On July 10, 2003, Alaska amended its 1997 Alaska Trust Act (the “2003 Bill”) in an effort to stay in the forefront of the growing list of states seeking to generate trust business by providing settlors with creditor protection and estate freeze legislation. This type of legislation attempts to rival that offered by certain offshore jurisdictions. The 2003 Bill makes Alaska more attractive as an domestic asset protection situs. As a state in the United States, however, Alaska falls short of providing the ultimate protection offered by certain offshore jurisdictions – lack of U.S. court power to upset asset protection planning.
Many seminars and articles of late have introduced and discussed the concept of domestic asset protection trusts. This is primarily a result of “protective” trust legislation enacted in 1997 by Alaska and Delaware (Missouri has also enacted such legislation, but has not promoted it as have Alaska and Delaware). But is this domestic planning effective?
In this issue we will examine the importance of proper design of the asset protection trust, and, integrally related to proper trust design, the importance of competent, experienced counsel. We’re sure you have all heard the expression, “bad facts make bad law”. That is the unfortunate circumstance of Mr. and Mrs. Anderson. Adding insult to injury, incompetent or inexperienced counsel can make matters even worse.