Asset protection is a crucial part of estate planning in Mississippi. As our culture becomes more litigious, people have become more concerned about losing their assets through a lawsuit. In the United States, millions of new lawsuits are filed every year. There is always a risk of losing your assets due to a frivolous lawsuit or settlement.
Property owners, business owners, and professionals such as dentists, doctors, and lawyers can protect their assets with the help of an experienced estate planning lawyer. The earlier you begin engaging in asset protection, the better. Contact the experienced Mississippi asset protection lawyers at Palmer & Slay, PLLC, today to schedule your initial consultation. We will listen to your goals and carefully review your financial situation to provide you with a comprehensive plan.
When to Begin Asset Protection Planning
There is no time like the present to begin planning. It’s easy to put off planning for assets while we attend to our day-to-day lives. Many people don’t consider asset protection until they are served with an unexpected lawsuit. Asset planning after you’ve been sued can even make matters worse due to fraudulent transfer laws. It’s better to engage in asset planning before a lawsuit arises. Your assets can be at risk due to multiple types of vulnerabilities, including the following:
- Liability arising from misconduct
- Liability from acting as a guarantor for another person’s debts
- Personal injury lawsuit resulting from a car accident
- A personal injury lawsuit suffered on your premises
- A personal injury lawsuit filed by a former business partner
- A personal injury lawsuit filed by directors and corporate officers
- Professional malpractice lawsuits
How Asset Protection Works in Mississippi
Conventional estate planning is necessary for everyone over the age of 18. However, traditional estate planning doesn’t provide asset protection. Asset protection is a specific type of planning that helps people protect their assets from creditors and lawsuits. It involves taking non-exempt assets that are vulnerable to creditors’ claims and re-categorizing them as exempt assets that creditors cannot access.
Asset protection law can be complicated and full of pitfalls. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, a lawyer needs to conduct an in-depth analysis of your assets and your liability risk factors and consider your goals. Your lawyer will try to protect your assets and make them difficult for creditors to access. Creating an irrevocable trust is a crucial aspect of protecting your assets. Creditors can still access the property in a living trust, but they cannot access the assets in a properly structured irrevocable trust. Other tools include:
- Giving away your assets outright or moving them into a separate, irrevocable trust
- Switching the ownership of your assets to joint ownership
- Using limited liability companies, corporations, or partnerships
- Using life insurance and annuities
- Creating a domestic asset protection trust
- Creating a dynasty trust for the benefit of future generations
Creating a Business Entity to Protect Your Assets
Are you a business owner concerned about lawsuits? One way you can protect yourself is to form a legal entity in the state of Mississippi that provides you with more legal protection. Becoming a corporation, partnership, or limited liability corporation (LLC) can help you protect your business assets and your personal assets. Depending on the size and scope of your business, you may need to form a corporation. It’s difficult for plaintiffs and lawsuits to pierce the corporate veil and acquire your personal assets should a lawsuit arise.
Many Mississippi residents choose to create a limited liability corporation because it offers personal asset protection and is relatively simple to start and maintain. If you’re an owner in a family business, you may want to consider creating a family partnership to protect your loved ones’ assets. Several options are available, and the attorneys at Palmer & Slay, PLLC, can help you choose the best strategy for you.
Creating a Domestic Asset Protection Trust
A domestic asset protection trust can be an important estate planning tool that protects your assets from creditors. If you have a high net worth or are concerned about potential litigation, a domestic asset protection trust could be an excellent option for you. Doctors, attorneys, and people with public careers often benefit from protecting their assets through a domestic asset trust.
Additionally, if you have a loved one who is a spendthrift, placing your assets in a trust can give you peace of mind knowing he or she won’t spend the trust assets wastefully. Mississippi passed legislation allowing the creation of domestic asset protection trusts in 2014. Domestic asset protection trusts are also called qualified disposition trusts (QDIT). These irrevocable trusts contain a spendthrift clause that protects the assets owned by the trust from seizure by the trust owner’s creditors.
Are you interested in creating a domestic asset protection trust? If so, the estate planning lawyers at Palmer & Slay, PLLC, will review your goals and financial situation. We will explain how this trust can protect your assets from creditors and advise you of alternative options. Please contact our Mississippi asset protection lawyers to discuss setting up a domestic asset protection trust today.
Consider Moving Your Money Offshore
Moving your assets into an offshore account can be beneficial, depending on your circumstances. However, there have been a few recent legal cases in which the courts have required debtors to bring their money back from offshore accounts to the United States through repatriation orders. Nonetheless, there are still benefits that come with creating an account offshore.
Contact a Mississippi Asset Protection Lawyer Today
The specific strategies best suited for your needs depending on your financial situation, goals, and stage of life. The experienced Mississippi asset protection lawyers at Palmer & Slay, PLLC, take the time to listen to their client’s goals carefully. We provide our clients with skilled strategies that are legal, ethical, and effective. Contact us today to learn about how we can help you protect your hard-earned assets.