Maybe you read an article about asset protection and want to learn more. Or maybe your attorney suggested you think about asset protection strategies. You are both curious and a little resistant. It may be hard to understand why you need asset protection.
The first thing to remember is that assets need to be protected before any claims have been made. In fact, transfers made after a claim or judgment occurs will be considered fraudulent transfers. While you have to be careful, there are methods that allow you to protect your assets.
Some strategies involve buying liability insurance or putting your assets in one or more trusts. Other methods include:
Not all asset protection strategies are created equal. Some actions taken to safeguard property may actually hurt more than they help. Talk to an attorney before putting together any asset protection plans.
You may need to protect your assets if you:
Some people are vulnerable to litigation, which could lead to civil judgments against them. For example, anyone employed in a profession with a high risk of liability should consider asset protection strategies to protect against our litigious society. Others at risk for civil judgments include business owners and property owners. Assets may even be protected against a vindictive ex-spouse.
Leah owned a successful wealth management firm. She is concerned about the potential for being sued. She decides to transfer her personal property to an irrevocable asset protection trust. When a disgruntled client sued her later, most of her assets were safe.
Bill & Sons was a moving company with locations throughout Florida. Concerned about protecting his sons’ business interests, he talked to his attorney about asset protection. The best option for Bill seemed to be establishing a family limited liability company. One of Bill’s sons later filed for divorce and was able to protect his business interest from being taken by his spouse.
Jane caused a multivehicle automobile accident. She had automobile insurance but was sued by the other drivers and passengers who were injured. After being served with the lawsuit, Jane contacted her attorney to see what steps she could take to protect her assets. Although a wealthy and otherwise financially savvy woman, Jane had failed to prepare an estate plan or engage in any asset protection strategies. Her attorney advised her that her options were limited now.
Attorney John Mangan is board certified in wills, trusts & estates by the Florida Bar. Please call us at 772-324-9050 or use our Contact Form to set up an appointment. We help clients throughout Florida, including Stuart, Palm City, Hobe Sound, Jupiter, and Port St. Lucie.