What should be obvious from our conversation so far is that the best time to protect yourself is before a creditor threat is foreseeable. You should always protect yourself:
- Well before your marriage turns sour and heads for divorce. Preferably, if you wish to do specific pre-marital/pre-divorce planning, and a pre-nuptial agreement is not an option, then set up your program before you get married. Do planning at least one year before you divorce.
- Before someone threatens you with a lawsuit.
- Before your business starts going under.
In other words, because we often can't foresee creditor threats before they materialize, a protective plan is best implemented before these threats occur. In sum, you should set up an asset protection plan as soon as possible!
Can we protect you after a threat to your wealth arises? Except in some circumstances, the answer is usually yes. But your asset protection program will definitely be stronger if it's set up well before your wealth becomes threatened. Furthermore, you may have to take more complex and expensive steps to protect your assets after your problems appear. Our plans may then include international planning with exclusively international managers, or even something as radical, however pleasant, as moving to Florida to buy a homestead property which is protected against creditors, even if the home purchase is a fraudulent transfer.
Generally speaking, it's too late to try to protect yourself once you have a judgment against you, unless you arrange to pay the judgment and you follow through with that arrangement and are only planning to safeguard your assets against future creditors. Asset protection planning to thwart collection attempts post-judgment may result in you and your asset protection planner being fined and you can then be worse off than if you planned.