Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 02-03-2017, 08:35   #1
Registered User
 
DreaminFred's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: FL West Coast
Boat: Beneteau 40CC
Posts: 109
Titling boat in a trust

Hi all-
Ready to buy my next sailboat. Has anyone purchase a boat using a personal property trust? Interested in any problems that came up with this kind of ownership entity. The boat is Coast Guard documented, so the govt. is watching.

My goal is to have liability protection and some level of anonymity as to ownership.

Fred
DreaminFred is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2017, 10:05   #2
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: May 2012
Location: New Orleans
Boat: We have a problem... A serious addiction issue.
Posts: 3,974
Re: Titling boat in a trust

If the goal is anonymity then go for it. A PPT will easily allow you to title in whatever name you choose. But they are worthless for liability shielding.

Even moving to an irrevocable trust is only of limited value. Since most maritime liability would be personal and in rem. in other words a claimant can sue you, and the boat seperatly in the same action, then collect from whichever is easiest to collect from.

Note that this changes with full time paid crew onboard to some degree. But if you are in this arena you need to speak with an attorney specifically on your facts.
__________________
Greg

- If animals weren't meant to be eaten then they wouldn't be made of food.
Stumble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2017, 09:02   #3
Registered User
 
DreaminFred's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: FL West Coast
Boat: Beneteau 40CC
Posts: 109
Re: Titling boat in a trust

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
If the goal is anonymity then go for it. A PPT will easily allow you to title in whatever name you choose. But they are worthless for liability shielding.

Even moving to an irrevocable trust is only of limited value. Since most maritime liability would be personal and in rem. in other words a claimant can sue you, and the boat seperatly in the same action, then collect from whichever is easiest to collect from.

Note that this changes with full time paid crew onboard to some degree. But if you are in this arena you need to speak with an attorney specifically on your facts.
Thanks and noted, but my general view is "if they can't find you, they can't hit you."

I don't intend to shirk a legal responsibility and I am insured, but I also don't see any reason to make it easy for an attorney to know who to name in a suit.

F
DreaminFred is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2017, 09:17   #4
Registered User
 
sailpower's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posts: 923
Re: Titling boat in a trust

Quote:
Originally Posted by DreaminFred View Post
Thanks and noted, but my general view is "if they can't find you, they can't hit you."

I don't intend to shirk a legal responsibility and I am insured, but I also don't see any reason to make it easy for an attorney to know who to name in a suit.

F
An attorney doesn't have to know. They sue the boat and the ownership on the USCG document (the trust) and, if successful, create liabilities for each.

A lien can be attached against the boat and it will show at the USCG. You could not sell without satisfying it.

Depending on the nature of the suit, the boat could possibly be arrested and auctioned to satisfy judgement.

This assumes a boat related lawsuit. For a personal lawsuit you would most likely have to declare assets. You could possibly not admit ownership at that point but it seems like a pretty big risk.

As been stated, probably best to consult a maritime attorney.
sailpower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2017, 09:26   #5
Registered User
 
rwidman's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: North Charleston, SC
Boat: Camano Troll
Posts: 5,029
Re: Titling boat in a trust

I am left wondering what it is that you plan to do with your boat that requires hiding the ownership.


Most of us title or document our boats in our own names or living trusts. It seems to work for most folks.


However, if this is something you really feel the need to do, you should be talking to a real lawyer, not asking regular folks on a boating forum.
__________________
Ron
HIGH COTTON
rwidman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2017, 12:25   #6
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: May 2012
Location: New Orleans
Boat: We have a problem... A serious addiction issue.
Posts: 3,974
Re: Titling boat in a trust

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailpower View Post
An attorney doesn't have to know. They sue the boat and the ownership on the USCG document (the trust) and, if successful, create liabilities for each.

A lien can be attached against the boat and it will show at the USCG. You could not sell without satisfying it.

Depending on the nature of the suit, the boat could possibly be arrested and auctioned to satisfy judgement.

This assumes a boat related lawsuit. For a personal lawsuit you would most likely have to declare assets. You could possibly not admit ownership at that point but it seems like a pretty big risk.

As been stated, probably best to consult a maritime attorney.
Not only can an attorney seize the boat, but getting to the underlying ownership isn't exactly rocket science. The USCG documentation process requires listing allo of the principles of a vessel by name and addresss when it's documented. For vessels held by a trust you have to disclose all the trustee said and all the beneficiaries.

So if your vessel is being sued it is trivially easy to get the name of the person who is liable to sue them directly as well.
__________________
Greg

- If animals weren't meant to be eaten then they wouldn't be made of food.
Stumble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2017, 12:32   #7
Registered User
 
UNCIVILIZED's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Up the mast, looking for clean wind.
Boat: Currently Shopping, & Heavily in LUST!
Posts: 5,629
Re: Titling boat in a trust

Would having the boat titled via a trust make customs & borders proceedures moe complicated? And if so what kinds of extra hoops would one then commonly need to jump through when entering/exiting a port (country)?
__________________

The Uncommon Thing, The Hard Thing, The Important Thing (in Life): Making Promises to Yourself, And Keeping Them.
UNCIVILIZED is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2017, 12:42   #8
Registered User
 
rwidman's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: North Charleston, SC
Boat: Camano Troll
Posts: 5,029
Re: Titling boat in a trust

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
Would having the boat titled via a trust make customs & borders proceedures moe complicated? And if so what kinds of extra hoops would one then commonly need to jump through when entering/exiting a port (country)?
I don't know about entering ports, but if you are a "trustee", you speak for and can act for the trust. I just purchased a car and titled it in my trust's name. I should have had a rubber stamp, but other than that, it's just like putting it in a person's name.

Again though, legal advice is best asked of an actual lawyer, not someone on a boating forum..
__________________
Ron
HIGH COTTON
rwidman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2017, 19:03   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: BVI
Boat: Leopard 40 (new model)
Posts: 1,357
Re: Titling boat in a trust

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
Would having the boat titled via a trust make customs & borders proceedures moe complicated? And if so what kinds of extra hoops would one then commonly need to jump through when entering/exiting a port (country)?
Sure. Starting point is that, loosely speaking, many (if not most) countries will have different and separate requirements to let foreign boats into their waters free of taxes for a limited period depending on whether they are there for "work" or "vacation". Try checking into Brazil with a US-flagged boat with title that is not traceable to someone onboard buy plans to stay more than a month and let me know how it goes. I do not blame them, they do not like boats doing illegal charter work.
svlamorocha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2017, 19:29   #10
Elvish meaning 'Far-Wanderer'
 
Palarran's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Boat - Greece - Me - Michigan
Boat: 56' Fountaine Pajot Marquises
Posts: 3,485
Re: Titling boat in a trust

If you don't want ownership known, do it as a corporation in Delaware or the BVI's / Caymans. If you really want to get complicated, have a corporation start another corporation. Or, just get better insurance.
__________________
Our course is set for an uncharted sea
Dante
Palarran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2017, 07:06   #11
Registered User
 
denverd0n's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 4,878
Images: 6
Re: Titling boat in a trust

So, to summarize, you can't escape liability by using a trust, LLC, whatever. You can achieve some degree of anonymity, but even that can be penetrated by someone who is willing to put in enough effort. What's more, if you think the anonymity will help you in some way with liability, it won't.

There are a number of very valid tax reasons for owning a boat through a trust or LLC, but if these don't apply to you then you are probably just wasting time and money by going this route. You need to consult an attorney and/or tax professional, before you even THINK about proceeding with this. Internet tax and legal advice is worth exactly what you pay for it -- NOTHING!

Good luck.
denverd0n is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2017, 07:37   #12
Registered User
 
Island Time O25's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,771
Re: Titling boat in a trust

Some states do not require public disclosure of the beneficiaries. Those may be the states to look into when setting up a trust.

Now, as pointed out earlier, when you will need to prove a solid connection between you and the boat this may come back to haunt you. Other than those instances perhaps this would be a partial achievement of your goals. As in real estate, any asset ownership by trust, LLC, corp, etc achieves primarily two goals: 1 - limit the liability to the value of that particular asset (less any existing liens, etc) and 2 - shields the actual owner(s) from personal liability as well as protecting their other assets from claims which arose out of their ownership of that first asset. With a boat #2 would not work as to the personal liability if you are in fact in control of the vessel during the incident, injury, etc.

As far as achieving a perfect or even workable anonymity - very doubtful it can be done without running afoul of the IRS. Kind of a "catch-22" situation - if the IRS cannot easily trace you to your asset it means you are doing something illegal (at least in their eyes). And if they can - it means that most LEAs and PIs can too.
Island Time O25 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2017, 10:41   #13
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: May 2012
Location: New Orleans
Boat: We have a problem... A serious addiction issue.
Posts: 3,974
Re: Titling boat in a trust

Quote:
Originally Posted by Palarran View Post
If you don't want ownership known, do it as a corporation in Delaware or the BVI's / Caymans. If you really want to get complicated, have a corporation start another corporation. Or, just get better insurance.
This raises a very big issue. If you do own a vessel in a trust, really if you own any major asset I need a trust. You need to be very careful about how your insurance is written. It is not uncommon for people with revocable trusts to have a claim that is eventually denied because the insurance was taken out for 'asset A owned by person' when really 'asset A' is owned by the trust. I have seen the cases where people lost millions due to mis-stating this. It generally won't effect rates, but it is critically important to make sure all the paperwork is in order.

It's one reason I recommend to my clients that even personal revocable trusts hire a corporate trustee. If you mess up you loose all your stuff, if I mess up you can sue my professional liability carrier.
__________________
Greg

- If animals weren't meant to be eaten then they wouldn't be made of food.
Stumble is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
boat

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Putting Boat into LLC or Trust Hiracer Boat Ownership & Making a Living 31 05-11-2012 09:09
Titling Boat Outside of Washington State Wakadui General Sailing Forum 12 02-09-2012 19:44
Dinghy Replacement & titling stevek098 Atlantic & the Caribbean 1 09-03-2012 20:29

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:23.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.