What happens if someone sues you? Whether it’s for personal reasons like a slip and fall injury on your property or a claim against a business forced as as sole proprietorship, a suit like this can have serious consequences for your future.
Taking action only once someone has lodged a suit limits what you can really protect. At that point, exposed assets may be up for the taking. However, with some advanced strategies known as asset protection planning, you might be able to safeguard some of your wealth.
Asset protection planning is not just for the wealthy. Anyone in any income category could be sued or suffer significant consequences when a creditor pursues you. You must be proactive in order to properly protect your assets. After someone is hurt on your property and intends to sue you, or if you’re at fault in a serious car accident is too late to take asset protection planning steps.
An asset protection plan can be put in place by anyone, but certain groups of people may find the best benefits of creating an asset protection plan. These include:
- Anyone whose profession has a high possibility of liability, such as attorneys and physicians.
- Homeowners who are underwater on a mortgage.
- Anyone who has a recurring and significant amount of credit card debt.
- Anyone who has a substantial amount of assets.
Since there’s a lot at stake with asset protection planning, it’s well worth doing some research in advance to determine what’s in your best interests and which strategies are best aligned to possible risks.
While not all assets are within the reach of your creditors, like retirement accounts protected by ERISA, you may want to discuss a range of asset protection planning strategies with an experienced and qualified estate planning lawyer.