Asset Protection for Professionals
and Business Owners
in Washington and Oregon
Actively plan to protect your assets.
Asset protection planning involves making decisions today to protect yourself, your business, and your hard-earned assets from loss due to lawsuits, creditors or bankruptcies. This type of legal planning is especially important for professionals and business owners, whose personal assets could be at risk due the nature of their employment.
Statistically and anecdotally, we all know that the number of divorces, lawsuits and bankruptcies is staggering. While no one believes lightning will strike them, wealth created through a lifetime of work, saving and investing can be lost overnight if these forms of man-made lightning do strike. To protect your assets from such disaster, proper risk management strategies should be given careful consideration. These strategies include exempting your assets from the claims of creditors, limiting your liability through legal entities, and transferring your risk through insurance.
Limiting liability for professionals and business owners.
Many entrepreneurs operate their businesses as sole proprietors rather than through a legal entity, such as a Corporation or a Limited Liability Company. Whether their business is home-based or in the Fortune 500, these business owners are attracted by the informality of sole proprietorship. They also do not want to incur legal fees to create and maintain a legal entity. However, in addition to other advantages, conducting business through a legal entity may offer substantial risk management benefits.
While lawsuits brought against a sole proprietorship are really lawsuits against the owner’s personal assets, lawsuits against a properly created and maintained legal entity are really lawsuits against the entity’s assets. Nevertheless, the selection of an appropriate legal entity is critical for managing your risk.
Transferring risk with insurance.
When was the last time you reviewed the details of your liability insurance program with your insurance professionals? Are your policies current? Are the coverage limits adequate and are the deductibles reasonable? Have you scrutinized the policies for loopholes? Remember: the fundamental philosophy of any insurance coverage is to pay a premium you can afford to transfer a risk you cannot afford. Take time to understand both the risks you have retained and the risks you have transferred.
For asset protection planning to be effective, you will need the help of an experienced estate planning lawyer sooner rather than later. Asset protection does not work after the fact. Please contact us at 360-975-7770 at your earliest opportunity to speak with one of our team members or to reserve your spot in one of our upcoming Estate Planning Workshops.
Attend an Estate
Learn more about asset protection through estate planning at one of our complimentary Estate Planning Workshops. Attendees are then invited to schedule a consultation with one of our estate planning attorneys who will guide them on identifying their estate and discuss best strategies for their estate plan. Please contact us at 360-975-7770 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up! Or, you can sign-up online by clicking here.
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