I have reprinted the following column by Jay Adkisson, the asset protection columnist for Forbes.com. He is one of the top asset protection commentators in the country and knows the asset protection business as well as anyone. If you need asset protection, or want asset protection, by all means talk to someone who will work with you to achieve the type protection you need. There is no such thing a a do it yourself kit for asset protection. Heed Jay Adkisson’s advice and avoid these type seminars and especially the purchase of a kit. Asset protection issues are always state specific and a slippery slope. Get professional advice.
by: Jay Adkisson, via Forbes.com
The invitation may be for free, or it may be for a few bucks. The invitation will promise the knowledge of how the superwealthy protect their assets. The invitation will also talk about the “Father of Asset Protection”, the “Grandfather of Asset Protection”, or something similar. The invitation will be from the “Society for Asset Protection and Doctor’s Education” or some like-sounding group.
At the end of the seminar, the crowd will rush up to the front to buy one of these kits — you’ll be lucky to just get the last one!
But it’s still a good take for them, with the kits going at $5,000 or so. At that rate, you only have to sell kits to a couple of suckers to have a really good night.
Why spend $5,000 when you can get the very same materials for $100? Only a sucker can answer that question.
The usual sucker is a physician who of course thinks that he can do it all himself, and thus save a few bucks. What happen is that he will flounder around with the kit, and then finally give up — usually triggering a lot of unnecessary tax filings in the process. I’ve only talked to a few hundred suckers (predominantly physicians, since this is who they market to) in the last couple of decades.
In fact, it is very possible to put yourself into a worse situation by trying to use one of these kits for asset protection. By trying to move assets into entities, valuable creditor exemptions could be lost, and considerable unforeseen taxes triggered.
Usually these groups circulate across the countryside from that international financial center known as Utah, which seems to be the beehive for these particular scammers. For whatever reason, Utah has long been the hotbed of asset protection scams, going back to the Merrill Scott & Associates days, when an asset protection law firm embezzled their client’s funds en masse. These asset protection kits are just another part of the scam.
If you have been scammed, the odds of getting your money back are almost zero. Maybe you can sell your kit on Ebay for $100, but maybe not since you’ll have to compete with all the other kits sold by all the other suckers there. Your best bet is to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov and with your own state’s Attorney General’s office.
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