It’s a dangerous world out there, and the more success you garner as a professional or business owner, the more you’ll need to protect your assets. Once you’ve started to build up any quantity of assets, you’ll have to come up with a plan to protect them against creditors, predators and that ever-voracious taxman. Doing this well calls for a bit of judicious organization and the help of an experienced estate planning lawyer.
The available strategies for protecting your assets are numerous and complex. Here are some popular ideas from the asset protection attorneys at Heffel Law Firm.
Your financial liability will vary with your choice of profession. For instance, the medical fields are famous for exposing doctors and dentists to malpractice proceedings, but no professional who deals with the public is ever entirely free from the threat of lawsuit. The right kind of insurance will go a long way to mitigate any possible impact. Here, your choices include:
Regardless of what you intend to insure, the attorneys at Heffel Law Firm can help you choose the most appropriate policy.
If you think joint accounts sound like a good idea, you might want to think again. Whether you enter this sort of arrangement with a minor child, a senior parent, a spouse or a business partner, each participant in any type of joint account is putting his financial health at serious risk. While all may be roses at the beginning, trouble could soon arise if one partner should take it upon himself to withdraw funds without the other’s knowledge or permission. Thing can go downhill even faster if one of the participants should:
If this sort of thing should happen, the innocent party to the jointly-held account is nevertheless equally liable. From a legal standpoint, the equity in a joint account belongs to each participant equally. The risk does as well, and since both participants have equal access to this type of account, you’d better trust your partner implicitly.
The potential problems with joint ownership extend beyond bank accounts. Each of the parties to a joint business partnership, loan, home purchase or anything similar is courting an identical sort of risk. If such a situation should prove unavoidable, try to keep the total investment as low as you possibly can.
If you own your own business, it is vital to do whatever you must to keep your personal assets separate from those of your company. To protect your private holdings from creditors and lawsuits, your choice of commercial entity is paramount. In this realm, the most common options are:
With a sole proprietorship, any claim against the business itself is also a claim against its owner. A general partnership is nearly as bad since equal partners in business are at the same risk as those in any sort of jointly-held account. Limited partnerships, corporations and LLCs will be far better at protecting your personal assets, and the attorneys at Heffel Law Firm can help you decide on the best course of action.
These are just a few of the popular strategies for protecting your personal assets. There are many more. However, regardless of which strategies you choose to employ, it is vital to take some sort of action, and a qualified attorney from Heffel Law Firm can help in this regard. Call today for additional information.