Los Angeles Asset Protection Attorney
Planning for the future is important. Implementing safeguards to protect your personal assets from the threat of forfeiture, garnishment, or seizure is crucial to successful planning.
At Fernandez & Karney, our skilled asset protection lawyers have decades of combined experience helping clients develop and execute asset protection plans. We strive to provide our clients with the most up-to-date and cutting-edge asset protection strategies. We work with our clients to ensure that they have all of the information necessary to make informed, beneficial decisions.
Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation to learn about the asset protection strategies that may be right for you.
Why is Asset Protection Necessary?
Assets may need some form of protection for any number of reasons. Assets can be targeted by:
- third-party creditors,
- victims of malpractice or negligence,
- beneficiaries, and
- even family members.
Prospective asset planning can help to shield assets from premature or unnecessary losses.
Family Members. Some loved ones – even the ones we want to trust the most – aren’t capable of making safe and smart decisions. Leaving the use or enjoyment of certain assets to their discretion could be problematic if they have:
- financial issues,
- alcohol or drug dependencies, or
- gambling problems.
Business Liabilities. Other times, we may make business decisions or mistakes that could have unexpected consequences for our own personal assets. A business-related lawsuit could target your personal assets if they are not properly protected. Business-related lawsuits could include those generated by:
- a disgruntled business partner,
- an unhappy employee, or
- customer who slips and falls on company property.
Marital Trouble. Thinking about getting married? Prenuptial agreements are a type of asset protection strategy. Couples who are about to get married create a custom contract which will dictate how assets are divided in the event of a divorce. The Certified Family Law Specialists at Fernandez & Karney have decades of experience helping clients execute airtight prenups to protect important personal assets.
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished. Co-signing a loan to help your niece or nephew get through college or buy a home is a great gesture and way to help your family. If, however, the borrower you vouch for defaults you could be on the hook for the entirety of that loan. Your assets could be at risk for your good-will gesture.
Medicaid Asset Protection. As family members begin to age they may require a level of assistance that you cannot personally provide. Many times, the cost for this level of care or attention exceeds your family’s financial capabilities. Medicaid can be a great help, but applicants must not exceed specific income and asset limitations. There are strict rules and regulations regarding how assets can be “spent down” or dispersed. If you think that you or a family member may need Medicaid assistance in the future it is never too soon to start protecting family assets.
Personal Injury Lawsuits. If you are named as a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit your personal assets could be vulnerable to forfeiture if you do not have the capital necessary (or adequate insurance) to compensate the other party. Planning strategies can help to shield assets from a plaintiff’s reach.
Tax Planning. It can also be important to consider the tax ramifications that can occur when you move, transfer, dispense, or withdraw an asset. Asset protection strategies can include smart and proactive tax planning to shield your assets from unnecessary and burdensome taxation. Tax planning strategies will not shield your assets from taxation forever, but can help to push any taxable event into the future.
Regardless of the reason, asset protection strategies offer a way to legally protect or shield assets from misuse, mistreatment, or loss. The skilled attorneys at Fernandez & Karney can help to develop the proper strategy to ensure that your assets are protected.
Asset Protection Strategies
At Fernandez & Karney we keep abreast of the most cutting-edge asset protection strategies and asset protection laws. This helps us to offer up-to-date, accurate, and helpful information to clients interested in managing their personal and professional assets. Each client will have a unique portfolio of assets and may require a variety of asset planning strategies. Asset planning services we offer clients include:
- Formation of LLCs and Family Limited Partnerships;
- Formation of Corporations and LLCs for doctors, real estate moguls, CPAs, and other professionals who may be interested in shielding personal property from professional liability;
- Family business succession plans;
- Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts;
- Irrevocable Funeral Trusts;
- Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts;
- Spendthrift Trusts;
- Charitable Trusts;
- IRA Stretch Accounts;
- Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements; and
Contact the California asset protection attorneys at Fernandez & Karney today to learn more about asset protection strategies and plans. Each person’s asset protection needs will be different, so it is important to speak with an attorney who is familiar with the techniques and strategies that may be most beneficial to your particular portfolio.
Are All Assets Subject to Risk?
In California, certain assets may not subject to risk of forfeiture or loss to creditors. Assets that may be protected from creditor claims in California include:
- Private pension plans;
- California Public Employees Retirement System plans;
- California Teachers Retirement plans;
- Home equity;
- Professional tools of the trade; and
Each of these assets is subject to certain limitations and restrictions. Contact an experienced California asset protection attorney at Fernandez & Karney to learn more about the details that may be applicable for your asset protection needs.
Limitations to Asset Protection Strategies
Asset protection strategies can be a great way to shield assets from the reach of creditors and limit exposure to third parties. However, these strategies do not guarantee that creditors or interested parties will never be able to reach them. As a general rule, assets can be protected in one location or vehicle. Once those assets are moved (e.g., disbursed to beneficiaries, transferred from a spendthrift-protected trust to a personal savings account, withdrawn for personal use) they may become fair game to creditors.
Asset protection strategies – at least in regard to creditors – must also be executed proactively. Once a creditor has attached a claim to an asset it is illegal to disturb that creditor’s right to the property. We encourage you to speak with an attorney to learn about the proper and legal actions that may be taken to protect your assets. The experienced California asset protection attorneys at Fernandez & Karney would be happy to answer any questions you may have about protecting your assets from third-party creditors and other interested parties.
Experienced California Asset Protection Attorneys
At Fernandez & Karney, we understand the importance of creating a customized and unique asset protection plan for our clients. We have more than 50 years of combined experience assisting clients with their asset planning needs. We will explain the various methods that may be appropriate and/or beneficial and offer advice about moving forward with a solid asset protection plan. Contact our office to speak with one of our experienced California asset protection attorneys today.