Eric C. Boughman
Article Written for: Forbes.com
If you have an Amazon Echo, try this: Say, "Alexa, tell me a joke," but do it very quickly so that you finish the request before Alexa "wakes up" (indicated on the Echo by the blue light). Did you notice that Alexa dutifully complied, seemingly catching the request before she (it?) was awake? There is a simple explanation for this: Alexa (like other artificially intelligent digital assistants) is always listening. Indeed, Alexa starts recording "a fraction of a second” before the wake word. Google Home listens to snippets of conversations to detect the "hotword."
Article written for: Forbes.com
The Great Recession of the mid-2000s forced us to view economics, banking, wealth and security in new ways. The concept of asset protection, already a growing area, saw an explosion in popularity, which has given rise to an ever-evolving cat and mouse game between creditors and debtors and their respective advisors. Meanwhile, distrust in banks and governments fueled the creation and rise of Bitcoin, which spurred interest in new digital currencies relying upon similar technologies.
Article Written for : Forbes.com
Is it any surprise that our new president, Donald Trump, may have strategically manipulated the tax code to avoid paying federal income tax? Mr. Trump calls this “smart,” and many in the same boat would agree. Similarly, sophisticated clients and advisors implement legal tactics to prudently preserve and protect wealth.
One strategy growing in popularity is the “self-settled” trust for asset protection. Under traditional trust law, a grantor conveys assets to a trustee, for the benefit of someone else, such as his children. The gift “divides” ownership between so-called legal title and equitable title. The trustee may legally oversee the assets (pursuant to a trust agreement) benefitting beneficiaries (who have no control over trust assets). Once the assets are in trust, they are generally protected from future creditors of the grantor, trustee (with legal title), and beneficiaries (with equitable title).
Article written for: Orlando Business Journal
Limited liability companies have become the entity of choice for small business owners and are commonly used by professionals in asset protection planning. Choosing to form an LLC instead of a corporation may be prudent, but it raises the question of where to form the LLC. There are several factors to consider in deciding where to establish the entity. Picking the right LLC jurisdiction may be as important as the decision to use an LLC.
In 2010, the Florida Supreme Court issued a ruling that eviscerated the effectiveness of the Florida singlemember LLC for asset protection purposes.