Eight Tips to Avoid Lawsuits (cont’d)
Asset Protection Tip #2 – If You’ve Got It, Don’t Flaunt It!
If you want to avoid the monitoring eyes of those who might want to separate you from your material goods, the number two point you have to consider in a good asset protection plan is to avoid any ostentatious displays of your wealth.
Remember that what might appear normal to you as an everyday use of the things you enjoy every day, your house, your car, your Rolex watch, may be a beacon to those monitoring your net worth. These displays of wealth act as a beacon, telling others, “sue me, sue me.”
A new car, a house upgrade, the latest “it” watch or your spouse’s bling ring may all appear regular purchases to you. But in a world of mass advertising, where the price of everything is common knowledge, it will be very easy for prying eyes to assess your value.
Asset Protection Tip #3 – Given a Choice, It’s Better to Be Rich Than to Look Rich
Avoid being an easy target by taking simple measures:
Live as those with less wealth than you might do.
Given the choice, would you rather be rich and secure or just have people think you are? Frankly, most people don’t care. And the ones who do are probably jealous. Others are looking for a handout.
You can still be rich, without hanging the proverbial “I’m Rich” sign around your neck.
Remember: The latest car is not really necessary to drive around in.
You don’t have to live in the fanciest house in the fanciest neighborhood. Warren Buffett still lives in the modest home he bought in 1958 for $31,500
Common items can be used instead of designer goods.
If a shortage of funds is the story you are feeding your neighbors, friends, and your legal team, then live the story.
You may want to live the dream but remember that dream can quickly become a nightmare if the truth about your wealth becomes known.
People, even your best friends, are, at the least, very curious. How many dinner table and coffee shop conversations revolve around someone’s new car, their latest party? Think of how often you, or those nearest to you, have been involved in those conversations.
And don’t forget that green eyed monster – Jealousy!
You don’t need people being envious of you. That after all will give rise to speculation, something you don’t need.
Asset Protection Tip #4 – Pick Your Story and Stick to It
Have You Spoken with an Asset Protection Professional?
Have discussed your story with them? They want to help you. After all they are on your team, they want, and are paid to help you. But there may be things they don’t want to know, things they may be forced to reveal if they know them. Be alert to a hesitation in their voice, a statement indicating you’re treading too close to dangerous territory.
Using asset protection tools carry with it an ethical responsibility. Asset protection tools are not to be used to hide illicit funds, to evade taxes that are legally due, to sock funds received for shoddy workmanship. Treat others right. Be honest. Serve your customer as you would want to be served if you were them. You want to make sure the consultant showing you how to protect your assets follows the same line of reasoning.
To help you, they need you to play your part.
If you are a fan of detective stories and films with court case scenes, think of how often a legal team have unwittingly won a case for a client because they didn’t know the full story! It is not necessary to be an A-list film star to play this part, all it takes is some savvy and common sense. You may not become the topic of the next John Grisham blockbuster but you will have a better chance of hanging on to your assets.
Asset Protection Tip #5 – Loose Lips Sink Ships
Loose lips sink ships – the warning given in the iconic poster of the war years.
How true! Many a military operation was put in jeopardy through the careless talk of people connected with it. It may not even be your acquaintances who are engaging in this careless talk. Could it be you, yourself?
Monitor your interactions, especially on social media.
Don’t be tempted to post your latest financial triumphs for the world to see.
Postings of your last holiday, your new home fit up, all point the reader in a certain direction.
Many a court case has been lost because of social media postings.
In one particularly amusing one, (amusing for the reader but not for the participant) a man who claimed to be incapacitated because of a car accident was shown mowing the lawn. A proud family member posted the photo but that photo caused the loss of the court case and significant humiliation.
Don’t be that lawn-mowing man!
Or because of the culprit’s lack of attention.
As in the well recounted story of the man who shot his supposedly damaged hand heaven wards when the judge asked him during his claim for compensation.
“How high could you raise your hand before the accident?”
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