Generally speaking, asset protection is the process of structuring wealth, property, and assets to minimize exposure to litigation, creditors, and predators. Litigation is the new “wealth distribution” plan for those who feel entitled to take what is not rightfully theirs (or, their attorneys). Asset protection planning is the legal, legitimate process for controlling one’s assets and how they are used. The planning is best done early, before a claim arises. A claim arises when the event happens, not when the law suit is filed. Although some opportunities exists even later, the options are few and may not be as flexible or as successful.
The typical asset protection client is someone successful, or simply wants to keep what they have worked for. Unfortunately, successful people often have a bull’s eye in the shape of a dollar sign! A bull’s eye for those who do not understand or appreciate your hard work and sacrifice. Representative clients include entrepreneurs, corporate executives, physicians, dentists, lawyers, entertainers, and professional athletes. And, often it includes those worried about their own marriage, their children’s marriage, protecting business or inherited assets, worried about providing a secure future for their spouse, litigation from employees or customers, or a failed business venture.
An asset protection plan usually includes a variety of domestic and/or offshore corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, trusts, and properly structured debt. Please see our Asset Protection FAQ section for more information.
Asset protection is closely related to estate planning. An asset protection plan typically also deals with how the client’s property will be managed during disability, distributed after death, including estate tax savings and security for future generations.