Anyone who has made a substantial amount of wealth throughout their career should consider an asset protection plan. Whether the wealth is earned from the white collar and blue collar worlds, or through self employment, nobody wants to work hard for their money and watch it slip through their fingers.
Through asset protection planning, you ensure that you don’t lose your most valuable property. You will find that asset protection planning takes early planning and proper guidance to meet the objective of taking the chips off of the table so that if bad times hit, you can walk away less scathed.
Statistically, lawsuits are on the rise for attorneys, medical doctors, dentists, parents, business owners and beyond, which means the need for asset protection is on the rise as well. People are realizing insurance policies are not enough.
Though those who worry the most about asset protection are the ones that are more likely to be sued, everyday people can get themselves in a difficult set of circumstances where they need a plan. If there’s something that can be lost, asset protection should definitely be something that you think about. It’s not only the super-wealthy who get sued. If you and your family own assets, you should look into a protection plan.
WHAT IS ASSET PROTECTION?
Why make an asset protection plan? There are many reasons you should make a plan, mainly involving keeping your property safe in the event that someone wins a lawsuit against you. To avoid this, asset protection planning is key. This means taking assets and putting them out of reach of creditors, turning nonexempt assets into exempt assets.
On the debtor’s side of the creditor-debtor law, sits asset protection. While the creditor is concerned with strategies for collecting, debtors are working diligently to protect their most valuable assets.
To some, the act of asset protection sounds immoral. Shouldn’t one pay a debt that they owe?
With proper guidance, asset protection can take place completely legally and ethically. This can be a tricky field to play so advisors need to be knowledgeable about debtor and creditor law, fraudulent transfers, tax planning, civil litigation, property laws, bankruptcy, and other related areas of law.
It’s not about keeping secrets or defraud creditors. The goal is to provide an incentive for settling a claim, improve a debtor’s bargaining position, offer options when a claim is asserted and deter litigation.
Another way to see asset protection is not only protecting your wealth, the plan is also in place to make sure you don’t get in more trouble for contempt or bankruptcy fraud.
Many protection plans include offshore trusts. When choosing an offshore asset protection plan, you can take advantage of some of the best laws in the world. Creditors who are after your money will run into numerous roadblocks. By going offshore you can also use the foreign jurisdiction statutes that get you strong protection.
Alpen Partners is working with the leading tax and legal specialists around the world to advise its clients on the best structure to protect their assets. This typically involves setting up one or several companies or trusts and depositing the assets at one of the Swiss banks we work with, either in Switzerland or in one of the other jurisdictions where our partner banks have banking centers.
Working with these specialists, Alpen Partners has developed a strong expertise in offering asset protection strategies for clients from various industries. Our clients include public company executives, physicians/surgeons and business vendors close to retirement, all of whom typically don’t know of any potential creditors as of today but simply do not want to worry for their future finances.
HOW DO I MAKE A PLAN?
The perfect, universal asset protection system doesn’t exist so it’s important to think about the goals and needs and, most importantly, to use common sense. When looking at your short term and long term goals you will discover important figures such as your current and future income, how much you will need to retire, and how much you want to pass down to you heirs.
With this information, the correct protection plan can be formed.
Examining your assets is the next step following determining your financial goals. Review which assets are exempt and which are not, moving those that are not to become exempt. This plan can also help with any assets that you plan on obtaining and protecting in the future.
With the help of an expert, you will be able to understand your situation, needs, and risks. Protection plans are constructed to cater to individual or family needs. With Alpen Partners, you can talk to experts to evaluate your needs and come up with the strongest plans.
In the recent years, Alpen Partners has gained a large number of clients who had the right asset protection structures but did not seek the appropriate professional advice to protect their capital. Our investment strategy is well suited to achieve the objective of capital protection as we want to achieve positive absolute returns in all circumstances. For example, we have set up investment portfolios that are 100% capital protected for our most conservative clients.
WHEN SHOULD I PROTECT MY ASSETS?
Due to laws protecting judgement creditors against those who want to defraud a creditor, asset protection must begin long before any sign of lawsuit. If not, a court may conclude that the transfers were done in a fraudulent manner and the assets should therefore be turned over to the creditor.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is start planning once the lawsuit starts. Asset protection is a long term plan that can’t be done quickly or used as a temporary fix. You can actually make things worse by attempting asset planning after a lawsuit arises. If caught making a fraudulent transfer, the debtor and whoever assisted them can become liable for the creditor’s attorney fees and lose any hope of getting a discharge in the bankruptcy.