Any trust that can help protect your assets from creditors requires that you surrender at least some control over those assets. This goes for an offshore trust; a so-called "domestic asset protection trust"; an irrevocable life insurance trust; and any other trust that gives you creditor protection. If you think about it, this is just common sense. If you retain full control over the assets in a trust, than a judge could order you to hand those assets over to a creditor who has a judgment against you. This is why a revocable grantor trust (frequently used for probate avoidance) provides no creditor protection. Such a trust may be useful to avoid probate, provide asset management, and for other purposes. But it is not going to protect your assets from a judgment creditor.

Surrendering some control of your assets is not necessarily bad, as long as you are willing to do so. But each situation has to be analyzed separately. And, you must be very careful about who you are giving some control to. While this is a broad generalization, it should come as no surprise that the more control you give up, the better creditor protection you get. But surrendering control has its own risks, which should be considered very carefully.

Legitimate asset protection includes a balancing of risks and possible rewards. Always keep in mind that if a particular arrangement looks too good to be true, it probably is.