Naturally, you want to protect your property from seizure by creditors as much as is reasonably possible. There are, however specific rules governing what you can and cannot do to achieve asset protection. In this article, a Nevada asset protection trust attorney addresses some of these.
Do’s and Don’ts
The following items can serve as a fairly broad-spectrum collection of actions you should take to keep your assets and property secure. There is, however, another side to asset protection. The laws are specific regarding what is or is not permitted and there is a definite line from which one leaves the area of legitimate protection of one’s property and crosses over into fraudulent transfer.
Do Plan Early
The best time to take steps towards asset protection is before you need it. By instituting measures while you are free to do so, with no claims in progress, you avoid a great deal of trouble afterwards. If you wait until there is a claim against you before you attempt to institute such measures, you could be setting yourself up to have the court reverse whatever action you took under the laws governing fraudulent transfer. You will be doing yourself very little good and much harm. In addition to the reversal of the action that was meant to protect your property, you and anyone who might have helped you will have legal costs to deal with and your chances of having the debt removed by filing bankruptcy are greatly diminished.
Do Obtain Liability and Professional Insurance
Any steps you take in asset protection planning should be done as a means of enhancing your insurance coverage. Never take the viewpoint that if you implement asset protection planning that it will be enough on its own. Insurance protects you and your property and, unlike asset protection plans, can include protection against legal costs if litigation is involved, and can enable you to avoid fears of fraudulent transfer claims. In such a case, your insurer is there to fight the battle for you.
Don’t Transfer Personal Assets Into Business Entities
If the assets you are trying to protect are personal, put them in a trust. If you try to hide personal assets under corporate entities or business organizations, you are simply asking for trouble. Use the proper vehicle depending on what you want to protect. Contact your Nevada asset protection trust lawyer for information and assistance concerning trusts and the laws that apply.
Do Ensure the Proper Level of Control
You are looking for a middle ground here. You want to retain power enough over your property to protect it, but you don’t want your creditors to be able to charge that you and your asset protection plan are a single entity.
Don’t Confuse Asset Protection Planning With Estate Planning
These are two different things. They can, at times, overlap and complement each other, but what works for one may not work for the other. You can, when you plan your estate, set up a gift for your heir. However, when setting up asset protection a gift can look very much like a fraudulent transfer and be subsequently challenged and undone in court. Know the boundaries or work with someone, such as an attorney skilled in such matters, who does.
Don’t Think That Offshore Accounts Are Inviolable
They aren’t. If you are ordered by the court to move any offshore funds to U.S. banks, you must do so or face charges of contempt of court. Don’t risk this. The court can and very likely will send you to jail.
Do Understand the Limits of Filing for Bankruptcy
Changes in bankruptcy laws can have a profound and harmful effect on asset protection plans such that your assets are by no means out of reach of creditors in a bankruptcy situation.
Do Understand Your Plan
Make sure you fully understand your asset plan so that you can explain it if you need to. You need to understand the disposition of those assets and the terms under which they were moved. Don’t allow your plan to be so completely convoluted that it doesn’t make sense even to you. After all, if you can’t make sense out of your plan, it will be difficult to convince a judge that all is as it should be.
Don’t Attempt to Hide Anything
Attempts to keep your asset protection plan secret are bound to fail. Things like that cannot be hidden forever, especially from creditors, if they can be hidden at all. Attempts to avoid full and truthful disclosure when filing for bankruptcy will only backfire on you, and deliberate concealment or falsehood can leave you open to fraud or perjury charges.
Call for Assistance or Advice
Let us help you with your asset protection plans. Contact Garret Sutton, your Nevada asset protection trust attorney, by calling 800-700-1430 today.