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Asset Protection Planning: What’s Your Personal Liability?

October 30, 2019

Filed under: Estate Planning — Laura Pennington @ 9:15 am

You’ve purchased car insurance to give you peace of mind if you’re ever in an accident. Based on the same potential exposure risk, you also probably have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance to step in and protect you if an unexpected incident happens.

But over the course of your life, you can’t afford to let those be the only ways that you’re shielded from problems. Asset protection planning refers to the legal steps you can take to protect your wealth from outside attacks. Here are some of the ways that you could be exposed to personal liability issues worth considering as you create your asset protection plan:

  • Divorce: Your former spouse has insider knowledge about your finances, could be owed alimony or child support, or might even be entitled to part of your retirement plans under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order
  • Car accidents: If you cause an accident in an at-fault state with significant injuries associated with another person, it could be difficult for you to pay out an injury award.
  • Vicarious liability: If your employee or business partner is involved in a legal battle or accident, you could also be sued.
  • Perceived wealth: Certain professions, like physicians, tend to be the focus of litigation because of the perception that there’s plenty of wealth behind the person accused to pay out a lawsuit.

Although no one wants to think about the possibility of being sued in the future, it’s up to you to put a plan in place. Even the mere presence of an asset protection plan using trusts can show would-be creditors and litigants that it’s not worth the effort to pursue their claim in court. Your asset protection plan should be created with the help of an experienced lawyer who can create a custom roadmap based on your needs.

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