Asset Protection: A Necessary Component of Your Estate Planning
The American system of justice is premised upon making the injured party whole. Typically, the wrongdoer who caused the injury is held liable for making the payments to the injured party. You hope to never encounter this situation, but you plan for it nonetheless. As a savvy business owner, you buy liability insurance in an attempt to hedge the risk of paying a large judgment for future problems that may be caused by your own or your employees’ inadvertence.
But what happens if you didn’t actually do anything wrong or if your insurance doesn’t cover a future creditor’s claim? Sometimes, individuals or companies are included in lawsuits for no other reason than that they have deep pockets. Even if there is no misconduct, the mindset of some litigants is that “someone must pay.” Unfortunately for you, lawsuits are easy and cheap to start, but incredibly hard (emotionally, financially, and time-wise) to defend.
Professionals who are at risk include: high-net worth individuals; business owners; real estate investors and developers; property owners; lawyers; doctors; and CPAs.
What happens when your insurance doesn’t cover your defense costs or damages because of an exemption or exclusion?
There are a number of mechanisms for you to consider to protect your assets in addition to insurance, such as government exemptions (401K, IRAs, Annuities), limited liability companies and limited liability partnerships, domiciling and headquartering your business in friendlier states, being knowledgeable regarding homestead exemptions, and asset protection trusts (domestic or foreign).
We Offer of a Unique Perspective on Asset Protection and Estate Planning.
For nearly a decade, we solely represented consumers and injured plaintiffs suing companies and individuals. We have significant experience in litigating cases against high-net worth individuals in order to maximize the plaintiff’s recovery. We have obtained judgments, domesticated them, and garnished wages and non-exempt bank accounts to satisfy them. We have hired private investigators in different states and overseas to track down the owners of webs of LLCs. We have both driven defendants into bankruptcy and litigated cases in bankruptcy against other creditors. We have placed liens on non-exempt property or on residences located in states with low homestead exemptions where the judgment debtor had significant equity in the home so that our attorney’s fees from an underlying judgment were paid first when the defendant sold their home. We have uncovered post-judgment fraudulent conveyances by judgment debtors.
Asset protection is merely a means to minimize your loss, just like insurance. It is a mechanism to protect your family’s assets from future creditor claims legally, within the bounds of debtor-creditor laws, and without fraudulent conveyance, tax evasion, or perjury. It is a current means to protect your future.
The key is that you cannot protect your assets after a claim has arisen. But you can do so now to protect your future.
The only way to start the conversation about your long-term estate planning goals is by giving us a ring. Your hard work and your assets are worth it.