We Live In The World’s Most Litigious Country
Asset Protection as a field of law has developed since the 1980’s from a little- known specialty to a highly publicized area of legal practice. This growth was created by a legal system that has devolved over several decades to create a hyper-litigious society that is long on victimization and short on accountability.
America has more lawyers, files more lawsuits than any other country in the world, and the numbers keep growing every year. According to Towers Watson, the cost of civil justice in America has surpassed $300 billion a year.
Our legal system has come to resemble a perverse redistribution-of-wealth scheme that encourages plaintiffs, who risk nothing, to sue anyone who may appear to have the ability to pay. Civil litigation has become big business with hard working professionals, business owners and employers becoming an attractive source of profit.
Asset Protection planning gives you the option to legally defend yourself from the frivolous lawsuits that are often focused your way. Unfortunately you have a huge target on your back for many reasons. Click on a profession to see common reasons:
Any one of these factors alone, makes you a target for lawsuits, but the combination of several, accurate or not, creates a need for proactive planning to ensure your assets are protected from predators.
Estate Planning is Critical, but Won’t Protect Your Assets
The Revocable Living Trust (RLT) is a wonderful estate-planning tool that can avoid probate, minimize estate taxes, and provide a legacy for your family, loved-ones and beneficiaries. The RLT does not, however, shelter you from any sort of lawsuit exposure during your lifetime. Asset Protection Planning, in contrast, does offer such protection, and will complement your estate planning.
In addition to the obvious exposures created by wealth, high-income, and a high-risk profession, you also expose yourself to every-day risks like, driving a car, owning real estate, or having children that drive.
Basic Risk Management is Critical, but Insufficient
You may have done a good job already with basic level risk management measures like insurance or even creating a business entity for yourself or some of your assets. These are important first steps, but they fall short of having an effective legal shield that covers the gaps which insurance and a ‘corporate veil’ leave open.
We can help you cover these gaps with comprehensive legal defenses you can think of as “net-worth insurance” that places your personal assets beyond the reach of future creditors.
“Net-Worth Insurance” removes the economic incentive for a plaintiff to sue, except for maybe up to the limits of your insurance coverage. Why pursue a long and expensive court proceeding if the assets cannot be reached?
Procrastination is Not an Option
Asset Protection is difficult, if not impossible, after a lawsuit has started. Attempting to take action after-the-fact puts you at risk of “fraudulent conveyance”, opening the door for a court to take back the assets you tried to protect. The time to act is now when waters are calm. Hoping that you won’t get sued is not a plan, it is just wishful thinking.