Are you prepared for the possibility that your assets – – your home, your savings, your business – – could be taken from you by litigants, creditors, the government, potentially even your spouse? That could happen if you are a business owner, property owner, guarantor or a perceived “deep pocket”. If you are a potential target of a lawsuit or other legal threat, you owe it to yourself and your family to consider asset protection.
Asset protection is the safeguarding of wealth and assets from attack by future, unsecured creditors. The assets and wealth that we can protect is a broad class: your home, bank and investment accounts, business interests, professional practices, real estate including your home and investment properties, commercial properties, jewelry, cars, boats, art and other personal property, intellectual property and virtually anything else of value that you may wish to preserve for yourself and your family.
We protect assets using domestic laws and entities such as limited partnerships, trusts and corporations, as well as the laws of foreign countries. We have been pioneers in this field and have developed domestic and international asset protection strategies that enjoy an impeccable record of success.
People sometimes have the misconception that in order to engage an asset protection attorney, they need to have significant wealth. In fact, we protects the assets of many different people, of diverse backgrounds and all levels of affluence. Our asset protection clients have ranged from young entrepreneurs seeking to protect their assets from the risks of their next business ventures, to retirees seeking to preserve their assets for their children and grandchildren, people seeking to protect their home from mounting medical bills, celebrities and mega-wealthy individuals with real estate holdings around the world. All types of people, with all types of assets, need asset protection.
You need asset protection if:
- you are facing a current or expected lawsuit;
- you are in a profession with a high degree of liability (real estate investor, real estate developer, landlord, doctor, lawyer, financial advisor);
- new laws may impact your business or create new liabilities (e.g., the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the proposed “sweat” law in New York state);
- you are a debtor and/or a guarantor;
- you face a potential tax or other government liability;
- you have accumulated, or are about to receive, significant wealth (e.g., inheritance, investment or business success, vesting event, business buy-out, etc.);
- you (or your children) are going to get married or divorced;
- you are concerned about the financial viability of your business.
There are two options to asset protection: domestic and offshore.
Domestic asset protection can be totally effective if implemented by individuals with no current claims against them. Domestic asset protection is also usually used to protect real estate. As an added bonus, some structures that we use for asset protection, like the family limited partnership, also offer excellent tax minimization and estate planning benefits.
Offshore asset protection involves the transfer of your assets to a trust or corporation established in a confidential, secure and stable foreign country. If an offshore asset protection strategy is established by an attorney experienced in this area, it can be absolutely effective. However, this must be done carefully in order to comply with I.R.S. rules and regulations governing control of foreign assets.
Contact us to discuss your asset protection needs and options.