Many individuals are increasingly using the legal system to unjustly deprive others of their life’s work. In fact, millions of new lawsuits are filed in the United States every year, many of which are frivolous or settled for sums greater than the actual liability.
Business owners, professionals such as doctors, dentists, lawyers, accountants, and property owners in particular should be aware of the risks associated with conducting their business, practicing in their respective fields, and taking responsibility for others. Without a massive overhaul of our legal system, the risk and potential liability will continue to rise much like it has over the past few decades.
Assets can be at risk due to a number of vulnerabilities, including:
- Professional malpractice liability
- Personal liability of corporate officers and directors
- Lawsuits by former business partners
- Personal injury suffered on your premises
- Personal injury resulting from a motor vehicle accident
- Liability as guarantor for the debts of another
- Liability arising from misconduct
Our law firm assists professionals, small business owners, property owners, and other clients in establishing well designed asset protection strategies to safeguard assets against potential litigation, judgments, liens, and fraud. Insurance alone does not always adequately protect against all of these threats. We help clients protect their wealth using a variety of strategies including the use of special trusts, business entities and other legal arrangements.
Shielding Assets from Creditors
Our firm has expertise in assisting clients with the arrangement of their finances, real property and other assets in a manner that minimizes their exposure to potential creditors. We have extensive experience establishing trusts, determining insurance needs, creating estate plans and organizing investments and business entities. We strive to provide our clients with a high level of confidence that their accumulated assets will be protected.
A creditor who initiates litigation against a person who has placed his or her assets into a trust, a foundation, or other entity may find that there are very few collectible assets actually owned by the person they wish to sue. Assets owned by a properly structured trust, foundation, or other entity are generally not subject to claims against their beneficiaries. In addition, placing assets into an asset protection entity may also remove those assets from a person’s taxable estate.
Our estate planning attorneys also have expertise evaluating current client holdings and can identify the best ways to legally protect those holdings from a variety of creditors, whether through civil suits involving negligence or malpractice.
Our firm has a solid working knowledge of:
- Domestic and offshore trusts
- Domestic and offshore and domestic business entity formation
- Exempt asset protections under state law
- Negotiation and preparation of pre-marital and post-marital agreements
The exact strategies that may be best suited for you depend on the nature of the assets, the country of origin, and the tax regulations that apply to those assets. The ultimate goal is to provide superior asset protection in a manner that is effective, legal and ethical.