Ohio Asset Protection Attorney’s Answer to “What is Asset Protection?”
June 18th, 2012
In Ohio, asset protection attorneys use trust law and Ohio asset protection laws to prevent your property, possessions, income and resources from being taken by lawsuits, creditors and the government.
Plain and simple, asset protection is taking steps to prevent people from taking your income and things you own against your will. For example, if you are in a car accident and the other driver successfully sues you for liability, a good asset protection plan can prevent that person from getting your life’s savings or even your home. Or, if you lose your job and can’t pay your credit card bills, an asset protection plan will prevent your creditors from laying their hands on your investment portfolio or the inheritance you set aside for your children.
In the case of estate planning, Ohio asset protection laws can also be employed to prevent heirs from using the money in ways you don’t mean for it to be used, such as keeping the irresponsible son-in-law from paying off his gambling debts or blowing it on a vacation in Tahiti. Some assets, like real estate, automobiles and possessions also need protection against loss due to theft or natural disasters.
Ohio asset protection attorneys use a variety of tools and strategies to achieve these goals. Here’s a broad overview of how it often works:
Strategies of Ohio Asset Protection Attorneys
There are 2 principle lines of defense when protecting assets:
- Having a proper level of insurance
- Using trust law and business structures to put assets out of reach of creditors
Insurance is the first line of defense. Insurance protects assets by making sure that if a theft, natural disaster or lawsuit occurs, someone else pays the bill. It includes insuring physical assets and real estate against theft and catastrophe and having liability insurance that covers potential lawsuits, such as being sued by someone who injures themselves while on your property.
Sometimes, though, insurance is not enough. Ohio asset protection laws permit people to utilize trust law and business entities to distance a person from their assets so creditors can’t reach them. Essentially, ownership of the assets is transferred to a trust or business entity, like a limited liability company. Since the individual no longer owns the assets, they are protected from most creditors. Often a business entity is put inside a trust to provide additional protection.
Despite the fact that the assets are no longer owned by the individual, a properly structured asset protection plan allows the individual to retain control of the assets, though that control has limitations. The asset protection plans are very involved and require a thorough understanding of the various laws and tools being used. Therefore, assistance from an Ohio asset protection attorney is essential in protecting your asset.
Gudorf Law Group, LLC, can assist you in using trust law and Ohio asset protection laws to protect your assets. Call our Ohio asset protection attorney’s office at 1-877-483-6730 to schedule a free consultation.