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Asset protection planning is defensive estate planning or, in other words, developing a successful estate plan during your lifetime to protect your assets now and after your death, provide for your family’s financial security, to protect and create legacy wealth for your children’s future, for business succession, and for retirement.
The first component to an asset protection plan is to create a program for accumulating wealth. That means utilizing available savings and investment strategies to accumulate investment capital and then diversify and manage your funds in the most efficient and productive manner. If your objectives are to provide for the needs of your family and to build a nest-egg for your retirement, building wealth is very important. In the current environment keeping the wealth you have already created is critical. This requires the advice and counsel of investment and tax professionals. In our practice we “team” with your already existing financial and accounting advisors to assist you in creating your wealth accumulation and asset protection planning. If you don’t have your own advisors we have some extremely talented professionals to recommend to you.
Strategies for protecting wealth, known as asset protection, are designed to address particular situations which pose a threat to your family’s financial security. These threats can take the form of lawsuits and claims against you which can arise from your profession, business dealings, accidents and many other potential sources. By utilizing advanced planning techniques, we can protect clients’ assets from creditors and lawsuits while, at the same time, allowing them to retain control over the assets and the income which they produce.
Asset protection planning helps you prepare for the possibility a future change of circumstance (lawsuits, creditor claims, family disputes, medical or health crisis) by rearranging the ownership of assets so that they are beyond the reach of potential creditors or “predators.” It can act as a form or type of “insurance” in a strategic plan designed to protect you from the risks associated with businesses, professions and complex or blended families. Asset protection planning protects assets that would otherwise be at risk. People lose everything they own because of business matters, medical bills and health related problems, divorce, IRS disputes, bankruptcy and other financial disasters every year.
A lawsuit from any one of these sources win or lose can easily ruin a family’s financial future. What would happen if you lost everything you own? Are you prepared to start all over again?
Physicians, chiropractors, dentists, architects, CPAs, engineers, real-estate brokers, contractors, developers and all other professionals are concerned with litigation from malpractice claims and business disputes. But not just business matters can generate a lawsuit; in fact, anyone who has accumulated a non-retirement savings account could lose this by lawsuits from your own or a minor child’s auto accident, any other act, intentional or negligent, caused by you, your family or employees or school age children and catastrophic health expenses.
Business owners face threats of possible lawsuits from employees, customers, lenders, competitors, business partners and government agencies. Rental property owners are threatened by potential lawsuits from tenants, visitors to the tenants, lenders and buyers. We have represented several victims of Stanford and Madoff who are subject to the “clawback” regs. This is the first time in my 36 years of practice that asset protection also includes liability created by your own financial accounts!