Asset protection is the concept of guarding one’s wealth. In other words, there are a variety of financial planning techniques that allow you to legally protect certain assets from creditors. If you have valuable assets that you wish to protect, you can access everything you need through the virtual services of the Law Office of Kim M. Dubois PLLC.
About Asset Protection
From a practical standpoint, asset protection is the debtor’s side of debtor-creditor rules. While the creditor seeks to gain access to the debtor’s assets, the debtor seeks to protect those assets from the creditor. Unfortunately, historically this has included various types of fraud and other illegal or unethical behavior on both sides, but a smart debtor knows to play within the rules.
It’s safe to say that the experts all agree on at least one aspect of asset protection: You should consider asset protection before any type of claim or lawsuit arises rather than waiting until any such claim or lawsuit has been filed. One very simple reason for this is that the subsequent manipulation of assets is much more likely to run afoul of fraudulent conveyance laws.
Basic Asset Protection Tips
You’ve worked hard for your assets. Whether they be business assets or personal assets, there are basic steps you can take to protect these assets, including:
- Keep your assets separate. This practice is widely recognized by most business owners. If you operate your business as a corporation, LLC, or similar type of genuine business entity, then only your business assets are at risk if something goes wrong and your business gets sued. Your house, car, and other personal assets are safe. Choosing which type of entity to form depends on a variety of factors, including tax ramifications.
- Consider an Offshore Asset Trust. Offshore banks have traditionally been stronger than U.S. banks, and are more likely to provide stronger protection. Placing your personal assets in the proper type of offshore trust is a powerful option for your assets, but any type of trust is better than nothing.
- Utilize Retirement Accounts. Individual retirement accounts (IRAs) enjoy protection under federal law as long as they are ERISA-qualified, for example,401(k)s, and may enjoy even stronger state law protection. This is a good place to keep personal assets, but be careful not to overextend. If you are forced to remove assets prematurely, the penalties can be stiff.
- Utilize Insurance. Proper types of insurance, with sufficient coverage, is a good way to protect your business assets. Be aware, however, that lawsuits often extend beyond the limits of insurance coverage. Still, your coverage limit can also serve as an ideal settlement amount, since a plaintiff will understand that this represents the amount of money they can collect without extended and costly litigation.
Contact the Law Office of Kim M. Dubois PLLC Today for Assistance
The complexities of asset protection are far beyond the scope of this article but remain exceptionally important. This is why you should utilize the virtual services offered by the Law Office of Kim M. Dubois PLLC, which are comprehensive yet affordable.
The Law Office of Kim M. Dubois PLLC offers free consultations and always return phone calls and email messages on the same day. We are a true virtual firm, with flexible hours that fit around your schedule.
Contact us to learn more and schedule your free consultation.