like, oh, I want to protect my assets and I don't want to pay taxes, completely two different things. The asset protection plan is to protect your assets from predatory lawsuits and litigation, not saying I want to not pay taxes, that's tax mitigation, talk to your CPA and wealth managers. First, lock down your assets from lawsuits because if you get sued and lose everything, what's your miracle working CPA going to be able to do for you if you have nothing for them to work on, so order of operation, protect your assets, then let them work through the system that's created to actually like mitigate, you know, forced depreciation, all those wonderful things that they do cost segue analysis…

Michael:

Yeah but Brian, to that, to that point, really quick. I'm just curious, like, do you work with a lot of CPAs because I can see, I can envision a scenario in which the legal side of things is super buttoned up super tight, but maybe isn't very tax efficient and so my guess is there's probably a happy medium, or some input that a CPA or wealth manager can inject into the situation to help make both things as tight as possible.

Brian:

Correct. You got to, you know, the issue generally is people don't involve their lawyers until later on down the line and it creates a lot of problems. So for example, a lot of CPAs will set up S Corps for investors, especially real estate investors for some reason, and great for tax purposes, horrible for litigation and I get this call a lot, you know, and most of my clients are calling with like 50 $100 million of real estate all stuffed in one S Corp. Okay, great again, for tax mitigation, horrible for let's say you get sued and now you're S Corp and all the shares get frozen and cease, there is nothing I can do for you. At that point, I can't move assets out and then even if I want it and you realize like, oh my god, I have so many pieces of property under one corporation like this is very risky, I need to start diversifying and employing these assets out, you're stuck, you're not going to be able to and I just had this call yesterday with a potential client. The reason is, when you're all the benefits of the S Corp, right? You know, deferred taxation and all this stuff, you're kicking the can down the road, once you start taking the assets out, you have to pay the money back and so people don't generally have millions of dollars sitting in their bank account saying like, okay, hey, I feel like you know, taking all the assets out of my S Corp now and now I'm going to go and pay the piper and the IRS.

So because you don't have that money sitting around to pay the IRS and the taxes, we can move the assets for you and I'm not going to force you to go, you know, and have the IRS coming after you to collect on you and move the assets out anyways, because now you're just creating a bad situation for the client. So the lesson here to learn is if you're thinking of investing, you need to talk to both the lawyer and the CPA, because a lot of CPAs, they shouldn't be giving you legal advice. They're not lawyers, and they're not going to understand the aspect of what happens actually in court with s corpse and C corpse, when it comes to litigation, and why we don't want to use those to protect your assets. So we have to all talk together. The problem is I get this all I get the mess after the fact right, and then I have to start supporting afterwards and so when done, right, really, the modern, you know, estate planning is asset protection, what we're doing is creating legal barriers between your assets, and your potential creditor, the person suing you, the person trying to come after your money before it's needed and that's it, you know, it's like a safe for your gold or your guns or your valuables. Anything of value, you know, you want to put behind the legal barrier and out of your personal name so that it's not easily attached with a lien or reached and so I just like the rich, I really liked the Tony Robbins saying success leaves clues. The rich don't own things in their personal names their businesses do their trust, do they just get the beneficial use and enjoyment out of them while separating out that legal liability and we do that through just like different tools and mechanisms that we have kind of like key concepts and roadmaps like LLC is limited partnerships and trust.

Michael:

Got it. Okay and so when real estate investor comes to you, they're just getting started. They are moist clay, you can totally mold them, they don't already have a bunch of issues. What is your go to, like ideal scenario for asset protection?

Brian:

Yeah, so there, I mean, you're just starting out your green horn, like really just going to be an LLC and insurance and that's where you're gonna go, okay and as you think about how to use these systems and how to grow within them, okay, I want you and your listeners to think about winter, okay, like we were talking about this before we started recording like I'm from Lake Tahoe, snow, cold snowboarding skiing, I lived in Michigan, freezing cold arctic, you know, minus 40 degree weather for a while, well, I'm in Portland damp cold, you got to really layer you and so the first entry layer is as your base layer, when you're getting dressed, it's going to sit on your skin. This is the equivalent of an LLC and insurance. This is you know, when you're just starting out investing in you have zero to three units, or you know, zero to three properties, you're exposed net worth generally is like 250,000, net or below and then as you grow, and you add more assets, and you hit around that four unit or four property mark, you could be starting to invest in a couple different states as well, you know, you have now around like 500, to 700,000 exposed nets, what you need is a mid-layer, which is usually a little bit thicker, that's going to be made out of like a merino wool sweater, or for you ladies a car and again, this is your management company, like a limited partnership and I can break down that later on if we have time and then when you hit around that 1 million net worth mark, you know, you're gonna want to water shell waterproof layer.

This keeps you nice and dry and warm when the weather's really bad. You know, this is your doomsday lawsuit protection layer is going to be an asset protection trust and specifically for our clients, we use a hybrid trust, which is combining an offshore trust and domesticating it through the IRS. So when a client comes to me, I receive it I realistically, you want four things you know, you want you're going to want an effective plan to have, you're going to want to control your plan. Three, you want a reasonable and sustainable cost, you know, depending on what layer you're at, is going to be individual for the for the client profile and then four you want a plan that's going to be easy to maintain compliance on what the IRS like I can create the strongest thing in the world for you. But if you're not going to be maintaining it and you don't want to do the IRS compliance with it, eventually you're just going to stop doing it and the whole system falls apart. So as you go through the valuation process and you're talking to different attorneys and you're vetting the process, just remember the acronym ECCC effectiveness, control cost and compliance and as long as you can start checking off all those boxes, you know you're gonna have a really good system. If you want to I can break down the first layer if you want to Trying to kinda go there like LLCs, or just really wherever you feel like directing this.

Michael:

Yeah, so I think our listeners probably have a good handle on LLCs. But I would love if you would walk us through what this hybrid trust is because it's not something that I'm familiar with, I've never heard of before.

Brian:

So yeah, and I think the reason why is like not many people focus on asset protection at a high level, you know, I think events like insurance, a lot of people wonder not only purely asset protection attorneys, right, they're generally business attorneys who do some asset protection or their real estate, you know, attorneys who do a little bit and they take continuing legal education course, learn about LLCs, and the kind of stops there and like insurance, they kind of tried to cast a large net nationwide, what was one thing you can cast nationwide and LLC and so I kind of think that's why like, the base layer, knowledge kind of stops there, because not many people just focus on, you know, very, very strong protection. This comes with the asset protection trust. So it's this final layer, the bad weather, you know, the outer shell waterproof layer, is this asset protection trust, it's going to be really the heart and soul of the system, especially when you have over 1 million exposed and that wealth and what I mean exposed is like your 401 K is exempt. So I don't include that in a net worth evaluation, because it's already a reset protecting some states, like if you're a Florida resident, we have a very strong homestead exemption of 100% of your of your primary residence. So I will take that out of the equation too, depending on the state you're in and the homestead. So what we're looking at is exposed unprotected, and that, you know, equity and wealth, all right. The great thing about trust is that they can be sculpted, to fit how you need them and they can morph as you need them without dealing with funding issues that you're going to fall into an LLC and other business entities that get their protection pierced, meaning now you're going to be held personally liable. So I just love trust and having a trust at the very top of the planning is very powerful and this is where picking the proper jurisdiction for a trust really comes into play.

The standard 101 trust that I'm sure like everybody's familiar with, you know, kind of started in the 60s is the family revocable living trust. So you know, like when trust, you know, trust don't die. So then when you do, you act, and you fund your trust, which a lot of people forget to do, like, oh, I created my estate plan, and then they never transfer title into it. Remember, fund that fund the trust, if it's just, you know, your revocable living trust, the benefit of it is when you pass you don't have to go through probate, you can just skip the court system and probate and it changed the landscape of estate planning. Then you have what are called land trusts for real estate, you know, you hold your land, and then you connect them to an LLC. But land trusts don't have any protection in and of themselves. They're only as strong as the LLC that they're connected to, you know, so they're just a privacy mechanism, not a protection mechanism. Okay from there, you have higher levels of trust. They're called asset protection trust and I really want to spend the time, you know, with this and break down the three different types, you know, and after this, I think you and probably 99% of your listeners are going to know more than 99% of all the attorneys out there about asset protection, trust, they came, yeah, they came about in the early 1980s. You know, and so an asset protection trust is what's called a self-settled spendthrift trust. All sell settled means is that you created it for yourself, you know, they're for you, by you, as your own beneficiary, and they have very important spendthrift provisions in them. So this lets you protect your assets while you're actually living, you know, from creditors trying to sue you from not having to relinquish control of your assets. The difference is that they allow you to protect your assets, not just for your grandkids, but for yourself, which you weren't allowed to do in the past and then like I said, you're probably familiar with another type of self-settled trust the revocable living trust. They're the same and that they're self-settled created for you by you.

The difference is that with an asset protection version of this trust, it includes these critical provisions called spendthrift provisions and what spendthrift provisions are is they are provisions that allow you to protect your assets from the creditors, they're the actual teeth behind it and for those to work, the trust them has to be not revocable, but it will revocable. So it's a very different type of trust, you know, just like chocolate or vanilla, both ice cream, just different types of ice cream.

Michael:

Yeah…

Brian:

You know, this is where the fun really starts to actually happen. There's two major school of thoughts here you can go international meaning offshore, another country jurisdiction, you know, you hear about Cook Islands, Cayman Islands, Belize, in the Bahamas, or domestically here in the US, you know, Nevada, Delaware, Wyoming, Texas, um, so you can set them up here in the United States and you know, if you don't mind, I think a great way to talk about it, just kind of talking about it through historical context, because I think if you understand the foundations of both offshore and domestic then you understand the principles of how we combine them together and why you want to

Michael:

Yeah, let's do it.

Brian:

Alright, cool. So again, you really have these three options, right, you can establish them offshore, you're going establish them domestically, and then we can hybrid them out like a hybrid car, take the best of both worlds put them together. So from the historical concept, the offshore trust actually came first, in 1984, when the famous Cook Islands, they created the first asset protection trust. I like and choose the Cook Islands if and when it's applicable, just because it literally offers the best home court advantage and why it's the best is because asset protection is just what these trusts in the Cook Islands were specifically drafted for and the power here is they have this wonderful word called statutory non recognition of any other jurisdictional court orders in the world, including the United States and so what this means is that if you have a judgment against you, in the United States, and you took it down to the Cook Islands, your US judgment is literally worthless, it literally has no value whatsoever. statutorily the Cook Islands they prohibited from recognizing it even from their own constitution and so if somebody wants to sue your trust, and it has a Cook Islands, you know, clause in it. So as a Cook Islands trust, they will have to start their case all over from scratch, the person who's suing you, they're going to have to prove their case beyond the reasonable doubt. This is the murder standard, the highest legal standard in the world that 99% sure standard. Not that you know, 51%, preponderance of the evidence, I'm not sure we don't know what happened. But we don't like the way they look right now. So let's just let's just give it to them.

You know, you can't get a contingency fee attorney to represent you, because they're just not allowed down there. It's an ethical in the Cook Islands, just like it used to be unethical here in the United States. But then that got changed in the 60s, the claim meaning the lawsuit, you know, it's not amendable. So what this means is that it can't be changed or amended after the discovery process starts like we can do here in the United States. Like we can literally just say, okay, I'm suing you for this, dig around start discovery, then completely change what We're suing you for, because we started using as a fishing expedition. The person suing you, yeah, no, I mean, this is just like standard trial tactics is like, okay, hey, let me just flood you with discovery and like, start poking around and say, oh, hey, we didn't even know this was right here. Now I'm gonna add this to the complaint and sue you now, for this looks like a better cause of action anyways, I can't do that down there. But we can do it here all the time in the US.

Michael:

So it sounds like I need to go move to the Cook Islands.

Brian:

Now. Well, here and maybe not right, because you know, there's, there's cons to things, we'll get to the cons in a minute. So the person suing you, they're gonna have to front the entire court costs by the judge from New Zealand and if you lose your pay, you know, and I honestly think this is one of the worst things that we don't have here in the United States, though, like the loser doesn't need to pay the legal fees and the cost of the winner. So if you get sued for something completely bogus, I mean, a frivolous lawsuit, and you spend $200,000, defending yourself on legal fees, then the judge finally is like, this is ridiculous. I'm throwing this case out, you're still out 200,000 bucks, you know, the person who sued you, they're not going to be getting the bill for that because our legal system in the United States, they just that will discourage lawsuits and our legal system is run by trial lawyers who don't want to discourage lawsuits and there's only a one year statute of limitations. So if you go back to those four things I mentioned, right, remember, like effectiveness, cost, control, compliance, I mean, effectiveness, five out of five stars, nothing really nothing beats statutory nonrecognition. So what about the other ones, right, you know, control costs and compliance. This is kind of his kryptonite, you know, these are the drawbacks. If you're going to be purely foreign, like a purely foreign trust, you have a lot more IRS reporting, compliance and disclosure. So you have these things called IRS forms 3520 3520 A's. What this is, is a full balance sheet disclosure of everything that trust owns, and sometimes even the entire trust agreement to be disclosed and submitted to the IRS and it is expensive for this IRS forms to be done every year. Also, you're going to have factor compliance, because you're going to have a foreign bank account at that time.

And of course, we're these trusts to work, you're going to be out of control of the trust. That's why they work so good. That's why they're the creme de la crème and clients are just not comfortable with this. So while we literally have the most effective trust in the world, by far, it's not something that I generally start with, I probably only say like 1% of my clients, I will go to a purely foreign trust with which then brings us right to the second option. Okay, we're not going to be going forward and what about these domestic trust? Yeah, they came about 10 years later down the road of all places, Alaska started it out and then not to be outdone, obviously, you're gonna be like, Well, hey, we're Wyoming and Nevada and Delaware like this is what we're known for. So we're jumping on the gravy train, right and then now about 19 other states now have created some form of asset protection, self-settled trust statutes. So we're seeing as a state starting to jump on board seeing yeah, our legal system is a threat and things have to get done to protect your assets and so as to protection the United States is very is very important to understand this ballot on It's just the concepts like how you go about doing it is very important. The issue with a purely foreign under the purely domestic asset protection trust is that, you know, we live in the United States of America, we have a Constitution, Article four section one for Faith and Credit Clause. What this provides and means is that every state has to grant the full faith and credit to the judicial proceedings of every other state. What this is means what it's telling you is that, for example, Nevada can pass and has passed an asset protection statute, okay, but it cannot ignore a California or Washington or like another states court orders. So where the Cook Islands can literally just throw that California judgment in the trash. Nevada can't do that. Nevada has to respect it constitutionally and even litigate it and then you have courts that are just simply ignoring the choice of law clause. So I mean, like literally, like bait levers more dissent in re Hubber, cucumber Steelman, Dover still all great facts, all great cases, they should have one of those cases, and judges literally just use their superpower public policy, we're ignoring the you know, choice of law clause, trust is breach means loss of assets, that's just completely unacceptable and so because of the case law that we're seeing, I'm not a big fan of a purely domestic asset protection, trust or anything purely domestic without something offshore built into it. This is why I prefer the hybrid version called like, we just call it a bridge trust, but it's really just like a hybrid, hybrid trust, think of them like a hybrid cars, okay? What we're doing just combining the best of both, and then making a better product and so these trusts have been around for almost three decades. So they're not, you know, the new lady to the dance, they've been around for about 30 years now and at the end of the day, what you're doing is taking a fully registered foreign Cook Island, offshore asset protection, trust, what all that for two years of solid case law, again, so it's fully registered offshore from the day we created with the offshore trustee, they're there in standby just in case you need them and then we build a bridge back to the IRS for IRS classification. So the IRS is literally taking this foreign trust and then they're classifying it as a domestic US trust, by complying with USC Section 7701. It's called the court test control test and so because of that bridge, as long as we have our compliance in place, we stay classified domestically and what this does is that the trust is now going to be cheaper to create.

So generally, a purely foreign trust is going to cost like 4550, even $60,000 plus $12,000, a year to maintain very expensive, a hybrid trust is going to be cheaper, you're generally gonna be talking about, you know, 23 to 30,000, to set up a hybrid trust, plus no IRS tax filings whatsoever, while you're domestic because it's classified as a domestic US grantor trust, so you have no more IRS tax filings, unless God forbid, we have to break that bridge and now you also get the power of the offshore trust. If and when we need it. It's in our toolbox now, just like a contractor who says like, okay, hey, I don't need to use all my tools today. But I'm going to need them possibly at some point. So now I can use them as I need them. Versus coming to me later on after the fact oh, my God, Brian, I mow somebody over with my car, like, can you help me? You know, like, I want that foreign trust? Well, no, sorry, it's after the fact I can't do it now. But if we have the hybrid, I could have engaged it. So that would be like during the State of duress, we would break the bridge, stop being an IRS compliance, you are what you are a foreign trust. Until that point, you want to be classified domestically. So that hybrid trust is very, very effective, you may control of your assets, you may take control the trust, right up until that doomsday scenario where you don't want to be in control of it anymore. You know, maintenance and compliance with the IRS. Very simple. So at that point, you've now checked off all the boxes, effectiveness, cost control and compliance check, check, check, check, check and so this is where you know, for our clients, we generally are starting with these hybrid trust.

Michael:

Wow, this is wild, is super cool and so are you thinking that most folks that are in that kind of million dollars of expose net worth, this is where that starts to make sense.

Brian:

That's exactly like, so our main client profile that comes in you would think they'd be like, you know, 10s of millions of dollars for us, like realistically, I would say 75% of our clients generally around that 1.2 million, exposing that. Some high risk, probably like a doctor or surgeon lawyer, or just straight real estate investors. I have some of my favorite clients, nurses, firefighters, cops who self-funded their retirement through cash flowing properties, and now they're about to retire and they realize like, I can't lose all of this now because this is literally my nest egg and my legacy. Yeah, they need to lock it down and so you generally see the average client profiles like 1.2 to 2 million of exposed net with some risk, and it makes sense at that point. Yeah, get the LLC get the limited partnership get the trust for like 30,000 dollars locked down a million plus, and then sleep well at night. That's when the investment kind of makes sense for this type of protection.

Michael:

Yeah, that makes total sense and what would you say because I would imagine, after listening to this folks might go to other attorneys they work with mentioned this type of hybrid trust and they might be told now you don't need an LLC is good enough. I mean, what's the I know, we've talked about kind of a counter argument, but how does that conversation get ahead?

Brian:

Most of the time, I was, say, like the one the estate planning attorney, they will know about this, because their knowledge base, you know, is just not going to be around, let alone foreign trust. I mean, there's not that many people who even know like that much detail about how a foreign trust works, let alone using the incorrect domestic asset protection trust, you know, how many times I have California residents, using the Nevada asset protection trust, and the person who set it up for them, like the lawyer has no idea like, okay, what about this case? We're still in 2012, California case that said, hey, you're a California resident, we don't recognize asset protection trust, because we don't have the statutes here. So your Nevada asset protection, trust, and sorry, it's worthless, it's not gonna it's not gonna work, you know, so unless you go to an actual specialist and say, hey, here's the case law, here's what's going to happen down the run. Most people don't have that level of education, because they're not in that world. They don't exist in in it. So I feel bad for the clients because where's the knowledge come from? You think you're going to an attorney who was specialized in this, but you're not taught this in law school, you're not taught this for the bar exam, so how you develop this level of knowledge is really just did you get into the right group of people and were you passionate about it enough to like transition your practice into it…

That's why I do these talks is just to educate people and you know, just the base thing, like, why not just an LLC, they're disregarded entities for tax purposes. So they're disregarded for taxes. That means it's disregarded to you for lawsuits and liability, meaning you're pierced. If you're using them for real estate. They're not businesses, they're holding companies, which means the number one argument that will win and pierce that every time is well, Your Honor, this is an actual business. It's an extension of Michael is just a holding company. Boom, you're pierced funding issues, bad accounting systems, like there's four ways to pierce that veil right there and I don't even have to think part about it. Charging, charging order protection mean, like what state do I go set these things up in? You know, how many times I hear people like, oh, just go create a Wyoming LLC? Are you a resident of Wyoming? Is the asset in Wyoming and the answer is no to either one of those, you just tried to buy another state's jurisdiction, that you have no connection to try bringing another state's laws to like California and other state that you're not connected to, and there's no reason to, you're gonna get laughed out of court. Like, it's just you can't go by other states more beneficial laws and bring them, you know, to another state that, you know, that has no jurisdictional connection to it and anonymity is the other like, really, like, flavor of the last like, two years is like, oh, create this anonymous, Delaware or Wyoming? Trust and Ghost the lawsuits, right? Yeah, well, that's not how these that's not how it works but that's how it's being sold by, you know, law firm salesmen and promoters. Yeah, create this and get a really crazy operating agreement and then next thing, you know, like, you're never gonna have to show up in court. I'm sorry, you have a personal agent of service for these out of state law firms their sole job, like, let's say, Mike here is my, you know, personal agent of service, he's gonna get my service and he's gonna say, hey, Brian, here's your service. That's why dude, you just…

Michael:

Got to show up in court…

Brian:

Court now and amenities done at that point. So the only way that an amenity works is you show up the court, a judge is gonna say, Hey, you're getting sued for a million bucks. Here's your you know, asset disclosure list. Tell me everything that you own, because we didn't know what can be collected on or not, at that point, and amenity or a quote, unquote, air quotes, Secrecy is now up to you. So you're gonna decide, am I gonna lie under oath and hope to god, I don't get you know, my operating agreement will hold up and commit perjury in court, or do I just disclose it. So like, you're the weak link at that point and then if you lie and commit perjury, under oath, you're going to jail on top of losing your assets. So it makes more sense just to say, hey, create a proper asset protection plan, LLC in the state that is layered up into a management company, once you hit the net worth put in the trust, and then sleep well at night because at the end of the day, I don't care if you lose your lawsuit. I care about it for your collectible or not, you know, like you can lose the 10 $50 million case. I just if the asset protection trusts setup strong and in the right jurisdictions with a proper exit strategies, does it mean that you can be collected on and then it lets me settle a case for pennies on the dollar…

Michael:

Dang this is nuts, Brian… This is like or this is earth shattering stuff. We got to have you back on to talk more about this. But I want to be very respectful of your time get you out here for people that have a similar response and you're like, holy crap, I gotta call this guy Brian, immediately. Learn more about this, reach out for your services. What's the best way for folks to get in touch get a hold of you?

Brian:

Yeah, one great resources, jump on my website, www.btbegal.com , I use it more as an educational resource with a lot of case law client studies. I just want you to be educated at the end of the day like, listen this here's the case law. Like, that's what lawyers should know about, especially trial lawyers. That's why I'm a good trial lawyer. I tell stories through case law and then another great way is through my email, you know, Brian: B R A I N @btblegal.com. I do you know, free 30 minute consultation, whether we're a great fit or not, like we'll figure that out over the phone. I would just rather how people have an educated decision, and then they can like go shop around.

Michael:

Love it, love it. Well, hey, man, thanks again for coming on. Really appreciate the time and we'll definitely be in touch.

Brian:

Yeah, for sure. Thanks brother…

Michael:

All right, everyone. That was our episode, a big thank you to Brian for coming on talking about a lot of things that we've never heard before on the show and definitely bring up some excellent counterpoints to be thinking about as always, if you enjoyed the episode, feel free to leave us a rating or review wherever it is to get your episodes and we look forward to seeing the next one. Happy investing…

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