What to Ask Your Asset Protection Lawyer
There are many financial planners who will charge you the big fees to create an asset protection plan. But The most important question to ask is whether they have the resolve and experience to back it up. What if it’s challenged by your creditors? Will your lawyer go to court for you? Similarly to football, it’s not enough to have good offense. You must be able to play defense as well. Here are ways that we engage in what we call “red zone” planning at MFWBH.
Timing is vital
- A plan that is implemented when the “wolves are already at the gate” is usually ineffective. Proper asset protection planning is undertaken way before the proverbial you-know-what hits the fan, but even late in the game…there are still ways to create hurdles to a creditor accessing your wealth. Keep in mind that the later in the game, the higher the risks.
Simple is better
- A plan should not be so complicated that you do not understand how it works.
- The better you understand it, the higher its prospects for success.
- Keep in mind that no plan is without risks.
Asset Protection Plans often require a team
Sometimes good planning requires assistance from tax advisors, attorneys and/or trust professionals. It is one thing to “buy” an asset protection product from someone claiming to have a foolproof package; it is quite another to know that your overall plan includes a team member who has the skill and experience to defend the product from attack, including in a court of law. If your plan is under siege, having an attorney who understands every nuance of the product and every legal issue involved in preserving its sanctity is a necessity. You need someone who will be at your side in the face of a legal challenge.
Offshore is not a dirty word
There are several ways to utilize foreign jurisdictions to preserve your wealth, but be wary of those who have you turning over assets to strangers in strange lands. Legitimate plans do not place control of your assets in the hands of parties you do not know. Use a planner who has true relationships with international professionals, who can clearly explain the legalities and mechanics of the foreign laws and programs, and who can give you a sense of security rather than foreboding.
Tax-Neutral Full-Disclosure Asset Protection Planning is our Mantra
We do not engage in planning designed to evade taxes, as there is no more formidable foe than the U.S. Government. Nor would we ever put our clients in a position to perjure themselves, or create fraudulent disclosures. There is no need for it. Legitimate asset protection plans involve the safe harboring of fully visible vehicles.
We encourage you to make an appointment to discuss your options.
It is not enough to simply be proficient in creating an asset protection plan. The preparer has to be in in a position to stand behind that plan and to have the skills and resources to defend it and see it through. At MFWBH, we offer not only the experience, products and resources to enable us to create viable asset protection plans, but also the litigation skills to successfully put our money where our mouth is.