Consider another option. It is now legal and enforceable in some states to set up your own spendthrift trust which creditors cannot touch. I looked into it a few years ago. As I recall Delaware and Alaska (among others) permit this. My materials on it are in deep storage or I could help more. Try Wilmington Trust Company in Delaware with whom I worked: www.wilmingtontrust.com Note: This will be considerably more expensive than the offshore bank account, but should be more effective.·
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(Bryant) Keith Martin
Not as "safe" as is probably used to be, since the EU has imposed some tax reporting laws on these banks, and 9/11 also caused some concern about terrorist money laundering through these institutions. Although these banks are well established and politically the islands are considerd stable, even with online access, they operate relatively slowly, and even if you don't need quick and accessible transactions, there's always an added risk putting your money out of your own reach.
Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.
You are required to report to the I.R.S. money that you deposit into foreign banks. As a result of this, there are records of you having these assets should you ever have a judgment entered against you. Because of recent laws passed regarding offshore accounts, the ability for a court to reach these funds is more of a possibility than it used to be.
As has already been mentioned, you may want to establish a trust. There are even ways to utilize business entities as forms of asset protection. You would be better off to speak to an asset protection attorney in California to determine what other options you have, as storing money offshore may no longer be as "safe" as it used to be.