The best asset protection strategies involve legal tools and financial plans developed to shield valuables from lawsuits. These includes analyzing a list of assets that need protection and determining which legal instrument or strategy would ideally protect each one. Examples include forming certain types of trusts and companies and taking advantage of regional laws designed to protect assets. It can aid in achieving financial goals, estate planning for the next generation, as well as facing the reality that we are all vulnerable to litigation. Though pre-planning is best, there are even ways to protect yourself after a lawsuit is filed.
Here is a list of five common legal strategies for shielding assets from lawsuits.
Your profession also determines your level of risk as well as which strategies that you need to employ to protect your assets. If you are a physician, are in the real estate industry your needs are likely greater than a typical desk employee. Speaking of employees, no matter what profession you are in, if you have employees you have liability. We have spoken with business people who have been falsely accused, of discrimination, sexual harassment and wrongful termination. Others have experienced tragedies where an employee had injured another as a result of a car accident or equipment mishap.
If your love is on the rocks, an expensive divorce could cost you a tremendous amount in legal fees in addition to the division of assets. There are ways to protect yourself from such a life-disrupting scenario.
Can you hide assets? There are some ways you can make it very difficult for all but the most determined creditor to find out what you have. The important thing to know, though, is hiding is one thing. Protecting is another. A thorough deposition can uncover most hidden assets. So, there are ways to hide assets. But if you protect them, even if someone finds them, they remain safe and secure for your future use.
What do you have to protect? Do you have liquid assets? A personal residence? Investment real estate? Automobiles? What you have to protect will determine which legal tools you need to use and whether domestic or offshore protection is what you need. Where you live will also make a difference. Florida has 100% homestead protection for primary residences. New Jersey has zero. California residences tend to have more value than houses in many other parts of the country. The amount homestead exemption in that state, however, does not sufficiently reflect the elevated values for many people.
The topic of asset protection is generally not a focus of instruction in law schools. The reason is that it is counter to the profession. The more educated people are on the securing of wealth the less lucrative it is to the legal profession. That is why many attorneys are not schooled on the topic. We have established legal tools for attorneys and their clients for several decades. Are you an attorney or simply a person who needs to take protective measures for yourself? There are knowledgeable consultants who can discuss your needs. There are numbers and an inquiry form on this page for that purpose.
Customizing an asset protection strategy is done when you establish specific legal tools to hold specific assets. 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 is created based on the risks of the individual seeking protection.
Knowing the best asset protection strategies to secure your assets, alone, won’t help. You actually need to set up the proper legal tools and use them if you want financial security for the legal predators out there. So, make the call. Educate yourself. Then take action on the asset protection strategies that are right for you. You can use the telephone numbers or inquiry form on this website to get more information.