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Atlanta Asset Protection Lawyer : 5 Strategies to Protect Your Treasures

Atlanta Asset Protection Lawyer : 5 Strategies to Protect Your Treasures

It is an unfortunate fact of life that lawsuits are generally brought against those who have “deep pockets.” Litigators don’t want to go through the time and cost of a drawn-out trial if there is no money to be made; hence, large lawsuits are typically only filed against those individuals who have a significant amount of money out in the open. The following are five of the best strategies that Atlanta asset protection lawyers use to shield their clients from lawsuits.

Create an Asset Protection Trust

Atlanta asset protection attorneys often advise their clients about creating an asset protection trust as a means to shield their assets from divorce, bankruptcy, the government, and litigation. Transferring ownership of your assets to an irrevocable trust can protect you from many of these dangers, however asset protection trusts may actually cause you to have less control over your assets. We suggest speaking with an Atlanta asset protection attorney to determine whether an asset protection trust is viable in your situation.

Create an LLC or Corporation

Small business owners, landlords, and freelancers may often find themselves held personally liable if something goes wrong in their business. This is why Atlanta asset protection lawyers suggest setting up an LLC or Corporation to shield personal assets from any legal attacks on your business. By having one of these structures in place, a person suing you may only attack assets held within the business and not any that are held personally by you.

Set High Limits on Liability Insurance

If you are in line to receive an inheritance or windfall, you’ll want to consider increasing the limits on your personal liability insurance. Atlanta asset protection lawyers typically advise that your liability insurance limit match the amount of your net-worth, but it’s important to discuss the matter with an asset protection attorney in order to accurately determine the state of your current financial situation.

Keep Your Assets Separate

Atlanta asset protection lawyers ask you to consider the fact that when you put money into a joint account, the other person (or persons) named on the account will often automatically have ownership over equal amounts of that money. In addition, when you pass away, the funds held in the joint account may be passed directly to that person(s) outside of your will or trust. Please consider these facts when placing large amounts of money into joint accounts, and consult with an Atlanta asset protection lawyer if you have questions about the consequences of commingling accounts.

Plan Early

It is never too early to plan, but it is sometimes too late. This is especially true if you are being sued and you try to protect assets, as courts will often disallow transfers that reduce your financial liability during a financial crisis.  Atlanta asset protection lawyers also want you to keep in mind that in case you plan on applying for any type of government benefits, there are typically look back periods that may penalize asset protection transfers made within a certain timeframe.

If you have any questions about asset protection strategies, please contact us at 770.425.6060 to set up a Georgia Family Treasures Planning Session at no charge.

Physicians Should Consider Asset Protection Planning with a Georgia Estate Planning Attorney

doctor and family

As medical malpractice claims continue to rise in the US, more physicians than ever are turning to asset protection strategies to help them avoid financial catastrophe in the face of a malpractice lawsuit.

While nearly every physician is at risk for a lawsuit, there are some doctors who experience legal claims more than most.  3 of the most at-risk medical professions for lawsuits include obstetrics, neurosurgery, and radiology.

The reasons for the high percentage of medical claims in these fields are varied and complicated, but it often boils down to the rate of risk associated with these areas, rather than with lack of skill or professionalism on the part of the physician.  Of course, there is case of frivolous lawsuits as well.

Whether a lawsuit against a physician is well-founded or not, it can still cost an incredible amount of time, effort, and money.  While it may help to reevaluate laws regarding malpractice litigation, there are more immediate things that doctors can do to protect themselves, and their personal assets, if a lawsuit is filed.

Traditionally, physicians have attempted to protect their assets by setting up living trusts and even placing their property in another person’s name. Now, however, physicians may find the asset protection vehicle they are looking for in a Family Limited Partnership.

Originally created in the early 20th century, the Family Limited Partnership was intended to protect family assets and even to provide tax benefits.  It has since evolved into a useful tool for use by physicians who may face lawsuits.

A qualified attorney who is well-versed in the Family Limited Partnership and how it applies here in Atlanta will assist and advise the medical professional on how to set up a structure similar to a family business.  Other individuals in the family can be included as general partners.  Once property is properly placed into this type of partnership, it generally will not be eligible for use to pay off a lawsuit.

It is necessary that the Family Limited Partnership be meticulously planned and worded, which is why it is especially important to work with an attorney who fully understands how to craft the partnership as it pertains to a physician’s family and unique risks.  Choosing an attorney who understands this approach to asset protection and how it affects physicians in Atlanta provides new options that many doctors have not been afforded before.

If you are a physician interested in protecting yourself and your personal assets from lawsuits, call our Atlanta asset protection lawyers at 770-425-6060 and ask to schedule a complimentary Georgia Family Treasures Planning Session with the mention of this article.

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