I’m David Witter, founder and CEO of Financial Harvest Wealth Advisors in Winter Park, Florida,
How Do I Protect My Assets From Being Unjustly Taken
A common question we get is, “Hey David, how do we protect our assets from being unjustly taken, maybe from litigation or catastrophic loss?” And what I always start with is the timing for asset protection is actually before any litigation comes against you. That usually will trigger people into immediate action if they don’t have the proper planning in place.
Protect Assets Before Litigation May Occur
So keep that in mind. It’s always better to have it done before, as opposed to after the litigation. With protecting your assets, I’m going to speak to three general areas that we work with clients on planning.
#1: Get Proper Insurance
The first one is proper insurance. If you ask an estate planning attorney and an asset protection attorney, they’ll tell you it’s less expensive to pay insurance premiums for proper liability insurance to protect you on the front end, as opposed to paying attorneys to defend you on the back end. So it’s best to have that liability protection in place.
#2: Proper Titling of Assets
Second thing, I would say, or second area is titling of assets. So Florida, as an example, is very unique for married couples. They still allow something called joint tenancy by the entirety. Few States still have that, but in Florida, it is available. And for married couples, it’s very useful and helpful in terms of protecting assets from individual liability towards one of the spouses. So that’s the second category, is titling of assets and making sure they’re all appropriate.
#3: Trust Planning, Limited Liability
And last but not least is, we call them entities or structures. So think of trust, planning, or limited liability companies, a little bit more complexity there, but one of the places we see is coming more common, is people that maybe have children, adult children, and maybe grandchildren.
And they’re like, “Hey, I’m really worried about when I pass my assets down, how do I protect it from liability?” And that’s where trust can come in, and making sure that it fulfills your intentions as well as keeps away that catastrophic in litigation.
Any questions? Talk with David Witter, founder and CEO of Financial Harvest Wealth Advisors in Winter Park, Florida.