The assets you've worked your lifetime to accumulate could be lost in an instant if they are not properly protected and you are sued. There is one rule in protecting your assets from creditors, "Don't wait until you're in a position to be sued to take action." Sit down with a Veracity Advisers partner to take the necessary preventative measures to protect what you've worked so hard for.
We all heard the best defense is a good offense, so naturally the best way to protect yourself from creditors is to avoid lawsuits. However, America is becoming a more litigious society, and it's increasingly common for people to be involved in legal proceedings as a result of everyday activities and accidents.
You must protect your assets before a lawsuit is filed and before the cause of the action occurs. Failure to do so is considered by law to be a fraudulent transfer intended to defraud creditors.
Anyone With Assets is at Risk
Similar to estate planning, anyone with assets can benefit from assets protection strategies. It's not solely for the exceptionally wealthy. There are many circumstances in which your assets can be seized. These include if your business files for bankruptcy, you get a divorce or you are on the defensive end of a civil lawsuit.
Laws Protect Certain Assets
Federal and state laws determine what assets are protected and what assets are subject to forfeiture. It's important to meet with a Veracity Advisers partner to discuss State law and your situation.
The amount of protection you have on your home varies widely from state to state. It's important to meet with a Veracity Advisers partner to discuss State law and your situation.
Annuities and Life Insurance
State laws determine the level of protection that applies to annuities and life insurance. Some protect the cash surrender values of life insurance policies and the proceeds of annuity contracts. Sometimes they only protect the beneficiary's interest. There are also states that do not provide protection at all. It's important to meet with a Veracity Advisers partner to discuss State law and your situation.
The U.S. government and a spouse currently in divorce are the only creditors capable of obtaining assets, regardless of the type of fund or types of asset protection.
Different Strategies for Protection
There are a variety of legitimate strategies that can help you protect your assets. Click here for Forbes Ten Rules for Asset Protection Planning. Below are the most common tools to protect assets from creditors. It is important to make an appointment with a Veracity Advisers partner to discuss your unique situation and applicable state laws.
Asset Protection Trusts
Offers a way to transfer a portion of your assets into a trust run by an independent trustee. The trust's assets will be out of the reach of most creditors, and you can receive occasional distributions.
Is as simple as taking the equity out of a non-protected account/item and moving that cash into assets your state protects.
Simple Ways to Protect Assets
There are some inexpensive ways to protect assets that anyone can implement:
- Get an umbrella policy that protects you from personal-injury claims above the standard coverage offered in your home and auto policies.
- You could transfer assets to your spouse's name. Be aware that if you divorce, those assets could be forfeited.
- Put more money into your employer-sponsored retirement plan because it might have unlimited protection.
- Keep your business assets separate from your personal assets. If your company runs into a problem, your personal assets might not be at risk.