Protecting Your Assets
All too often, people who have worked hard to build their assets become the target of lawsuits. Even if they try to fight these lawsuits, they may lose a great deal of money in legal fees and might ultimately end up paying a substantial settlement anyway. At the end of the day, tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars are lost.
Thankfully, there are strategies that can be used to insulate your assets from lawsuit predators. At Haiman Hogue in Frisco, we have more than 20 years of experience creating customized asset protection strategies to protect people who have property that would make them a target, property such as:
- Nonhomestead real estate (vacation homes, investment real estate, rental property)
- Mineral interests
- Royalty interests
- Natural resources (water/timber rights)
- Investments (not in IRA/401(k)/403(b)), cash, CDs, etc.
- Receivables (money owed to you)
- Some vehicles (boats, planes, etc.)
- Interests in trusts or estates
- Intellectual property assets
- Business interests
If you were sued, and you lost all your exposed assets, how would that impact you, your family, and your financial future?
Estate Planning Versus Asset Protection
When people think about planning their estate, they typically have their mind on end-of-life issues. Wills and similar tools deal with issues such as passing assets on to beneficiaries. While this is important, it is critical to remember that threats to your assets can appear at any time during your life, not just at the time of your death.
If you have assets, there is always the possibility that you get sued and someone tries to take what you have earned. You could be the target of a personal injury claim if you allegedly injure someone in a car accident or through other means. If you own a business, you could be targeted with any number of claims from competing businesses, customers, and even the general public for acts of any of your employees. Asset protection is designed to protect you, your family, and your assets against the threat of lawsuits, among many other threats.
Our History of Success
When we create an asset protection strategy, we stand behind it. Our methods have stood up in court against powerful opponents. In two separate cases, we worked with people who were sued and had judgments taken out against them. Prestigious attorneys and law firms attempted to collect on those judgments, but were unable to due to the shielding provided by our asset protection strategies.
Choosing the Right Business Entity
Your choice of business entity will impact much more than the future of the business itself. While laying a foundation for success and protecting you from liability are certainly the most prominent components of business formation, there are other issues to consider.
Does your choice of business entity provide optimum tax protection or does it open the door to serious tax-related repercussions? Is the business asset protected from outside attack such as you losing your business due to a lawsuit over a car accident? Does your business protect you personally from liability that arises inside the business? Is your business plan integrated into your estate plan? These are all questions to consider.
At Haiman, Hogue, we have more than 20 years of experience in business planning. We also have a unique perspective on these matters. Before he became an attorney, Rex L. Hogue served as a business specialist and owned a financial consulting business. In other words, we have hands-on knowledge of the realities of building and running a business. We are not merely working in the world of the theoretical.
Business Entity Options
There are a wide range of options available, including:
- Family Limited Partnerships
- Limited liability companies (LLC), including Series LLCs
- Sole proprietorships
Our process begins by getting to know your business. Only after learning about your business, your industry and your goals for the future can we customize recommendations to your needs. We will take great care when helping you determine the appropriate entity, and we will design that entity for tax protection, to reduce audit risk, for liability protection and more. We will help you take steps to decrease the likelihood of both business and personal audits. We will use our experience to position you and your business for success.
Our lawyers also assist in the creation of family limited partnerships, family limited liability companies and other business entities for the specific purpose of estate planning and asset protection.