How does one protect their assets? There are several avenues one may use for asset protection. The “poor man’s” asset protection involves transferring personal accounts and assets into a trusted family member or friend’s name. This is usually done for short-term assets that will be depleted in a short period of time. An example is a man who owes child support receives several thousand dollars as a lawsuit settlement. He signs the check over to his brother, and it is deposited in the brother’s account. He then spends the money from his brother’s account, and his ex wife is unable to access that money.
More sophisticated forms of asset protection are available in two forms. They are domestic and offshore asset protection. Domestic asset protection for business owners includes setting up corporations. Corporations separate your business liabilities from your personal assets. If one is sued their personal property is protected, only their business assets may be seized.
There are several types of corporations, but the most protective is a Nevada corporation. The most important thing to know about being sued is that the plaintiff’s lawyer will do an asset search on you. They will first turn to tax records to see what you own and pay taxes on.
Many business owners set up a Nevada corporation because Nevada is a tax-free state. There is no personal, franchise, corporate, stock, estate, gift, inventory or inheritance tax. Thus Nevada does not report any income (asset) to the Internal Revenue Service. Also Nevada protects business owners from personal liability against acts committed by their corporation.
A more sophisticated corporation is an offshore corporation. By setting up an offshore corporation, you form an entity to hold your assets, but only you know who the beneficial owner is. When doing business offshore a business representative is selected, but you retain control and all of the profits. Thus your business dealings are done anonymously. Lawyers and asset searchers will be unable to locate your assets. And if your assets are located they are still protected. United State’s judgments are not recognized in offshore courts.
Offshore bank accounts and lock boxes are also popular because US asset searchers and lawyers can’t trace them. The wealthy have employed offshore account usage for decades. We are all familiar with the “Swiss bank account.” This is an offshore option of storing money as well as tangible assets. Often people will invest in diamonds (or any type of gemstone) and have them held offshore, as insurance. If they fall victim to financial ruin, they can retrieve their gems, sell them and start anew.
The elderly population has turned to asset protection so that they qualify for Medicaid insurance without turning over their life savings to their state. Traditionally, one is not allowed to have more than fifteen hundred to two thousand dollars in their accounts to qualify for Medicaid. Three years or more prior to their anticipated Medicaid application initiation, they will transfer their money to a trusted family member.
As with any legal matter, it is important to consult a lawyer or professional asset protection manager. But with proper advice you can be sure that in litigation you won't literally lose your shirt!
What is asset protection?
Did You Know? Asset protection is the process by which one takes steps to prevent the risk of their assets being accessed and seized by creditors and/or claimants.
Asset protection is the process by which one takes steps to prevent the risk of their personal and/or professional assets being accessed and seized by creditors and/or claimants. Assets include bank accounts
, investments, real estate and more. The process is used everyone from the working class to billionaires. Naturally, the more assets one has, the more concerned they are with protecting their assets.
Asset protection is a fundamental step taken by professionals and entrepreneurs. They are at high risk of being professionally sued, thus their professional as well as personal assets are at risk of being seized in a judgment.