Common Sense Asset Protection


I was at the dentist a while back after having lost some weight. My dentist, who only sees me every 6 months, noticed and asked “how’d you do it?”. I answered “diet and exercise”, he immediately yelled “DANG!”. Everyone wants a magic fix, a secret short-cut they can use to accomplish goals. Sorry for the bad news, but there is simply no substitute for hard-work, discipline, patience and common sense. That applies to legal asset protection and estate planning.


Estate planning will not hide assets from creditors. People will come to my office wanting a living trust “so I can’t get sued”.  It just doesn’t work that way. You can protect assets that pass to your children from their creditors with a trust but not assets that you already own. Some very smart attorneys recommend expensive and elaborate plans with complex asset containers to protect wealth. That may be of use to the extremely wealthy or those in high risk professions but the moderately wealthy, like you, just need common sense.


Think about it. The probability of you getting sued, losing and having the judgment exceed your insurance coverage is extremely low. Any one of those three things is unlikely (unless you’re a reckless wrong doer). The chance of all three of those things happening is infinitesimal. The probability that you will become disabled or die is 100%. Focus on estate planning and the inevitable not the highly improbable. The best asset protection plan is plenty of liability insurance, common sense and a good basic estate plan.


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