When you’ve worked hard to acquire significant wealth or successful business interests, you don’t want to lose your life’s work to legal or personal problems. Asset protection can help you preserve your assets and wealth to pass them on to loved ones. For years, individuals and families in New Jersey have turned to Bozanian McGregor LLC for experienced legal advice to navigate complex factual and legal issues. We have extensive experience and a track record of successful outcomes in our clients’ cases. As a boutique firm, we can provide personal attention and dedicated support to help you address your needs and goals. Contact us for an initial case review to discuss how asset protection strategies can give you and your family peace of mind.

Understanding Asset Protection

Asset protection refers to the strategies and legal planning techniques that can shield personal and business assets from seizure by creditors (such as lenders or judgment creditors), taxes, and unintended beneficiaries (such as former spouses or disinherited family members). Individuals and businesses in high-risk occupations and industries, such as professional services or consumer products manufacturing, may undertake asset protection planning to reduce the risk of liabilities. Individuals with high-net-worth or high-value assets may also use asset protection to preserve those assets or wealth and pass them on to loved ones after death. 

Risks to Your Assets

Asset protection planning can help you mitigate various risks to your personal and business assets, including:

  • Personal legal liabilities, such as liability in personal injury or professional negligence claims
  • Corporate liabilities, such as product liability or environmental claims
  • Unmanageable debts
  • Sudden massive expenses, such as medical bills to treat accident injuries or unexpected illness, or long-term care for disabilities
  • Family members facing financial or personal challenges, such as substantial debt, divorce, or substance abuse issues
  • Succession disputes in family businesses
  • Intra-family conflicts that estate litigation might exacerbate

Asset Protection Strategies

Bozanian McGregor LLC can help you explore the potential of asset protection strategies such as:

  • Homestead exemptions: If you need to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the federal homestead exemption protects a certain amount of your equity in your home. If you own less equity than the maximum limit of the homestead exemption, you may have the right to keep your home in bankruptcy. 
  • Trusts: Various kinds of trusts, including irrevocable trusts, Medicaid trusts, and spendthrift trusts, allow individuals and families to protect wealth from creditors and in the event of financial/personal emergencies or long-term disability. Trusts also enable families to pass down assets and wealth without the time and expense of probate. 
  • Limited liability entities: Limited liability entities, such as corporations, limited liability companies, and limited liability partnerships, may provide an option to protect high-value or complex assets, such as real estate, aircraft, and business ownership interests. Limited liability entities also enable families to manage family businesses efficiently through succession planning and buy-sell agreements. 
  • Insurance policies: Life insurance, long-term disability insurance, and annuities provide a means to protect assets while providing income or financial benefits, including in retirement or after suffering disability or death. Insurance can also provide a financial resource to satisfy liabilities in civil claims.
  • Offshore asset protection: Establishing trusts in certain countries can protect assets from judgments in other countries. However, as offshore asset protection trusts involve complex legal considerations, you will need the assistance of an experienced asset protection lawyer to determine whether an offshore asset protection trust will best serve your needs and to set up your trust correctly.
  • Estate planning: A comprehensive estate plan that utilizes planning tools like wills, trusts, and beneficiary designations can help you maximize the value of your estate and pass it to your loved ones with minimal time and expense. 
  • Retitling of assets: You might be able to secure real estate or other titled assets and pass them on to close family members without the need for probate by placing them in a joint tenancy or tenancy by the entirety. 

How an Asset Protection Attorney Can Help

Ready to set up an asset protection strategy? If so, an attorney can help you craft a tailored, effective strategy by:

  • Taking the time to get to know you, listen to your story, and understand your needs, goals, and concerns to identify the best asset protection tools to achieve your preferred outcomes
  • Utilizing their legal knowledge and experience to ensure that your asset protection strategies comply with applicable state and federal laws
  • Drafting the required paperwork to implement your chosen asset protection tools
  • Helping you update your asset protection strategy as your personal and family circumstances change, including the growth of family businesses, changes in net worth, divorce, the birth of children, or family members’ emergencies

Frequently Asked Questions About Asset Protection

Here are the answers to some of the common questions we often get from clients concerning asset protection strategies.

When should I start planning an asset protection strategy?

You should start considering an asset protection strategy as soon as you’ve acquired assets you want to protect from future potential liabilities. If you already have potential financial liabilities or legal issues, it may be too late for you to undertake asset protection planning.

Who needs an asset protection strategy?

Anyone who has acquired significant wealth or a high-value asset (even a personal residence) may want to consider planning ahead to protect those assets, especially if they don’t have a good answer to the question, “What happens if I get sued or targeted by creditors?’

Can I undertake asset protection planning while facing a lawsuit or other legal disputes?

When facing a lawsuit or potential financial liabilities, consult an experienced asset protection attorney before committing to any asset protection strategies. Transferring property to protect it from collection in a lawsuit or other legal proceeding may constitute a “fraudulent conveyance.” When a court finds that a person has made a fraudulent conveyance, it can order the person to recover the transferred assets so that a creditor can collect against it. 

Contact an Asset Protection Lawyer Today

Asset protection strategies can help you preserve your hard-earned wealth and give you the peace of mind that comes from proactive planning. An asset protection lawyer can review your needs and goals to identify effective strategies. Contact Bozanian McGregor LLC today for an initial consultation to speak with our legal team about your options and get the assistance you need to set up a tailored asset protection strategy.