Protecting your assets
If you woke up and found a process server at your door with an unexpected lawsuit in his hand, would you be facing the possible loss of your life savings? Or, are your assets protected?
Protecting your assets was once reserved for the elite. Many people don’t even know what the words “protecting your assets” really mean. But that’s quickly changing. The Internet is bringing this phenomenon, just as it has so many others, to the masses, with the website of JoshBennett.com, a leader in legal cyberspace. While no one can be completely “judgment proof,” this site will show you how protect yourself as much as possible.
According to Josh Bennett, an estate and asset protection planning expert who is licensed to practice in Florida, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia, protecting your assets means shielding assets from creditors and lawsuits. It’s a simple matter of being responsible for your wealth. The alternative is to risk that a careless business decision, traffic accident, or the filing of a frivolous lawsuit against you will deprive you and your family of all the money you have spent a lifetime saving. Is that a risk you want to take?
Protect Yourself from Lawsuits
Just about anyone can be sued. Civil lawsuits are rising all over the country. The possibility of riches, along with a growing attitude of wanting to make others take responsibility for one’s own actions, appear to have triggered this rise, according to Josh Bennett. A perfect example is the golfer who parks his cart without setting the brake and is pinned by the very cart he left to roll. He then sues—successfully!—the manufacturer for faulty brakes. Even if someone else is driving your car, you, as the owner of the car, can be sued in the event of an accident, even if you are not present at the accident itself.
Insurance Isn’t Always Enough
While many professionals, businesses, and individuals carry some form of liability or malpractice insurance, this does not completely protect you. Neither does it offer anywhere near as much protection for you as comprehensive asset protection. Did you know that you could be sued well past the limits of your insurance? Even with a million-dollar umbrella policy, if you lose a $10 million lawsuit, you will owe the additional $9 million out of your own pocket. Can you afford that?
Also, insurance doesn’t protect you if, say, you have personally guaranteed a business loan and that business fails. It doesn’t protect you if you are accused of gross negligence or recklessness. Do you still think insurance has got you covered?
Asset Protection vs. Liability Insurance
Liability insurance doesn’t prevent you from being sued. In fact, knowing that you have insurance coverage may actually encourage people to file lawsuits against you, because it indicates that you can pay them lots of money if they win in court. Worse, those filers will often shrug at the amount they file for, assuming insurance will cover it and it won’t cost you a dime. But that’s not true!
Conversely, properly protecting your assets at the outset can actually prevent others from filing a lawsuit against you. With properly protected assets, an opposing attorney will often refuse to take any case against you because it is unlikely that they will be able to collect in the end. Most of these cases work on a contingency fee basis (the lawyer gets paid if and only if the client collects). As a result, if your assets are protected, a case such as this is distinctly unattractive. Unlike insurance, which attracts lawsuits, asset protection holds lawsuits at bay.
Liability insurance can also be more expensive than proper asset protection. Proper asset protection is like preventive medical care, often far cheaper than the treatment required to cure an illness once contracted. Proper asset protection often allows people to reduce or eliminate their liability insurance coverage.
Asset Protection Utilizing Offshore Trusts
There are a number of ways to protect your assets from creditors and lawsuits. And, they are perfectly legal when planned by someone experienced in the field.
Generally, in order to even attempt to get one’s hands on assets protected by these types of legal offshore trusts, one would need to hire a lawyer in the country in which the trusts are established (where it is illegal for a lawyer to work on a contingency fee). They must then convince a court in that country that it has the authority to hear the case filed against them, even though the case involves conduct that occurred in the United States. If they succeed and the case proceeds, the person who filed the lawsuit will still have to contend with foreign laws that forbid the court from awarding them any of the money in the trusts. Because it is so difficult, if not impossible, to get this money, very few people bother to try. Instead, they’ll likely try to go after someone else, and may be very happy to accept even the smallest settlement offer.
As a rule, the only way an offshore trust can fail to help protect assets is when the beneficiary waits to set up the trust until after someone is already in pursuit of their money. But, as long as the trust is set up well in advance of any such dispute, the trust beneficiary should be able to protect their assets.
The Typical Asset Protection Candidate
Anyone with $250,000 or more in assets is the typical client. If that seems like a lot, it really isn’t, once you calculate all your assets. To begin protecting your assets, call today to set up an appointment with Josh Bennett or another qualified legal professional to learn more.