There are many factors to consider in deciding whether a particular jurisdiction is or is not favorable from an asset protection standpoint. Certain states and foreign countries are clearly better than others. There is a constant tension between the legal rights of creditors and debtors; and each jurisdiction is to some extent more or less favorable to one or the other.
States like Florida and Texas have virtually unlimited homestead exemptions for principal residences. Other states have surprisingly low exemptions.
States like Nevada, South Dakota, Delaware and Alaska have had favorable domestic asset protection trust (DAPT) statutes for some time now. Only about 15 states allow DAPTs. While these statutes have still not been tested in the courts, they are worth considering as part of an overall asset protection plan.
For non-U.S. jurisdictions, the Cook Islands has been increasingly recognized as a favorable jurisdiction for an offshore trust. Despite some recent negative publicity, the Swiss banking system provides many advantages for offshore accounts. Various other foreign jurisdictions have laws that can be utilized for asset protection planning.
You always need to consider your own state’s law no matter what other jurisdictions you utilize for asset protection planning purposes. But asset protection planning clearly requires a multi-jurisdictional analysis. There may be significant advantages to setting up a trust, LLC or other entity in a state other than your own.
The key point is that each state and foreign jurisdiction has many laws that affect asset protection planning. One size does not fit all; and each situation should be looked at individually.