Offshore Asset Protection Alert* – Lessons Learned from the Case of Michael R. Mastro

The largest individual bankruptcy proceeding in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Washington has just commenced, and already creditors are taking aim at an offshore asset protection trust established under questionable circumstances. In the case of In re Michael R. Mastro, one of the most well-known real estate developers in the State of Washington lists $249 million of assets against almost $600 million in debts. The bankruptcy trustee has focused on a combination of Delaware LLCs, and […] Continue reading

Is Your LLC A Time Bomb? – UPDATED

Dear Valued Readers, When we originally sent this article on October 1st, 2009, we failed to include the change to the Arizona law which made its Charging Order provisions the “exclusive remedy” when enforcing judgments against members of a validly formed Arizona Limited Liability Company. We have updated the article to include this development. We apologize for not including this in the body of our original article; however, in the interests of accuracy, we wanted to make sure that you […] Continue reading

Is Your LLC A Time Bomb? – This article will demonstrate how to defuse it.

For the past 15 years or so, the Limited Liability Company (the “LLC”) has been the preferred business entity for tax and business purposes. The LLC has gained widespread use because it is a simpler tax and business structure to hold title to assets such as real property, business equipment and operating businesses. Although the LLC is owned by one or more Members, it can be managed by one or more of its Members or by someone who is not […] Continue reading

Insurance Implications of Transferring Real Property To A Trust, Partnership, Or LLC

For those of you who have transferred real property to trusts, partnerships, or limited liability companies, a recent California appellate court decision emphasized the importance of updating your insurance policies to reflect the changes in ownership or risk not being covered by your existing insurance policies. In Kee Kwok v. Transnation Title Insurance Company (2009), the California Court of Appeals held that the insurance policy covering an LLC did not cover a husband and wife when they transferred title to […] Continue reading

Protecting Assets & Lifestyle – Why “Going Offshore” May Be The Best Option

For over 30 years, our law firm’s approach to the estate planning process begins with solidly protecting the client’s wealth from unforeseen lawsuits and other third party claims before we turn our attention to the client’s desired estate planning objectives. The recent economic downturn has substantially affected most everyone’s estate plan—both high-net worth and moderate taxpayers alike—making protecting one’s remaining assets critically important. Unfortunately, we still see very few estate planning professionals including asset protection options into their clients’ estate […] Continue reading


The much-anticipated economic stimulus package, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the “Act”), became law on February 17th. The $787 billion new law, which contains nearly $300 billion in tax relief, sets in motion a wave of direct spending and tax incentives. Although a significant part of the Act is aimed at low and middle income taxpayers, the bill contains several provisions that may be applicable to high-net-worth taxpayers and their families. Click here for a Special Report […] Continue reading