It is highly advisable to focus on asset protection and estate planning at the same time. Keep in mind, however, that you will likely need separate documents for each type of planning.

Most people who set up an asset protection trust (“APT”) — either domestic or foreign — usually want to (i) retain some sort of control over the trust assets and/or (ii) continue to benefit from the assets held in the trust. They also generally want to decide what happens to the assets upon their death. This generally means that assets held in your APT will be included in your estate for federal estate tax purposes. In more technical terms, contributions to an APT will be an incomplete gift; and the trust settlor will likely hold a testamentary power of appointment over the assets.

This post is simply a reminder that focusing on asset protection and estate planning at the same time is highly advisable. But you need to keep in mind that each type of planning will likely require separate documentation.