Orange County Asset Protection Attorney
You have spent your entire life building your business and acquiring assets; it is critical that you are proactive in securing them. Unexpected events—including lawsuits, divorce, or creditor claims—can suddenly wipe out your life’s savings and possessions. An Orange County asset protection attorney can help you preserve your wealth, ensuring that you have peace of mind.
What Is Asset Protection Planning?
Asset protection planning is a preventive legal strategy for safeguarding your assets against creditors, lawsuits, taxation, and other potential losses. A comprehensive plan entails a set of legal strategies that can help avoid devastating losses. Furthermore, it can protect you from losing your business entirely.
Creating a limited liability company (LLC) and/or an asset protection trust and taking advantage of state and federal exemptions are just a few options. Some plans involve overseas components in foreign jurisdictions with more protective legislation.
Asset Protection Strategies
Below are three common legal strategies for protecting your assets against lawsuits.
LLC laws prohibit creditors from seizing your company or its assets. A creditor maintains the right to collect money due, and a court can order a lien—known as a charging order—in which a portion of incoming funds will be paid to the creditor, similar in process to garnished wages. This allows you to pay back any owed money without fear of losing your business.
Asset Protection Trusts
This is the most beneficial option for professionals and business owners whose personal wealth makes them particularly vulnerable to lawsuits that put their assets at risk. Asset protection trusts are a type of irrevocable trust, meaning that only the beneficiaries can make changes to the trust. You serve as the trustee and benefactor of this trust, which holds assets such as property, equities, bonds, cash, valuables, and automobiles discreetly. They can be either domestic (in certain states) or established overseas. Furthermore, when shielding your assets against a marital separation, you may elect to adopt an asset protection trust rather than a prenuptial arrangement.
When you need comprehensive insurance, umbrella policies are your answer. Your umbrella coverage will activate after your other insurance policies have been exhausted. For example, if someone trips and falls in your building, your liability insurance will only cover so much, and then your umbrella policy will come into effect, thereby protecting your assets from being liquidated.
What Level of Protection Do You Need?
Below is a list of six levels of asset protection:
- Insurance: Consider purchasing an umbrella policy in addition to your homeowner’s, liability, medical malpractice, and other policies.
- Exemptions: Some assets are automatically exempt from seizure under state and federal law.
- Estate Planning: Update your will, living trust, and powers of attorney. Ensure that these documents agree with each other so that your estate does not have to go through probate.
- LLCs and Other Limited Liability Entities: As discussed above, an LLC protects your business and assets from being seized by creditors. Instead, any earnings due to the LLC could be garnished through a charging order.
- Spendthrift Clause: California does not currently allow for domestic asset protection trusts (DAPTs) in its legislature. There are currently only 16 states that allow for DAPTs. However, incorporating a spendthrift clause in your irrevocable trust, which names your children as the beneficiaries, prevents your assets from being available to creditors.
- Offshore Asset Protection Trusts: Residing outside of US court jurisdiction, assets held in offshore asset protection trusts are held in the highest level of protection.
How an Orange County Asset Protection Attorney Can Help
Being well-versed in asset protection laws is essential for efficiently safeguarding your wealth. This includes subjects like property ownership, wills, inheritance, taxation, and trusts. Your Orange County asset protection lawyer will educate you on the essentials of how you can protect your possessions against creditors and lawsuits.
As part of establishing your asset protection plan, a skilled attorney will identify your long- and short-term objectives. They will counsel you on any property-related concerns, particularly those that may arise if you pass away or become disabled. Your lawyer will also aid you in putting together an asset protection strategy that is tailored to your specific investment goals.
Finding the Best Orange County Asset Protection Attorney
As a business owner, you need to ensure that your business and assets are protected in the event that the unthinkable happens. If someone files a lawsuit, such as a premises liability claim, or a disgruntled business partner attempts to sweep the rug out from under you, it’s important to be prepared. You need an Orange County asset protection lawyer who has vast experience in asset protection strategies. Call today to book your planning session so we can address your concerns and your goals for the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I protect my assets in California?
The first step is making sure that you are adequately insured and have a solid estate plan in place. Next, you should contact a law firm specializing in asset protection in order to safeguard your business and your assets.
What is the best asset protection strategy?
Each case is different, depending on your assets. A small business owner will not have the same requirements as someone who owns a large corporation. The best asset protection strategy is the one you devise with your lawyer, who may suggest ideas that you may not have otherwise considered. An expert in asset protection is a vital ally for any business owner.
Do I need a lawyer to protect my assets?
While many elements of asset protection can be established on your own, it is crucial to consult with an Orange County asset protection attorney to ensure that you are meeting all of the legal requirements and addressing any potential holes in your planning. It would be devastating to be blindsided by litigation that liquidated your assets due to an oversight in your asset protection plan. A skilled asset protection lawyer will provide you with a thorough, comprehensive asset protection strategy so that you can rest easy, knowing that your business is in safe hands.