Asset protection acts as a safeguard between your creditors and you if you’re going through a divorce, getting sued, or going through
some other legal battle. In this litigious society, it is vitally important that you have an asset protection plan, no matter whether you’re an individual or business. The more you accumulate assets and wealth, the bigger a target you are for creditors and other people who might be looking to take your hard-earned cash and property.

What Does An Asset Protection Plan Entail?

This plan consists of legal tools and documents that insulate your assets without running afoul of the law, hiding things, transferring fraudulently, evading taxes, or committing bankruptcy fraud. There are plenty of asset protection tools that an AP plan could entail, including:

Land Trust. You can hold property in the name of a trustee, thus keeping your name from being revealed in public records. This is more of a privacy tool than asset protection device.
Living Trust. A trustee delivers your assets to your heirs upon your death, and there are many different forms of these legal tools.
Corporations. Forming your business as a corporation turns the company into a separate person, at least as far as the law goes. When someone sues your corporation, unless they’re able to pierce the veil, it is the business that incurs the lawsuit, not you.
Asset Protection Trust. An APT holds an individual’s assets and shields them from creditors legally. These trusts provide the strongest protection against lawsuits, creditors, exes, and more.

There are many other asset protection tools; what is seen above is just a selection. Contacting an estate planning attorney will help you put together the right plan for your assets and situation.

What Can This Plan Accomplish?

There are many different goals that having a well-structured, properly-carried-out asset protection plan can accomplish. This plan can achieve your important objectives, and it also:

Uses the most favorable asset protection laws on the books
Keeps your property free from attachments and liens, if possible
Provides privacy and protection for future earnings and accumulated wealth
Protects against liability that exceeds your insurance coverage
Enhances your legal negotiating leverage
Protects retirement savings
Protects business assets from claims
Protects accounts receivable from claims
Insulates rental properties from outside/inside lawsuits

Generally, estate planning is thought to involve only issues of passing property and preserving assets for family members after your death. But, asset protection, which is a part of this general field, deals with the immediate, vital need to protect your assets during your lifetime.

Who Needs An Asset Protection Plan?

Every individual and every business can benefit from an asset protection plan, but there are some who are especially in need of an APP. They include individuals who work in high-risk professions, such as doctors and lawyers. People sue doctors and lawyers all the time, and asset protection can keep these professionals’ assets safe from liability.

Additionally, wealthy individuals might be a target for creditors because they have a high net worth, so asset protection plans offer a shield. Sometimes, APTs are even used to replace a prenup.

It’s important to contact an attorney to set up an asset protection plan. The attorney will be able to maneuver through the legal jargon and technicalities, setting up the plan without legal errors that could make it vulnerable to challenge.

Additionally, going through a lawyer ensures your asset protection abides by the law. There are many laws that prevent concealment and fraudulent behavior, and it is important that you do not run afoul of any of them (or you’ll find yourself with far bigger things to worry about than creditors). An attorney can make sure you toe the legal line, all while getting the most asset protection possible – contact WFP now.