Is it legal to shield assets against lawsuits and creditors?
It’s not only legal but essential! What thinking person could today question the legality of asset protection planning? And who could question its necessity? Yes, there can be that troublesome grey area that separates legal from illegal asset protection planning. And you can’t cross the line. For example, a legal plan won’t involve secrecy, concealing assets, perjury, tax fraud, money laundering or bankruptcy fraud. That’s not what asset protection is about. You want legal protection. A questionable ‘protective’ strategy can only get you into bigger trouble. If you question the legitimacy of a proposed plan, talk to another planner. There are many perfectly legitimate ways to shield your wealth without engaging in dubious or downright illegal practices. If you incorrectly assume that asset protection involves secrecy, tax evasion, concealing assets or other questionable practices, then you are wrong. We discuss only 100 percent legal techniques.
The legitimacy of asset protection planning is best evidenced by the many trade and scholastic books now available on the topic. Many journals and articles openly discuss – and recommend – asset protection. The American Bar Association has formed an asset protection subcommittee. Those who equate asset protection with sleazy practices simply don’t understand the field.
We might explain the legitimacy of asset protection as the intelligent application of the many statutory and common law tools – exemption laws, co-ownerships, corporations, LLCs, trusts, bankruptcy and so forth – to best shield one’s wealth. We didn’t create these tools. We only show our clients how to use them to their advantage.