Asset Protection Planning
Asset protection planning is not just a scheme to avoid legally owed debts. It is right and ethical to pay creditors what they are owed. However, we certainly live in a litigious society in which some people are looking for any opportunity to “win big” by winning a monetary judgement against an individual or company that looks to have “deep pockets.” It is certainly prudent to protect your assets from those who would seek to help themselves through frivolous claims. There are simple steps that you can take that are legal and ethical.
It is important to realize that a credible part of estate planning is to protect your hard-earned assets before a claim is made against them. As you set up your plan, you have several purposes. First, it is helpful to give your creditor some type of realistic incentive to settle their claim against you. Next, you want to do whatever you can to give yourself a better bargaining position. By presenting these options to a creditor when a claim is made, you may be able to persuade your creditor not to file the lawsuit.
However, it is also important to realize that asset protection is not about avoiding creditors that you rightfully owe. Wealth planning should not be about creating secret accounts to hide money from taxes or legitimate creditors. One way to avoid impropriety is to take proper steps for asset protection well before any claims appear on the horizon.
Just as you must be ethical in your estate planning, your attorney must also follow the law and ethical policies as he assists you in protecting your assets. Your attorney should diligently work on your behalf to set up proper asset protection, but he must not counsel you to pursue criminal or fraudulent practices. If any attorney ever approaches you with the offer to help you “protect” your property once you have been made aware of an impending lawsuit, you would probably be wise to steer clear of this attorney.
At The Law Offices of Justin Gilbert, we would like to help you put together a comprehensive and legal plan to protect your assets before it is ever actually necessary to protect them. We have the experience to do so in a way that is tailored exactly for your financial situation. Please call us and find out how we can help you get a plan in place to protect your hard-earned assets from future predators and frivolous lawsuits.