Asset Protection Trust – To Get One or NOT?

Lots of people establish a living revocable trust thinking they are creating some sort of an asset protection trust. A revocable trust is not an asset protection trust. Whether the trust is a living trust, land trust, family trust, or any other type you can conger up, if it is revocable it does not protect its assets if the grantor issued.

There is, however, a special type of trust called an "asset protection trust." Several states have passed laws that create them. The first one was created in Alaska. Yes, it protects assets, allows the trust to retain its holdings for centuries, and has some major tax advantages. But, I think you need to look at why the Alaskan Asset Protection Trust was created.

Every state that has created one of these trusts has the underlying goal of getting more money into their state for the banking industry. Alaska needed a source of new investment in their state. So, they allowed the formation of these trusts that offered great protection. If you want  to know more about Asset Protection Trust, you can also read An Introduction to Michigans New Asset Protection Trust.

Note that all of the states require a bank to be the trustee. The banks make money off these instruments as the trustee in addition to the money they make from the investment of the money in the trust. That means you are paying two ways for their service.

Generally, people within the state, where the trust is authorized by state law, can't establish an asset protection trust in their own state and get the "neat benefits." They have to go to another state to get the needed benefits. The other states want their money, so they provide something unique.