Winning Asset Protection Strategies
By Robert J. Mintz
Copyright 1997 Francis O'Brien & Sons Publishing Company
Building and Protecting Family Wealth
Developing a successful financial plan to provide for your children's education and for your financial security requires two key ingredients.
First, you must create a program for Building Family Wealth. That means utilizing available savings and investment strategies to accumulate investment capital and then managing your funds in the most efficient and productive manner. Techniques for accomplishing these objectives have always been the centerpiece of traditional financial planning. Books, magazines, television Shows and daily seminars offer an abundance of advice on a variety of savings and investment vehicles such as mutual funds, annuities, IRA's and 401K plans.
The second ingredient of every successful financial plan is a program for Protecting Family
Strategies for Protecting Family Wealth, known as Asset Protection, are designed to address particular dangers which pose a threat to the financial security of your family. These dangers primarily lawsuits and claims against you which can arise from many possible sources.
The Lawsuit Danger
More than nineteen million lawsuits are filed in this country every year. Millions of people lose everything they own because of business problems, medical bills, divorce, IRS disputes, accidents and a host of other financial disasters. Additionally, anyone who has retirement savings is an attractive and visible target for frivolous lawsuits directed at "deep pocket" defendants.
• Business owners face a constant threat of lawsuits from employees, lenders, customers, suppliers, landlords, competitors, partners and Government agencies.
• Property owners are endangered by potential lawsuits from tenants, visitors, lenders and buyers.
• Attorneys, physicians, dentists, architects, CPA's, engineers, real-estate brokers, contractors and all other professionals are concerned with litigation arising from malpractice claims and business disputes.
• Anyone who has accumulated a nest-egg for retirement can be confronted with lawsuits from auto accidents, a child's negligence, unforeseen medical expenses and disgruntled family members.
A lawsuit from any one of these sources, justified or not, can easily wipe out a lifetime's worth of work and savings. Ask yourself what would happen if you lost everything you own. Are you prepared to start all over again?
For most people the answer is certainly no. And that's why a sound financial and business plan always incorporates essential asset protection features.
The Advantages of Asset Protection
A properly designed Asset Protection Program can accomplish many of your most important objectives:
• Protection of family savings and investments from lawsuits and claims.
• Insulation of` rental properties: to reduce your exposure to potential lawsuits.
• Protection of business holdings from potential claims.
• Elimination of probate.
• Reduction of estate taxes.
• Reduction of income and capital gains taxes.
Asset Protection Strategies
There are five important asset protection vehicles which can be used individually or in combination based upon your particular circumstances:
1. The Family Limited Partnership.
2. The Family Savings LLC.
3. The Personal Residence Trust.
4. The Asset Protection Trust
5. The International LLC.