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Asset protection is not about hiding assets. It’s about placing assets in a proper vehicle that will ensure the assets are protected. A Wyoming Qualified Spendthrift Trust (“WYQST”) is one of the best vehicles available in the United States to obtain such protection. A properly drafted WYQST guards the trust’s assets from future lawsuits and other creditors. If the trustee of the WYQST has a regulated financial institution as trustee, it can be drafted so that there are no exceptions to the trust’s creditor protection—an advantage that is available in only one other state. Wyoming’s Uniform Trust Code is among the strongest in the country due to the fact that Wyoming is a leader in passing modern, responsive, and flexible trust laws that far outpace those of other states. Some important benefits to settlors under Wyoming law include:

  1. The power to veto a distribution from the trust
  2. An inter vivos or testamentary general or limited power of appointment
  3. The right to receive income
  4. The power to withdraw up to 5% per year of the initial value of the trust
  5. The right to appoint or remove a trustee, trust protector or trust advisor, other than the Settlor
  6. The right to serve as an investment/trust advisor

In order to be a WYQST the following requirements need to be met:

  • Must be drafted to comply with Wyoming Statutes §§ 4-10-506 or 4-10-510 et seq.
  • Must be irrevocable
  • To get full creditor protection with no exceptions, must be administered by a regulated bank or trust company authorized to do business in Wyoming who will have absolute discretion to make distributions to beneficiaries. Jackson Hole Trust Company administers many WYQST’s.

A variety of assets are protected in a WYQST, including:

  • Cash and Equivalents
  • Investment Accounts (Including Gains and Appreciation)
  • Investment Real Estate (Non-Income Producing)
  • Income Producing Real Estate (i.e., Rentals)
  • Raw Land (Non-Developed or Gas or Mineral Rights)
  • Personal Property
  • Closely Held Business Interests (i.e., LLCs)

When considering a WYQST, please also take into consideration that creditor protection is not available for any assets placed in trust in violation of the Uniform Fraudulent Transfers Act.

For more information on how Jackson Hole Trust Company can assist with the protection of your assets, please contact us at 307.739.2500.