Why Asset Protection?
Asset protection is a form of estate planning that involves keeping your assets safe from the pursuit of creditors. After working all your life to acquire significant assets (money, property or other wealth), you do not want it all wiped out in a single lawsuit or other litigation. An asset protection attorney can provide advice and legal services to help.
According to Investopedia, “Asset protection helps insulate assets in a legal manner without engaging in the illegal practices of concealment (hiding of the assets), contempt, fraudulent transfer (as defined in the 1984 Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act), tax evasion, or bankruptcy fraud.”
In other words, there are legal options you may exercise to protect your personal and business assets from seizure in order to continue enjoying them or to pass them along to others upon your death. Michelangelo Mortellaro of Mortellaro Law in Tampa, Florida, is a talented and experienced asset protection attorney who can help you create assault-proof barriers to protect your wealth.
Who Needs Asset Protection?
People of diverse backgrounds and all levels of affluence should have asset protection measures in place. From mega-wealthy celebrities to retirees to young entrepreneurs to victims of terminal disease, all manner of people can benefit from sound, legal asset protection measures. Michelangelo Mortellaro is an asset protection attorney who has worked with all kinds of different clients, who seek to protect their wealth for all manner of reasons.
The unexpected occurs (obviously) when we least expect it, and when we are the least prepared. What could happen to you that could endanger your assets?
- What if you lost your job or business?
- What if you suddenly could not keep up with your mortgage or other payments?
- What if you owe a significant tax liability?
- What if your home devalues significantly over time?
- What if you suddenly are faced with a lawsuit?
- What if you pursue a career with a high degree of liability?
- What if you have excessive debt?
- What if you will be applying for Medicaid soon?
- What is you suddenly contract a life-threatening illness?
- What if you need long-term care but want to preserve a nest egg for your loved ones?
- What if you inherit a huge sum of money or other valuable property?
If your goal is to secure your assets for your own use or for your family, and not to enrich aggressive litigants or greedy creditors, you need the help of an asset protection attorney like Michelangelo Mortellaro in Tampa, Florida.
What About Business Owners?
Business owners should seek to protect their business assets from creditors and lawsuits by enacting lawful asset protection strategies. What could happen to endanger your business assets?
- What if you are sued by an employee for sexual harassment or discrimination?
- What if you are sued by a competitor for copyright infringement?
- What if a disaster forces your business to close?
- What if you are sued for professional or product liability?
- What if a customer sustains an injury accident on your property?
- What if you are sued for breach of contract by a business partner?
- What if get a divorce?
- What if you sustain a serious illness and cannot operate the business?
Michelangelo Mortellaro can provide business owners with sound financial planning advice to protect their business assets.
How Does Asset Protection Work?
Most states have laws that protect certain assets from seizure by creditors or through litigation. For example, in the State of Florida, certain possessions and income is exempt, or protected from being garnished or repossessed. These include the head of household’s wages, the primary family homestead, the cash surrender value of any life insurance or annuities, and many different types of retirement accounts. An asset protection attorney can explain the details that pertain to each and provide a full list of exempt assets.
For other assets, other legal protections can be used to remove the asset from reach of creditors, litigators, or others. These can include:
- Retitling assets
- Acquiring insurance coverage
- Placing assets in different legal trusts
- Investing assets in protected retirement accounts
- Placing assets in a foreign trust outside the United States
For business owners, the following are some popular options for asset protection:
- Different business entities
- Retirement accounts
Several questions must be answered about your assets and how you plan to use them in the short- and long-term, before you decide on the best strategy to protect them. You should also consider how quickly you may need to get your hands on these assets if needed. Some protection measures effectively remove the assets from your use. Michelangelo Mortellaro is a seasoned and knowledgeable asset protection attorney who can explain how these and other measures work, and advise you on the best ways to protect your assets.