Lawsuit Protection/Asset Protection
Personal and Professional Perspective and Experience
I have a protective nature. That nature, together with my 6.4 foot frame led me to be an offensive tackle in football and basketball center in high school. It also led me to becoming a lawyer as many lawyers view themselves as protecting their client’s interests. In my case, I first became a trial attorney where I helped my clients defend their assets in lawsuits. After 15 years of being a trial attorney I gained a lot of insight and witnessed first-hand how lawsuits can impact a business owner or professional’s assets and income. Lawsuits not only are a negative drain on your emotions and relationships, but can be a significant drain on the estate a person leaves to their family, charities and other beneficiaries.
It is this personal and professional perspective that led me to change the focus of my law practice to estate planning. I went back and retrained with the top attorneys in the country and have been practicing Estate Planning & Asset Protection exclusively for the past almost 25 years. I want to help my clients BEFORE lawsuits occur ….in a way that could potentially protect the things they have worked and paid for during their entire adult lives.
Having a lawsuit judgement used against a person to force the sale of their home or used to take their investment and bank accounts that they had worked for and saved for over decades is crushing. Our goal is to protect those hard worked for and hard earned assets from being lost in a lawsuit.
What is Lawsuit Protection and Asset Protection?
Separation of Business Liability from Personal Assets
Your goal in protecting what you own (assets) is to separate your business liability from your personal assets (real estate such as your home, your business, your income, your bank and investment accounts, and other valuables). In other words if there is liability created at your business, such as someone falling in your rental house, or suing your business or you for claimed poor work or product, you do not want them to be able to collect against your personal assets.
Independent and professional businesses are often subject to lawsuits. Physicians are often subject to lawsuits. Developers are often subject to lawsuits. Any business is subject to lawsuits. Any landlord is subject to lawsuits.
Separation of Personal Assets from Personal Liability
The goal can also be to safeguard personal assets from personal liability. Any individual who owns rental property can be subject to a lawsuit. Anyone who drives a vehicle is subject to a lawsuit. Anyone can be sued for anything.
We live in a litigious society. Juries are fickle and can be swayed. People are prejudiced in unperceivable ways that can be manipulated. One doesn’t want that to happen to them in a lawsuit. We work to make it so that if a lawsuit ends poorly for a client that not all of their assets can be seized and sold to pay off that Court Judgment. So that all is not lost from years of work & saving.
Ways to Protect
There are many ways to protect your personal assets from personal and business liability. For example, one should not hold a rental house in their own name. It should be held in some version of a Business Entity or Protective Trust. Just creating a Business Entity online will not give you Creditor Protection. That piece of real estate must be properly titled, bank accounts must be properly titled, and corporate formalities must be created and kept up to date. If they are not, then the person suing you goes right through that Business Entity like a hot knife through butter to collect against your personal assets.
There are other vehicles besides Business Entities that can be used for Asset Protection. They include Protective Trusts and other vehicles.
Make sure that any Asset Protection/Lawsuit Protection work done on your behalf is done by an experienced North Carolina Asset Protection Lawyer.
Create a Protective Barrier
The purpose of Asset Protection/Lawsuit Protection is to build a wall between your business or personal liability and your personal assets. If one does not have good Asset Protection/Lawsuit Protection in place, your personal savings, investments and other property are at risk.
There are a number of legal measures that can be taken to protect your assets in the event of a lawsuit. These are only a small portion of liability issues and ways to address them. Small business owners or professional providers (doctors, dentists, lawyers, builders, developers, etc.) should consider their business practice when creating their Estate Plans. My experiences as a trial attorney together with my 20+ years in Estate Planning make me uniquely qualified to address these issues. Call us if we can help.
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™.