Areas of Practice
Asset protection planning is sometimes referred to as defensive estate planning. It is the process of developing a successful estate plan during your lifetime to protect your assets now and after your death. Asset protection will provide for your family’s financial security and protect and create legacy wealth for your children’s future. Asset protection can also include plans for business succession and for retirement.
Asset protection and planning require two important components:
The first component of an asset protection plan is to create a program for accumulating wealth. This 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. 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 plan.
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 your particular familial or business circumstances and any issues which pose a threat to your family’s financial security. These threats can take the form of lawsuits or claims against you which can arise from your profession, business dealings, accidents and many other potential sources. By utilizing advanced planning techniques from our “toolbox”, we can protect our client’s assets from creditors and lawsuits. At the same time, we work to allow our clients to retain control over the assets and the income the assets produce.
Change of Circumstances
Asset protection planning also helps you prepare for the possibility of 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.
Could you Afford to Start Over?
People lose everything they own because of business matters, medical bills, 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?
Who Needs Asset Protection?
Physicians, chiropractors, dentists, architects, CPAs, engineers, real estate brokers, contractors and 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 these accounts by lawsuits as a result of their own or a minor child’s auto accident or any other act, intentional or negligent. Accidents caused by you, your family or employees or catastrophic health expenses all pose risks.
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 40 years of practice that asset protection also includes liability created by your own financial accounts!