17 March 2008

How Not To Do Asset Protection

A week from today I will be part of the faculty in an asset protection continuing legal education class. The following story from Osaka, Japan is NOT a recommended way to protect your assets:

[T]hey actually kept all of the money in cardboard boxes and paper bags that were stowed away in a shed attached to their house! . . .

According to prosecutors, the two sisters in question, Hatsue Shimizu and Yoshiko Ishii, inherited about 7.5 billion yen (or US$73 million) when their father, who owned a property and finance company, died in 2004.

In Japan, inheritance tax can take a serious chunk out of your assets . . . . So, rather than losing an estimated 2.86 billion yen (or US$28 million) of their newfound fortune, the free-thinking pair simply declared a small amount and stashed the rest.

It does sound like it would make a good movie script, however.

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