BY RICK WEINBERG, CALIFORNIA BUSINESS JOURNAL
As David Locke was reading one of the world’s most definitive books on asset protection and trusts, “I was shocked that the trust I had didn’t really protect me at all,” he says. “I thought it did.”
His Revocable Living Trust was an effective tool to distribute his assets after his death, “but as far as a lawsuit against your assets, I had no asset protection during my lifetime,” he points out.
Locke, the co-owner of JLS Environmental Construction Science in the small, quaint town of Loomis, Calif., realized his life’s work – multi-millions of dollars in assets — were completely exposed, especially those assets earmarked for retirement.
“This was a serious threat that my business partner and I wanted to eliminate,” Locke says. “When you get to my age and put in 50 years of hard work and keep your nose to the grindstone and suddenly something bizarre happens that you can’t control and you have an attorney that sues you to get a reward against your assets, well, that’s pretty frightening. I don’t have enough time or energy to rebuild my world and retirement nest egg again.”
Step one was finding an expert in the areas of asset protection, tax and creditor exemptions, and trusts – one who truly understood “the business.” Locke found that individual in Ray Olmo, the Manager of TRUST-CFOsm, co-inventor of Private Retirement Trustsm and a genuine pioneer in the field of Exemption Planning.
As a Certified Estate Planner, Registered Financial Consultant and author, Olmo has redefined what it means to protect retirement assets and earnings — without giving away or losing control of them.
The California laws on private retirement plans have been around since 1970, even four years before ERISA was created, “but no one has been able to really make it work effectively until Ray rolled up his sleeves and reverse engineered the failures of plan administration,” says Jim Cunningham, Principal of CunninghamLegal in California.
“Ray built the exemption analysis and plan oversight in a way that other people haven’t figured out and simply built a way to measure maximum benefits at the lowest cost – and that’s the true definition of value.”
Olmo and PRTsm co-founder Attorney Dustin Nichols have copyrights, trademarks and a patent pending on their trust, plan and exclusive administration process that has sent shock waves through the legal and tax industry. The PRTsm’s foundation comes from the pre-ERISA foundation of protecting private assets that already have inherent tax benefits. So it becomes “the Switzerland of tax exemptions” that enables clients to capture and maximize their protection while optimizing their tax savings.
“But the law on it wasn’t fully developed,” Cunningham says. “What Ray and Dustin did — the secret sauce so to speak – is use this very favorable California set of ‘exemption’ laws in a way that other people haven’t been able to do before.”
Olmo and Nichols focus on small- to medium-size California business owners “because they’re the ones who are most at risk,” Olmo says. “It’s a seriously neglected market because there is a major vacancy of quality advice. They work the hardest and have the most exposure and most to risk, but are also the most ignored because most planning is anti-business, meaning it seeks to route critical capital away from a profitable business into a less productive alternative.”
With years of experience in Integrated Estate Planning, banking and finance, compensation and taxes, Olmo and Nichols created a robust process and system that includes tax leakage prevention, maximizes a trust fortress against attacking creditors and predators, and protects cash flows for business growth, all rolled into one.
“We’ve infused the knowledge that we have about business, tax planning, cash flow management and risk management and applied a unique concept — Exemption Planning,” Nichols says. “It’s a completely unique value proposition.”
Very few people – CPAs and attorneys included – fully understand the concept, let alone having the knowledge and skills to implement it, so Olmo and Nichols have thrust themselves into a very special position of market dominance.
Locke couldn’t be happier with the work Olmo and Nichols did on restructuring his robust retirement plan. Locke now has integrated trusts that exempt both earnings and private assets for his retirement (the PRTSM), but also exempt assets in transfer to the next generation to avoid unnecessary taxes and creditors for his heirs.
As Olmo quickly points out, “We offer exemption planning that is a safer and more secure way to protect wealth, not other kinds of controversial asset protection. Asset protection can have a negative connotation in some circles. Some immediately throw it into ‘offshore planning’ or playing ‘hide the nut’ or pretending an asset doesn’t exist. That’s not what we do. We do retirement planning strategy. True, it has asset protection at its core, but if your sole purpose is to hide assets, this is not the way to go. Our strategy is for private retirement.”
What is exclusive and different about Olmo and Nichols is that their process proves to clients that they’ve done everything they can to maximize tax savings and protect themselves against lawsuits, creditors and bankruptcy. They prove it through their patented state-of-the-art Exemption Diagnostic (https://trust-cfo.com/exemption-planning/exemption-diagnostic-calculator/), where they break down a clients’ balance sheets and produce a detailed report to make sure they’re doing everything possible when it comes claiming creditor and tax exemptions.
The process is so sophisticated and effective that lawyers and CPAs throughout California call them “because they know they can’t do what we do,” Olmo says.
Not only does TRUST-CFOSM and PRTSM capitalize on all missed tax planning opportunities, but also the underfunding of a retirement plan, tax credits from a business and real estate depreciation, to name a few.
“A thorough review is conducted in order to identify the weaknesses and leakages,” Nichols says. “If you save tax money, that’s earnings, that’s wealth protected and now you have more money. Then we protect that wealth — now and for your whole future.”
In Locke’s case, the Revocable Living Trust didn’t provide any benefit during his lifetime – that’s where the PRTSM comes into play. Now, all business and personal assets, as well as his future earnings and income, are “exempt” for his retirement.
“Say something takes place where I’m exposed,” Locke says. “A plaintiff goes to a legal firm and the first thing they do is an asset search on my assets. They find that all assets are covered by my ‘exempt trusts.’ Because my PRTSM was set up correctly while all waters were calm, and it is being administered properly, the case laws I have read suggest that I have a great probability of success of defeating an attempt to take my retirement by an attacking future money judgement creditor.”
As Olmo points out, “Dave doesn’t have any holes in his plan. He chose to implement all the planning we offer so we employed all the available strategies.”
“I sleep really well at night,” Locke says. “You don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. Most times a lawsuit is like getting hit by a jet engine falling from the sky. Who’d ever think that would happen? You don’t do anything wrong and then suddenly you’re litigated against, exposing your assets. Well, we eliminated the exposure to all our assets. That’s true peace of mind in my book.”
Raymond F. Olmo, CEP, RFC
3721 Douglas Blvd, Suite 350
Roseville, CA 95661
800-730-3020, ext. 101
Dustin Nichols, Esq.
5000 Birch St. East Tower Suite 100
Newport Beach, CA 92660