Our asset protection planning can reduce or eliminate threats from creditors, plaintiffs, unhappy business partners, state and federal agencies who threaten your assets. Learn what you should consider protecting here.
The first thing you need to realize is that there is no structure that can protect your home 100%. It simply does not exist, because a local judge with jurisdiction over your real estate can always chose to ignore your asset protection structures and just sign a judicial deed, handing the real estate over to your creditors. With real estate, the goal is to make it difficult and expensive to reach, changing the creditor's economic analysis of your case. This will cause plaintiffs and creditors to either walk away or to negotiate on better terms.
Protecting a personal residence is commonly accomplished by transferring title of the real estate out of your name (see Personal Residence Trusts and Limited Liability Companies) or by eliminating the equity in the real estate (see Equity Strips). We find these structures to be effective in 70-90% of cases, depending on your particular circumstances.
If you do want to shield the equity in your real estate 100%, you would need to sell it and focus on protecting the sale proceeds. Cash is possible to make unreachable (see Outright Sale). You can also consider moving to a state that has an unlimited or a large homestead exemption (Florida, Texas, Kansas and Nevada).
An interest in a business is personal property, and similar strategies are utilized to protect business interests as other personal assets like cash and investments. Our inventory of strategies to protect your business include incorporation, limited liability companies, estate planning, and various types of trusts (including domestic self-settled trusts, foreign trusts and private retirement trusts). With our broad experience, we custom-design the strategy that fits your business and circumstance best.
We also often help clients restructure their existing business operations to separate the valuable assets of the business, like intellectual property or equipment, from the liabilities of the business.
For clients who desire privacy and want to separate themselves from their business, we are adept at setting up privacy shields and information disclosure obstacles.
When your business itself is the debtor, the objective often is to set up a new legal entity and shift revenues and operations to the new entity. That is simple to do, but does not always work. A creditor can allege that the new business is a successor in interest to your old business. A successful successor liability argument will cause the debts of the old business to attach to the new business. We have a lot of experience in setting up these structures and can often advise our clients on how to correctly set up the new business to avoid successor liability.
Bank accounts, investment accounts and other liquid forms of wealth are usually the most desirable assets to pursue for any creditor. These assets are pursued with vigor, and private investigators are frequently used to locate these assets. To protect liquid assets look to the following structures: Limited Liability Companies, Foreign Entities and Foreign Trusts.
We also have a few tricks up our sleeve that are not disclosed on this website. Contact Maximum Asset Protection for help protecting what matters most to you.
Here are the most commonly used structures in asset protection. Click each to learn more.