Blustein, Shapiro, Rich & Barone, LLP Partner Richard J. Shapiro’s article, Domestic Asset Protection Trusts v. Prenuptial Agreements, was recently published in the October 2016 issue of the WealthCounsel Quarterly.
Shapiro collaborated on the article with fellow estate planning attorneys Randall H. Borkus and James W. Collins. The article takes a detailed look at the differences between the more common prenuptial agreement and an alternative, the domestic asset protection trust (DAPT), that can be used by couples who want to protect their individual assets prior to marriage.
DAPTs are powerful trusts that protect assets from potential unknown creditors, which by definition, includes a future divorcing spouse. This technique is appealing to many individuals who desire to protect their assets from their future spouse, and the unpredictability of a judge’s discretion that may play into a prenuptial agreement. Additionally, there is no requirement that the creator or beneficiary of the DAPT disclose to their future spouse a plan to create a DAPT, or disclose the assets funded in the trust.
”It is essential that professionals discuss the many benefits of DAPTs with clients who are contemplating premarital planning,” said Shapiro. “A DAPT can be a safe and less offensive way to protect one’s assets while simultaneously maintaining the love and trust everyone desires when considering marriage.”
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