I know a very bright and courageous entrepreneur who is trying to do Asset Protection, but they are being taken advantage of. Unfortunately, this very bright person has bought into the “seminar circuit” and has attended seminars by a national speaker who travels and hits some high points, tells some horror stories about asset protection and about lawsuits, and uses that to sell books or CDs. Many of these are do-it-yourself books with fill-in-the-blank type forms. This won’t work! Remember the April 25 Forbes Magazine article about Estate Planning: the number two mistake people make after the first mistake of “not having an estate plan” is “on-line do-it-yourself Estate Planning.”
I am not an engineer and, therefore, if you gave me some do-it-yourself schematics, I’m not going to be able to properly design the engineering system to operate a piece of machinery. Nor is an individual going to be able to take some fill-in-the-blank forms and be able to design out a proper Asset Protection plan.
Remember, the basic purpose of Asset Protection is to be able to protect your personal assets—your house, your investments, your savings, your furniture, etc.—in the event you are sued. People that are landlords and have tenants, real estate developers, and certain professions are more likely to create liability and be sued. If proper Asset Protection is done, then you are able to protect your personal assets from your liability creating assets. If it is not properly done, you have nothing!
It’s sad to see that this terrific person has been taken advantage of. We communicated after the fact and with one or two quick questions, I knew immediately that they did not have proper Asset Protection. When they told me about the seminar speaker and the sale of his books and CDs (most of which consisted of do-it-yourself forms), I knew my friend had been had.
All of this is fixable. You can always get it done correctly up until the time you are sued. Often, even after you create the liability. However, once you do create the liability or have been sued, it may be too late.
Make sure that you have a well qualified Estate Planning and Asset Protection Attorney do the proper work. Make sure they are trained by the best professionals in the United States. Only those that are continuously learning and updating their legal knowledge and abilities are able to stay on the forefront of the ever changing Asset Protection landscape.
At the Law Firm of Steven Andrew Jackson, Attorney and Counsellor at Law, we have helped hundreds of families protect themselves and their loved ones, avoid Estate Taxes and Probate Costs, and keep their Estate Plans current with the law through The Customized Protective Estate Planning Solution™.Tags: asset protection, estate planning, estate tax planning, lawsuits, Living Trust, planning, trust, will