Protecting Your Assets And Your Loved Ones
From asset protection to wills and irrevocable trusts, having a comprehensive estate plan is necessary to protect yourself and your loved ones for the future.
Asset Protection for Professionals and Business Owners
Asset protection planning involves making prudent decisions today to protect yourself, your business, and your hard-earned assets from loss due to lawsuits, creditors, or bankruptcies. This type of legal planning is especially prudent for professionals and business owners, whose personal assets could be at risk due to the nature of their employment.
Statistically and anecdotally, there are staggering numbers of divorces, lawsuits, and bankruptcies. While no one believes lightning will strike them, wealth created through a lifetime of work, saving, and investing can be lost overnight if these forms of man-made lightning do strike. To protect your assets from such a disaster, proper risk management strategies should be given careful consideration. These strategies include exempting your assets from the claims of creditors, limiting your liability through legal entities, and transferring your risk through insurance. At the Estate Planning Law Group of Georgia, serving Gwinnett County and surrounding areas, we can help.
Let Us Help You With Your Asset Protection Needs.
Exempting Assets in Georgia
While business entities can limit business liability by preventing it from reaching your personal assets, they do not protect your business assets from personal liability. Trust planning can protect business assets from lawsuits and creditors attempting to attach business assets without sacrificing your ability to benefit from and control your business.
Once you have identified the protected asset classes available to you under applicable law, it may be prudent to maximize your protection by converting non-exempt assets into exempt assets.
Limiting Liability for Professionals & Business Owners
Many entrepreneurs operate their businesses as sole proprietors rather than through a legal entity, such as a Corporation or a Limited Liability Company. Whether their business is home-based or in the Fortune 500, these business owners are attracted by the informality of sole proprietorship. They do not want to incur legal fees to create and maintain a legal entity, even though by doing so may offer substantial risk management benefits.
While lawsuits brought against a sole proprietorship are really lawsuits against the owner’s personal assets, lawsuits against a properly created and maintained legal entity are really lawsuits against the entity’s assets. Nevertheless, the selection of an appropriate legal entity is critical for managing your risk.
Transferring Risk with Insurance
When was the last time you reviewed the details of your liability insurance program with your insurance professionals? Are your policies current? Are the coverage limits adequate and are the deductibles reasonable? Have you scrutinized the policies for loopholes? Remember: the fundamental philosophy of any insurance coverage is to pay a premium you can afford to transfer a risk you cannot afford. Take time to understand both the risks you have retained and the risks you have transferred.