Today's society has become more litigious, more victim- oriented, and more likely to look for a scapegoat. Consequently, it has become a scarier place for those of us with assets that might look appealing to hungry plaintiff's attorneys. There are times when plaintiff's lawsuits are entirely justified, for instance when your dog mauls the neighbor kid after you negligently forgot to put the lease on him, or when you rented an asbestos filled apartment complex to unsuspecting tenants. But there are also times when a lawsuit is filed on frivolous or fabricated claims, or when a sincere accident could suddenly threaten to take away your home, your livelihood, and all your life's savings in one single sweep.
Obviously, every family is different and so every family's exposure to potential liability is different. For instance, the owner of a small family store is not going to have the same concerns as a renowned plastic surgeon. Asset protection planning accounts for your family's specific circumstances to decide how much of a shield you need when it comes to liability. At Inter Vivos, we enjoy the privilege of having one of the foremost authorities on asset protection planning as Of-Counsel to our firm, Mr. Jeff Matsen. In a recent publication, Jeff highlights the levels of asset protection planning in what he calls "the Ladder of Success".
At the low end of asset protection planning simply having some form of business entity to limit liability may be sufficient. Progressing up the ladder, basic and marital estate planning techniques can provide further protection. Next, protecting specific assets through business entities or asset protection trusts might be necessary. And finally, offshore asset protection planning and other advanced estate planning tools can offer ultimate asset protection. In the end, an asset protection plan must be suited to the client and not the client suited to the plan. Consequently, regardless of what level of assets or liability a family might have, they might very well benefit from a personalized asset protection strategy.
Life is too uncertain to allow for the chance to lose everything in a day. You can eliminate that risk by planning ahead. If you would like to see how asset protection planning might benefit you, contact us at (801) 477-1570, for a free consultation. It could make all the difference in the world!
"Let Us Earn Your Family's Trust"