Why a billionaire moved money to one state’s trusts

On Behalf of | May 27, 2020 | Divorce, High-asset Divorce |

When Ohio couples are getting divorced, they will need to exchange information about the marital estate, including the properties that are a part of the estate and their valuation. Some spouses may try to engage in deception by hiding or undervaluing assets. This is something that a court views harshly. However, the ultra-wealthy have a way of moving assets that is completely legal under the laws of one state.

One billionaire moved practically all of his money into trusts that were formed in South Dakota. As for why a Texas billionaire would move his money there, the state has very permissive laws when it comes to trusts. This allows the trust to be unreachable and secret. This has drawn the attention of wealthy people throughout the world who have taken advantage of these laws to make their money virtually untraceable.

The billionaire’s wife was shocked when she found out that her husband had reduced the size of their marital estate to $12 million using these trusts. The couple lived a life of luxury for decades with a dozen homes and an extensive collection of artwork. Now, she may end up with virtually nothing after her husband moved all of the assets out of his name. There is an upcoming trial in the case in which the wife is suing her husband for diminishing the marital estate.

When the marital estate contains any assets, it may be vital to have a family law attorney’s help to ensure that the disclosures are accurate and that the property is correctly valued. Some attorneys may have to aggressively hunt down the money and property when one spouse tries to engage in subterfuge to hide it. Then, the attorney may bring the deception to the attention of the court, and the judge might take action to punish the deceptive spouse.