Asset Protection Strategies
An asset protection strategy is a legal and financial plan developed specifically for one’s financial goals, asset portfolio and personal or business liabilities. Protective strategies are created using liability limiting legal vehicles, estate planning instruments and personal financial tools.
Customizing an asset protection strategy is done by choosing legal and financial vehicles to protect a specific asset or value. Each legal vehicle represents state, federal or foreign laws that limit one’s liability or protect personal assets from specific risk. For example, Florida homestead protection laws protect all of the home equity of an individual’s primary residence in bankruptcy, lawsuits and judgments – state homestead protection would not provide protection in a divorce. A strategy would be created for the risks of the individual seeking protection.
Some assets come with liability and represent a high risk of lawsuits; investment properties, rental homes, business places and company vehicles are examples of assets that increase the risk of being sued. Each risk scenario has a protective counterpart that can limit one’s liability or completely shield personal assets from that risk. Asset protection strategies are designed by first deeply understanding one’s legal and financial landscape as well as assets risk and liability.
Protective Strategies for:
- Business Liability
- Primary Residence
- Liquid Assets
- Liability of Dependent Child Actions
- Investment Properties
- Medical Malpractice
- Medical Collections
- Bulletproof Protection
- Postnuptial Protection
A proper asset protection strategy will provide protection before, during and after a legal situation. Prior to a lawsuit personal assets encumbered in a protective strategy will not be available to satisfy a judgment creating individual lawsuit deterrence. During a lawsuit or litigation having well protected assets creates leverage for settlement negotiation. After a lawsuit resulting in a judgment assets can still be protected from seizure.
A variety of strategies that offer increasing levels of financial privacy and protection have pros and cons that should be weighed during a consultation with an experienced professional.
We urge all of our clients to perform a considerable amount of research and understand the complicated issues around asset protection strategies. Our consultants will sit down with you to answer all of your questions and discuss the many ways you can protect yourself. There is always a circumstance where a strategy failed in court and it is critical to understand why and have some detail about that particular case. It’s the same with domestic legal structures where a court ruled the corporate veil be pierced holding the business owner personally liable – sometimes it’s a matter of improper formalities, other times it is how the officers ran the corporation or managed funds. An attorney’s job is to attack the structure of your liability shield, find a weakness and penetrate it to get to your assets. When these structures are put into place by professionals who know what attorneys look for they can reinforce these areas and help maintain the highest level of protection these legal vehicles can offer.
Creating an asset protection strategy should be done with all things considered and performed by a reputable and experienced asset protection service provider that can cover of the information to make a confident decision.
The top asset protection firms in the world would recommend that forcing a legal opponent to fight the battle on multiple fronts is a strong strategic step. This can be done by implementing multiple legal jurisdictions which can include various states and/or foreign countries.
When forming a strategy one should be educated on available options and be presented with how recommended strategies work, and why. Individuals should be made aware of some failures with improperly structured strategies. In all of these cases what is right for you may not be right for the next person, which is why we require that all of our strategies be explored through professionals with your entire asset and risk profile analyzed to flesh out your strongest options.
One of the most important factors in an asset protection strategy is timing. If you remove your name from your personal assets while in litigation, there may be complications. There are some methods that can be performed, however the process is more challenging and an expert should develop a solid plan for the given scenario.
Asset protection strategies are not put into place to hide property from your government, avoid taxation or illegally elude creditors. The legitimacy of your protection could be jeopardized if there is intent to defraud a creditor or improper compliance, which can affect a strategy’s protection should you need it – an established strategy requires maintenance and compliance measures to maximize its benefits.