Asset Protection Lawyer
An asset protection lawyer is the safest bet for Christians who wish to shield their property from creditors and civil judgments. Individuals do have many options available to them, including consultants, when setting up a protection plan. But an attorney may be the best person for the job. A legitimate asset protection plan uses legal techniques to safeguard property. Trusts, partnerships, off-shore trusts, and other tools are at an attorney's disposal. However, an attorney can only provide so much safety. Christians should always look toward the Lord for complete safety, protection, and guidance. The Almighty Lord is the armor and strength, whereas, the attorney is more like the bow or sword. And the Bible is quite clear on where trust should be placed. "For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me. But thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame. In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name forever." (Psalm 44: 6-8) Place trust in God. He alone can guide people through difficult times and offer adequate protection. Another Psalm says it is better to take refuge in God then to trust in man.
Obviously, a person in need of an asset protection lawyer believes he or she needs the services of one. Issues and concerns may have already arisen that warrant hiring an attorney. But, before beginning the search, remember what Ephesians says. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, and any other type of malice. If nothing else, doing all that will clear a person's head and allow them to conduct a search based on reason. A competent asset protection lawyer will skillfully guide their client through the intimidating and sometimes confusing legal system. This is important because asset protection is a serious legal issue, with heavy repercussions if the process is botched. There is a fine line between legitimate shielding and fraudulent actions. Some laws permit protection of assets to protect individuals and businesses from devastating loss. So, hiring the right lawyer goes a long way in reducing anxiety associated with the experience.
The hiring process is a journey in itself. Develop a plan before beginning a search of possible attorneys to hire by learning about shield laws. Keep in mind that lawyers have many specialties now-a-days, so finding and hiring the right one can be a daunting task. Hiring a generalist might work, but finding an asset protection lawyer with years of experience is a better option in most cases. However, experience doesn't necessarily make a good attorney. Begin by talking with people who have been involved in the legal system before. Legal experts agree that there are some definite do's and don'ts when hiring an attorney. Not surprisingly, knowing something about shielding laws will help make choosing the right lawyer easier and safer. Don't forget that the Lord never leaves a person on his or her own. Seek the Lord's help. And, as the Bible says, the Lord will see that a person can rest in peace and safety.
There is some debate about where to begin looking for an asset protection lawyer. Word of mouth is usually best. Online legal sites are valuable resources as well. Once one or more attorneys have been targeted, begin by looking at the attorney's biographical information. Either by word of mouth or from websites, find out as much as possible about the lawyers and their law firms. Check out their experience with asset protection planning. Surf the web under the attorney's and the law firm's name for pertinent information. Again, talk with other people and gather important information. Find others who can comment on the attorney's competence and trustworthiness. Also, make an inquiry at the state bar association. It's possible that this may be done online. The most important thing to do is to find out if the lawyer is in good standing. Check to see if the attorney is listed as a member of any associations. Although the telephone directory and television ads may not be the best place to start a search, they can provide a lot of information about the lawyer. If the attorney does advertise, the ad should be tasteful and informative. A good asset protection lawyer will probably be busy and will depend on his or her staff to do some of the work. So, assess the way the staff works as well. Staff must be courteous and professional. Get references before hiring an attorney. Carefully read a lawyer's retainer agreement and have it explained before hiring. Also, an asset protection lawyer will probably not work on a contingency fee.
Beware when working with an asset protection lawyer. As mentioned earlier in the article there is a fine line between asset protection and fraudulent transfers of property. Obviously, federal and state law prohibits fraudulent transfers. Although most lawyers are trustworthy, there will be some who fall on the wrong side of the fine line. And, even if the transfer of assets is legally done, it might still have legal implications and is always an issue of morality. Legitimate creditors may have a legal right to the shielded property. Unfortunately, according to several online legal sites, there are no clear lines between what is permissible and what is not. However, a fraudulent transfer occurs when property is transferred in an effort to stop a legitimate creditor from taking the assets. A transfer of assets may be considered fraudulent, if a person knows the existence, or potential existence, of a legitimate creditor. Such a transfer could be undone. And individuals found guilty of fraudulent transfers could be charged with a crime and fined, ordered to pay restitution, receive probation, or imprisoned. Finally, the Bible says not to take pride in stolen goods, even if a person's riches increase. Fraudulent transfers are the equivalent of stolen goods.
Asset Protection SpecialistAn asset protection specialist can help clients with a number of economic and business needs including the defense of treasured physical and financial possessions. There are many different areas that the skilled expertise of a professional in this field might be needed. Handling personals estates can be tricky and these specialists can guide clients through the estate planning process. Schools that offer training classes on asset protection are widely available both online and through seminars. Coursework could cover such topics as profession networking, client risks and liabilities, tax models, and identify theft issues. In some cases, an individual should turn to an attorney to handle particularly complicated issues. Such issues could include setting up a durable power of attorney or establishing a living will. Estate taxes can be a particularly complicated topic and a legal or financial professional may be required to ensure that a client's estate does not end up shelling out too much money in this area. Putting together an airtight will that will not be susceptible to future legal battles is also important. Many clients are concerned that their heirs will have to deal with probate costs or expensive legal battles and the expertise of an asset protection specialist can handle such issues long before they arise. The idea of a family home being sold to cover unnecessary taxes and other expenses is another concern. All of these issues can benefit from the expertise of a skilled professional in this field.
Physical assets are important and can sometimes require the expertise of an asset protection specialist. Protecting a home can entail many steps. If a home should be damaged by fire or by natural disaster, a detailed record of the possessions that were stored inside of the building can help to ensure that insurance payments are sufficient to cover the loss. This detailed record could include a quality video tour of the entire home. Assets that are located both inside and outside of the home should generally be photographed. Still photographs of important possessions should be included in these records as well. Electronic products, tools, computers, and other office equipment will have specific model numbers that will need to be recorded. These items are frequently sought after by thieves. For this reason, serial numbers should also be included in any records. There are many details that might not occur to the average individual that a skilled asset protection specialist can help a client handle. Important documents such as receipts and appraisals should be scanned and stored somewhere off site. Asset protection agencies can help clients put together a complete portfolio of documented physical assets and update this information on a regular basis. Some organizations will also offer storage of this vital information in a safe deposit box. A well documented inventory can also help in estate planning and in the event of fire, burglary, natural disaster or divorce.
There are also times when prevention can be the best protection. A professional asset protection specialist or agency can help a client with various home security needs. Protecting a home against burglary and home invasion is very important and not as expensive as it might sound. Of course, there are many home security products that are both costly and difficult to operate. The lengthy service contract can be a deterrent as well. However, there are also other products that are simpler to operate and less expensive that can help to protect a clients home and property. Such products could include video surveillance tools and cellular alarm systems. Legal documentation can be another way to deter the loss of assets. Many agencies exist to help a client create such documentation. These services can help clients create legal documents that offer protection to family estates. Necessary documents could include revocable and irrevocable living trusts, family limited partnerships, children's trusts, and limited liability planning. Revocable and irrevocable living trusts can help survivors avoid dealing with lengthy probate battles and expensive court costs. A family limited partnership can help offspring avoid costly estate taxes. A children's trust can protect an estate against future lawsuits while limited liability planning can help to protect the family home. Purchasing annuities can be another means of protecting financial assets. There are also certain insurance products that can help to make sure that a client is able to keep valuable possessions safe guarded. All of these strategies can be implemented by a skilled asset protection specialist.
Another aspect that can require the skills of an asset protection specialist is the area of retirement planning. Professional estate planning can include the many steps that are necessary to make sure that beneficiaries will receive the assets that the estate holder desires. Experts in this field can also help clients set up a trust. The Bible describes the attitude that believers should have toward others. "Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous." (1 Peter 3:8)
Generally, an asset protection specialist will guide a client through certain basic steps. Creating separate lists of both personal and business assets is important. A net worth worksheet is also necessary and skilled professionals can help clients construct this important documentation. A list of liabilities along with a complete balance sheet will also be needed. Skilled professionals in this vital field can help families deal with these important issues before any problems or unforeseen catastrophes arise.