Basic steps to keep your assets when claims are made against you.
Modern day asset-threatening scenarios are far ranging.
It may be you just need a safe haven for your wealth. You may have a target on your back from someone trying to come after you, such as a liability claim involving a former business partner, a patient, a creditor, or a spouse.
That’s why when you have built a strong investment portfolio, you must NEVER let your guard down!
Let’s examine some of the precautions that savvy investors use to keep their assets safe.
First and foremost, keep everything above-board!
There’s no real benefit to be gained from “hiding” your assets from creditors, frankly the risk is not worth the effort.
Pre-planning is crucial.
Asset protection strategies after a claim usually backfire.
The steps you take now will be the most beneficial to you later. Once a liability claim is filed against you, anything you do AFTER that could result in a fraudulent transfer claim. Therefore, it’s important to have all your ducks in a row as soon as possible.
It’s not an alternative for insurance
Remember too, asset protection planning is not an insurance policy. You must maintain your insurance (i.e., for medical or legal malpractice) as well as protecting your assets from repossession. If you are sued professionally, just let your insurance company handle it.
Always keep your business and personal assets apart
Always keep your personal assets separate from your professional assets. Put personal assets in a trust because trust assets are protected by law. Business assets should show your operation’s expenses and revenues as a corporation, or partnership/LLC (limited liability company).
Estate planning is a minefield
Be careful about estate-planning. Consult with your professional wealth strategists about asset protection vs. estate planning. Your instinct tells you to make “gifts” to your children/heirs, but it’s important to make sure “gifts” don’t appear to be ”fraudulent transfers.” Homestead exemptions are another asset protection strategy that might work against you because it caps the value of your home.
Get your ducks in a row
You should have everything recorded, registered and trackable. Your paperwork should be honest, legal and verifiable. Keep it all in one place and know what it says and means. If you look clueless during an investigation it is generally seen as a guilty sign. It might cause a judge to wonder what you’re hiding. Secrecy is a bad thing (think: perjury/fraud) and full disclosure is a good thing. In fact, full disclosure is the RIGHT thing. Always remember the maxim covering asset protection, “If you can’t explain it, it will never work.”
Consider tangible assets
Rare stamps and coins have been popular alternative assets for years because these assets do not respond to the whims of traditional markets, central banks or large financial institutions. These assets derive their value from a strong and entrenched collector base. Now there is another class of tangible asset that is proving highly desirable to discerning portfolio holders who appreciate diversification.
Rare strategic metals (RSMs) can combat inflation better than gold, provide growth stability better than silver, and dodge government (tax) liabilities. RSMs are vital to 95% of the manufacturing of established products today, and to the emerging technologies of tomorrow.
Without RSMs, the world would be without modern land, sea and air transportation, computers, cell phones, iPods, LCD monitors, surgical lasers, jet engines, cosmetics, medicines, ointments and creams, even the clothing you are currently wearing. (To see what a world without metals would look like, check out this interesting video.)
The world has seen a dramatic increase in the use of rare strategic metals in modern, leading edge technology over the past decade. Industrial demand continues to exceed the metal production. This factor both creates their intrinsic value and explains why the price of these metals should continue to increase well into the first quarter of the 21st Century. The recently increased demand has strained supply, and there is a growing concern that the world may soon be faced with a shortage of the materials.
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