Preserve the Wealth You Have Acquired
If you are a business owner, professional or high-asset individual, it is important to shield your personal and business assets from liability. Without this type of protection, your assets could be subject to liens, seizure by creditors, lawsuits and the court. In the current economic climate, asset protection is more important than ever.
For an integrated asset protection and estate plan, contact Bruce Turner at Bennett, Weston, LaJone & Turner, P.C. With 35 years of experience and a master’s degree in tax law, attorney Turner has the skill to create an asset protection plan unique to your needs. In addition, he can assist you with tax planning for estate and business purposes.
Fundamentals of Asset Protection
Asset protection planning is centered on the principle of transferring assets from unprotected ownership structures to protected ownership such as corporations, limited liability corporations and limited liability partnerships. We often advise people to layer ownership entities or place assets into partial ownership.
Incorporating yourself or your business may not completely protect your assets from personal liability, however. Nonexempt assets, including business assets and stock, are still vulnerable to liability. To protect nonexempt assets, we can create an estate plan with trusts for financial holdings such as stocks, bonds and limited partnership interests. Placing these assets into a trust can provide protection from creditors and the court.
It is important to understand that for asset protection to be effective, you must act before a lawsuit is filed or a creditor makes a claim. If you attempt to transfer assets after a lawsuit or other action is filed, you may be charged with fraud for hiding assets. This will only compound the problem, as the penalties for fraud are severe.
We encourage clients to begin asset protection planning as soon as they acquire a new asset. With our business law experience, we can craft an asset protection strategy for even the most complex financial holdings.