If you have substantial assets or are coming into a windfall from a sudden wealth event such as an inheritance, lawsuit, stock options sale, business sale or from a sports/entertainment contract, there are several money moves you should consider to best protect your new wealth against lawsuits and from others.
The bigger the target the easier and more appealing the target. Sad, but true. Legally speaking, every financial gain brings with it a new amount of risk. Oftentimes, the legal risk is directly proportionate to the size of the financial gain.
So, if you have come into a sudden amount of wealth - whether by windfall, asset sale, or inheritance, etc. - then now is also the time for some immediate asset protection planning.
Structuring your ownership and protection of those assets is an important step you cannot afford to overlook. However, such structuring and protecting can get complicated. Much of what you can do (and cannot do) hinges on the very nature of the assets and the risks themselves.
Thankfully, there are some common strategies worth exploring. Forbes recently offered six proven asset protection strategies to shield both you and your important assets.
The article, titled "6 Asset Protection Strategies To Shield Your Wealth," is worth a read.
If you are pressed for time, here is a capsule summary:
- Increase liability insurance: insurance is a product to solve risk, after all, and liabilities are exactly the kind of lightning rod to be struck.
- Separate assets: shared assets, with a spouse or family members, means doubling the risk on those assets, so separating them into your own accounts (or entirely out of your estate and control) can shield them.
- Consider a business structure: the business exists as an entity that is not "you" and its liabilities are not your liabilities, so owning special assets (like rental properties) through an LLC or corporation will work to shield you and your individual assets.