Many people often think about how to make money; fewer think about how best to protect their money.
We live in a highly litigious society. More than 19 million lawsuits are filed every year, and some of them are aimed at taking other individuals’ personal and business assets.
It’s always best to start planning before a crisis occurs. Asset protection is a financial plan aimed at restricting access to your most valuable assets. It’s not only for those who are extremely wealthy.
Expensive litigation that threatens your ability to retain your property could come from a number of places. All it takes is a car accident that results in a death or serious injury, credit card debt that has gotten out of hand, foreclosures on a mortgage for your second home, or unhappy business customers who want to get even.
Some individuals, when faced with crushing debt, have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection to give them more time to come up with a debt repayment plan. However, when doing so, much of their property – including autos, appliances, work tools and almost anything other than their primary residence – can be sold off to pay their creditors.
Other individuals think their homeowner’s insurance will cover unexpected accidents (like when your tree falls and causes extensive damage to their neighbor’s home). When the neighbor files a lawsuit to pay for his expenses, the quality of the insurance company policy comes to light. Often, people are disappointed with the insurance company’s response.
These are just a few reasons you should establish a protection plan alongside an experienced asset protection attorney. He/she can use their experience to put in place legal techniques that make it much more difficult for others to seize your property and personal belongings. Together with your attorney, you can craft a personalized asset protection plan that reduces your “visible” net worth and lowers the risk of frivolous lawsuits.
Some legal strategies advocated by asset protection attorneys include:
- Establishing a corporation, a limited liability company or a limited partnership to help you keep your personal and business assets separated.
- Using specific estate planning methods to protect your future.
- Purchasing a more comprehensive homeowners or auto insurance policy.
- Creating an asset protection trust.
Do you have an asset protection plan in place? There are many options to consider, as an attorney, like an asset protection lawyer in Hartford, CT at a firm such as The Law Offices of Ronald I. Chorches, can explain.