South Dakota is an asset haven for the rich

| Jun 1, 2020 | Divorce |

Ohio divorces depend on both spouses giving full and accurate listings of their assets during the divorce when they are asked to provide it. However, this does not always happen in practice. Some spouses may try moving assets when they think that divorce may be a possibility. One billionaire may be on the verge of getting away with it.

Ed Bosarge established numerous trusts in South Dakota. He then switched beneficiaries to someone other than his wife. With the assets out of his name, they are protected from divorce or other lawsuits so long as he established the trust before the divorce. He did create the trusts before he informed his wife by registered mail that he wished to end the marriage.

The issue with South Dakota trusts is that they are practically untouchable. Once the trust is established, it is permanent. State law gives extensive protections to these trusts, affording them almost absolute secrecy. This is the reason why billionaires around the world have moved their money to the state. There are almost $1 trillion in South Dakota trusts by some estimates, and the state is a haven for money. Marie Bosarge is learning the hard way why the state is so attractive for billionaires to keep money in trust. Now, she faces the process of getting next to nothing from the multibillion-dollar estate.

While having an attorney is no guarantee that the other spouse will be kept from hiding assets, the lawyer could certainly help act as a check on this. The attorney may be able to obtain financial records from the other spouse during the divorce and ascertain whether that spouse has made a complete disclosure of the assets and has fairly valued them. If there is an issue, the attorney could bring the matter to the court’s attention.