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Our Los Angeles asset protection lawyers 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 Fernandez & Karney today to schedule a free consultation to learn about the asset protection strategies that may be right for you.
How Can a Los Angeles Asset Protection Lawyer Help?
When you meet with a Los Angeles asset protection lawyer, we can review the legal options available for your unique assets and work together to develop the best strategies for the outcome you desire for your properties and holdings. We will aggressively defend you from:
- Creditor claims
- Losing personal assets due to business debt
- Losing assets due to inadequate insurance coverage
- Losing your estate after your death when it should benefit your heirs
Once you have more assets than you can afford to lose, it’s time to consider the strategies to protect those assets for your future and for your family. At Fernandez & Karney, our asset protection lawyers have experience with developing tailor-made protection strategies for high-net-worth clients with a wide range of goals so we can offer the latest solutions for asset protection to give you peace of mind.
When Should I Contact a Los Angeles Asset Protection Attorney?
Asset protection is a proactive strategy to protect your property before it is at risk rather than when another party is making a claim against it. Asset protection planning serves to protect what you’ve built up from legal opponents like creditors, plaintiffs, and even ex-spouses. It can also provide peace of mind that your assets are safe even in the event of your incapacity or death. Just as you prepare a last will and testament while you are healthy and in sound mind, so should you seek to prevent asset loss before there is a threat pending. Asset protection can be an important part of estate planning, but it’s also a plan for your living future. Many strategies only work if you have them in place well before trouble surfaces.
The moment you realize you’ve built up enough substantial assets to worry about their loss, you should contact an asset protection attorney. There are many future scenarios that could lead to the loss of all you’ve worked for including:
- Claims against your estate from creditors and lawsuits while you’re alive
- Claims against the estate you leave your children after you die, such as an adult child who inherits from you, but then comingles her account with a husband, turning the separate asset into community property subject to 50/50 division in a divorce, or an adult child who inherits your home and bank accounts, but then has a car accident and loses the estate to a personal injury claim that his insurance failed to adequately cover
By protecting these assets through legal strategies, you secure what you’ve worked hard for so they’ll continue to benefit you and your loved ones even after you’re gone.
How Much Does a Los Angeles Asset Protection Attorney Charge?
Depending on the number and diversity of your assets, your attorney may need more or less time to develop a strategy for each type of asset. For uncomplicated goals such as protecting real estate property or retirement savings from liability, an asset protection attorney’s legal fees typically range from around $5,000 to $6,500. For high-asset individuals requiring strategies for a variety of goals, the fee may be higher. Set-up fees for foreign asset trusts may cost $25,000 or more, however, this type of protection is typically recommended for those with assets valuing $1 million or greater.
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
- even family members
Prospective asset planning can help to shield assets from premature or unnecessary losses.
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
- gambling problems
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.
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.
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 Los Angeles asset protection 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
Contact the Los Angeles 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
Each of these assets is subject to certain limitations and restrictions. Contact an experienced 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 Los Angeles 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 Los Angeles 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 in California. 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 asset protection attorneys today.