The offshore havens provide alluring opportunities for privacy and asset protection to those who have lost confidence in the ability of their own government to protect their accumulated savings from excessive litigation, political instability, and fiscal crises.
Personal privacy and confidentiality in financial matters is protected by law and tradition in many countries throughout the world. In Switzerland, Austria, and several smaller nations, bank secrecy laws forbid unauthorized disclosure of customer information. In contrast, information about your financial account in the United States is readily available to government authorities, commercial marketers, and those involved in litigation.
Despite these facts, the offshore techniques which we have described will not be the best choice for many individuals. There are legitimate domestic alternatives available for asset protection and privacy with FLPs, LLCs, and a variety of trust strategies. In most cases a domestic plan will provide a satisfactory level of protection. Those individuals in high risk professions or businesses who wish to create a sophisticated level of asset protection and privacy-and who are willing to bear some degree of additional cost and complexity-offshore trusts and overseas accounts may present attractive opportunities.