Asset Protection Structures
Different financial structures and arrangements you can take in order to keep your assets safe from creditor, judgements and other occurrences.
Benefits of implementing single legal vehicles to protect assets
Privacy of Ownership
Estate and Asset Protection Vehicles
Offshore Asset Protection Planning
Asset Protection Planning
Asset protection is the term that can describe the variety of different financial structures and arrangements you can take in order to keep your assets safe from creditor, judgements and other occurrences such as divorce.
There is not one set definition of an action you would take when it comes to asset protection as it could encompass any one of a number of steps. Defined loosely, these are steps to keep your assets in your hands in practically nearly all circumstances. This can be financial planning or a number of any legal steps that can be taken.
At the core of any asset protection plan is a professional and legal examination. Thus, an expert can assess one’s financial situation, assets, risks as well as personal or family goals.
There is a variety of legal ways you can implement that provide a range of protective features. This can be from simple financial privacy all the way to judgment-proof asset protection such as an offshore trust. The planning is tailored to the assets, risk and comfort level of the individual or family seeking protection. There are resources to help you.
To maximise its effectiveness, planning should take place before the need arises. However, there are options that provide asset protection after a lawsuit is filed. As such, asset protection is a grand form of financial insurance. Ideally, it should be implemented well in advance of the need for it in order to avoid a fraudulent conveyance ruling. (Keep in mind this is merely a civil matter, not a criminal one.) Nevertheless, plans are much more effective for debtors who have the foresight to set them up in before a lawsuit strikes. So get complete information to understand your needs, but once you do, take action.
Asset protection planning is creating a complete financial plan taking one’s entire situation into perspective. The legal and financial vehicles used range from insurance policies, state homestead protection laws, business vehicles and estate planning instruments. In more involved cases this often includes multiple legal jurisdictions. This includes foreign countries where the laws are more favorable to the defendant or debtor.
These concepts are designed to deter a legal opponent from pursuing you. They should make it difficult or impossible, for someone to take your assets in a lawsuit if a judgment strikes. With proper planning an individual can protect his or her lifetime of accumulated wealth; including savings, real property, investments, even future income.
Asset Protection – the benefits
When you establish a proper plan, a legal opponent or creditor recognize that you are no easy target. Little to no assets are within reach of a judgment. This puts the debtor in a powerful position. Markedly, this can deter a lawsuit, or in the event of a lawsuit or litigation, provide substantial negotiation leverage.
One of the first benefits of implementing simple legal vehicles to protect assets is privacy of ownership. You can own real property and other forms of wealth privately, therefore reducing your “visible” net worth. This can reduce the risk of frivolous lawsuits or a predatory legal situation.
When a contingent fee lawyer reviews a case, he will perform a public records search. He will look for available assets that he can liquidate to satisfy a judgment. No assets tied to an individual’s name drastically reduces the chances of a lawyer taking the case – lawsuit deterrence.
All of an individual’s or a family’s assets, investments, savings, property, business income and real estate can be owned privately through a variety of legal vehicles and business entities.
Lawsuits and litigation are expensive. They are financial vampires. When you protect your assets through a well-thought-out plan there is less to lose. This is the equivalent of taking your chips off the table when your stakes are high.
The only real winners in a lawsuit are the lawyers. Even if you win a lawsuit, you are still out your own legal expenses. They can even be substantially higher than the lawsuit, itself. Preventing a lawsuit is more important that winning a lawsuit. Asset protection planning is a key measure that can prevent you from being involved in a long, drawn-out legal battle.
Estate and asset protection vehicles
- Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)
- Family Limited Partnerships
- Foreign Corporations and LLCs
Offshore asset protection planning
The most effective asset protection plans involve a network of legal entities and structures offshore. Used are some of the safest and strongest jurisdictions in the world. The best way to completely bullet-proof the protection of assets is to remove them from one’s home legal jurisdiction. Many countries do not recognise foreign court orders. So, when you move your assets to a legal jurisdiction outside of your domicile you place them outside of the reach of legal predators. Paced in the proper vehicle, such as the offshore trust, this type of planning can offer the utmost in protection.
The most protective laws in the world, the most flexible legal systems and investor-friendly laws are in offshore jurisdictions with longstanding case law histories of protecting personal assets.
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