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Asset Protection

Asset protection planning is essential for families with members in high risk occupations such as doctors, dentists, engineers, lawyers, and other professionals. Asset protection is also a very important consideration for families that have significant wealth and are often the target of lawsuits due to deep pockets. Sadly, too many people are unaware of strategies and tools that can be implemented to safeguard family wealth.

Asset protection planning should be done well in advance of any lawsuits or creditor problems and should never be used to hide property in order to avoid paying what is owed. However, if properly done, a comprehensive plan can be created to withstand the toughest legal storms. Without protection, assets built up over a lifetime can be quickly lost to life events such as:

Often, the best techniques for protecting assets are the most well-known because such techniques have been tested and found to work. Some of the most simple but effective methods of asset protection include purchasing insurance, setting up a limited liability company for your business, or segregating risky and non-risky assets into different companies.

Trusts can also be an important part of asset protection. Parents who are hesitant to give children outright inheritance often decide to have assets placed in trust to safeguard against creditors, predators, and divorcing spouses. These can also be designed to protect the assets against the children themselves, which can be vitally important if a child is irresponsible with money or has a substance abuse problem.

In May 2013, the Utah legislature passed a new asset protection trust statute. Under this law, a person can set aside money for their own benefit and have it protected against creditors so long as certain requirements are met. This tool has become increasingly popular for Utah residence seeking protection of their home and other valuable assets.

For families and individuals with international ties, offshore solutions can be important. Foreign countries such as the Cook Islands and St. Kitts & Nevis have business entity and trust laws that are made primarily for asset protection. Elliot is licensed in Utah, but Elliot has the contacts, resources and knowledge necessary to provide solutions to his clients in these jurisdictions when appropriate.