Alliance Trust Company of Nevada in The Economist

The Economist

Typically well-reasoned and published since 1843, many believe that the Economist is the finest English-print magazine in the world.  The magazine tackles complex global issues with a balance and perspective that only a 170+ year history can provide.  That is why, in the context of the media fury surrounding the “Panama Papers,” that the Economist’s suggestion to publish individual global tax returns (April 9th edition) deserved to be publically questioned.  To the credit of the publication, Gregory Crawford’s letter to the Editor is published in the April 30th print edition.  In the letter, the President of Alliance Trust argues that no benefit will come from such a disclosure plan or the OCED’s related “Common Reporting Standards.”  The impact of sharing detailed personal financial information with rogue governments around the world will not increase U.S. tax revenues by a cent.  In fact, the only meaningful outcome of the proposals is to violate basic personal privacy significantly increase the physical and financial risk to law-abiding citizens and their families around the world.

The Government of Kazakhstan knows my retirement account balance?


The New York Times “Room for Debate” opinion pages recently asked Gregory Crawford, The President of Alliance Trust Company in Reno to comment on the Panama Papers and the advantages of and lawful usages of shell companies.  In this piece, Greg notes that the vast majority of these companies are used legally, providing a layer of security and privacy for international families in an increasingly dangerous world.

The interest of non-US citizens using foreign grantor trusts in Nevada is increasing dramatically.  Many countries are now recklessly sharing highly-sensitive and otherwise confidential individual financial information with rogue governments around the world under the OCED’s “Common Reporting Standards.” This program, which thankfully the United States is not participating in, gathers and automatically exchanges individual  names, addresses, tax identification numbers, and financial account balances with the governments of Azerbaijan, Cameroon, China, Georgia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, Russia, Senegal, Tunisia, and Uganda, to name a few.  Where the information might go from there, no one knows.   Many of these countries have Horrific human rights records and serious corruption issues.  Automatically sharing this data will undoubtedly expose law-abiding individuals to the risk of extortion, kidnapping or worse.  The United States should remain proudly “non-compliant” with the CRS and its efforts to violate personal privacy.

it is worth noting that the State of Nevada offers excellent privacy provisions when establishing business entities such as LLCs, and there are options for the US and non-US citizens to keep their financial affairs private in trust.  Please contact Alliance Trust for more information at 775-297-4000.


Awareness of NING Trusts Growing Nationally


Nevada Incomplete Non-Grantor Trusts (or, “NINGs”) are growing in popularity and usage across the country.  NINGs provide the grantor of the trust asset protection and the potential to minimize local and state income taxes on investable/intangible assets.  As this Article on NINGS, these types of trusts are not for everyone.

However, a family living in a high-income tax state with significant taxable income and appreciated investments (or investments expected to appreciate) can benefit from a NING. This is just one of many Nevada trust planning strategies that makes Nevada the Asset Protection Trust Rankings   If you are interested in learning more about NINGs, please read this Article by attorney Gordon Schaller and call Greg Crawford at Alliance Trust Company in Reno at 775-297-4684.

Alliance Trust Proud to Participate in Prestigious UCLA Law Panel

UCLA STEP Asset Protection

Gregory E. Crawford, TEP, President of Alliance Trust Company of Nevada recently participated in a 90-minute discussion panel covering the topics of asset protection planning and the impact of the Uniform Voidable Transfer Act (UVTA).  The panel was moderated by Professor Jerry Hesch (ACTEC Fellow), and included nationally-recognized attorneys Jeffery M. Verdon and John R. Garland, as well as Neal Rubin, Managing Director, International Custody & Asset Protection Solutions of City National Rochdale.  Nevada was highlighted by the panel as one of the best jurisdictions in the United States and world for estate planning.  The UCLA Law School STEP Conference is in its fifth year and attracts hundreds of trust and estate professionals from around the world to Newport Beach, CA each January.  For more information, please review the conference details or call Greg Crawford in Reno at 775-297-4684.

Alliance Trust Company in The New York Times


Alliance Trust’s Greg Crawford appeared in the New York Times over the weekend, discussing the issue of “perpetual trusts.”  The link to the article is here.  Trust law in the United States evolved from England, which via case law established the “Rule Against Perpetuities” in 1682.  This law, refined by future cases,  effectively limited trust duration to approximately 90-100 years.  Recently, many states and foreign countries have either repealed the rule or have extended the duration of trusts far beyond the legal relic of the rule.  Nevada trusts can last for as long as 365 years.  In the NYT Greg discusses how a Nevada court would react to another court asserting jurisdiction over a Nevada trust, and how Nevada protects its trust and estates industry.  Alliance has worked for years with the legislature to enhance and protect what many consider to be the best trust laws in the country.  If you have questions as to how a Nevada trust could benefit you and your family for generations to come, call Greg Crawford in Reno at 775-297-4684.

Talking With Your Family About Your Estate Plans

Everyone knows estate planning is needed, but also often neglected.  Just ask anyone who has gone through the probate process, it is akin to a root canal.  Despite this, people often are reluctant to do their estate planning because it involves the consideration and discussion of a variety of difficult topics:  mortality, cognitive health, family dynamics, and issues with children.  It is the one of the topics most frequently, and conveniently ignored within families.

Because Alliance Trust in Nevada offers trustee services in the best state for asset protection trusts, we often are asked if people should discuss the mechanics of the estate plan with their family and heirs.  Unless there are very specific reasons not to, we see the most success with families that communicate openly — this fact is well documented in the financial press.  Communication within the family clears the uncertainty before one dies, and can prevent small disputes from turning into larger ones.  As an estate lawyer notes in the article, when it comes to your estate plan, “Silence is not golden.”

Avoiding Family Fights Over Your Estate

It is a painful reality that many times the passing of a loved one can set the stage for family conflicts.  Quarreling over assets and family keepsakes can spiral out of control, damaging family relationships for years.  Some families never recover.  This is the last outcome a person wants for those left behind.  While no estate plan is fool-proof in this regards, there are several strategies to minimize family fighting after you pass away.  The first step is not to assume things will be harmonious – people that make this assumption often fail to plan for their estates at all, setting the stage for lengthy, expensive legal battles.  Ask the right questions when establishing your estate plan, take the advice of attorneys and your team of advisors and communicate with the family what and why you are structuring things in a particular way.  Clear communication of your goals, wishes and intent with in families is often the crucial factor in defusing a potentially contentious estate.

Letter of Intent for Your Family Trust

People often wonder how a family trust, administered by a trustee, can reflect their goals, wishes and values for generations after then have passed.  Many grantors (the family establishing the trust) declare their wishes in a “letter of intent” that is designed to educate the trustee as to the family’s long-term goals and values in a way that just a legal document might miss.  As this Wall Street Journal article discusses, these are becoming more and more common in the estate planning world as trusts can last for 100′s of years.  If you are designing your estate plan, consider the unique advantages of a Nevada trust for your family. Call Greg Crawford in Reno at 775-297-4684 for more information.

Bill & Hillary Clinton’s Estate Plan – An Uncommon Family with Common Goals


Everyone needs an estate plan, so that their wishes for property, charities and heirs are known.  It can be helpful to look at what others do to gain insights and ideas as to how one may structure their own plans.  Because of regulatory filings for political figures, we have insights into how the Clinton family has structured their estate plan.

It appears that the Clintons have goals common to many families – minimizing taxescaring for their child, and gifting assets out of the estate.  Not many people realize that trust laws vary greatly from state to state.   The laws essentially differ on options and choices for the person establishing the trusts, giving the family more options to meet their objectives.  Want to ensure that more of your estate goes to charities and your family, rather than to taxes or other threats?  Look to Nevada.  The Silver State has some of the best trust laws in the country and you don’t have to live in Nevada to establish a family trust here.  Call Greg Crawford in Reno at 775-297-4684 for more information.

Wealthy in America Fear Being Targeted


When Silicon Valley executive Tom Perkins recently commented on the perceived  persecution being felt by the wealthy in the current climate in America, he was widely criticized for his comments (and choice of analogy).  Yet a few others, including Sam Zell, agreed with his general perception of the vilification of the rich.  It doesn’t seem so long ago that people toasted the young, brash technology companies as “industry disruptors.”  My how things have changed – Time magazine has gone so far to suggested that San Francisco is now “Resentment City.”  Vandals in one prominent Silicon Valley town are spray painting “F— the 1%” on homes and automobiles – the FBI is aiding local police in the investigation.

Not surprisingly, a new survey shows that the wealthy in Silicon Valley and across the country are anxious about the environment and are trying to be more inconspicuous.  We see this in the growing interest in flexible Nevada Trusts, most particularly asset protections trusts funded with using the anonymity of a Nevada LLC for families who have concerns and value privacy.  Call Greg Crawford of Alliance Trust at  775-297-4684 for more information.

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