Articles Posted in Asset Protection

It takes confidence and courage to start a business. In fact, many believe that the best business owners are those who are comfortable with some level of risk. However, there are acceptable risks and unacceptable risks, and any business owner knows that avoiding unnecessary risk is the cornerstone of running a successful business. Because of this, many business owners take the proactive step of creating a Houston asset protection plan.

What is an Asset Protection Plan?

An asset protection plan is a strategy that business owners can use to protect their assets in the event they get sued or end up going through a divorce. The reasons why a business owner decides to create an asset protection plan vary. For some, it is the fact that their business operates in a field that sees a significant amount of litigation. Examples include certain types of doctors, who may face a medical malpractice lawsuit. For others, it is the fear that they will be targeted for litigation based on their substantial assets. Whatever the reason, an asset protection plan can help preserve what a business owner has worked so hard to create.

2.3.20“The heirs of a philanthropist who donated a historic theater to the City of Miami want it back.”

A dissolved nonprofit controlled by the heirs of Maurice Gusman sued the city of Miami recently, in an attempt to regain control of the Olympia Theater and restore it to its former glory. They claim city officials have squandered the theater built in 1926 and violated the terms of an agreement with their grandfather, Maurice Gusman.

The heirs and the dissolved corporation’s directors are Maurice Gusman’s grandchildren: Bruce Gusman, Robert Gusman and Jackie Gusman Thayer.

1.29.20Blended families are almost the new normal in America. A Pew Research Center analysis shows that as many as 40% of all new marriages include at least one person who had been married before. For another comparison, in 1960, 13% of all married adults had been married before, compared to 23% today.

In a blended family, one or both spouses have at least one child from a previous marriage or relationship. Financial and legal challenges are more complicated, as are the family dynamics between parents, step-parents, siblings and step-siblings.

CNBC’s recent article, “4 ways to help blended families navigate finances,” reports that a staggering 63% of women who remarry come into blended families, with 50% of those involving stepchildren who live with the new couple, according to the National Center for Family & Marriage Research.

10.23.19Any high-income professional must expect that at some point there will be a bad outcome and a lawsuit against them and/or their practice. Doctors, in particular, need to be sure that they have the correct protection in place.

Whether you are a surgeon, chiropractor or cardiologist, at some point in time, some patient is going to commence a lawsuit alleging malpractice, warns Physician Sense in the article “The Do’s and Don’ts of Asset Protection for Doctors.”

With a good chance of being involved in a malpractice suit at some point in your career, the time to think about protecting your assets is right now, before a patient sues. After the fact, this might look like a way to avoid a creditor. Many courts will cancel those actions.

8.16.16We hope to enjoy out golden years, relaxing after decades of working and raising children. However, as we age, the likelihood of experiencing health issue increase. That includes Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

Learning that a loved one has Alzheimer’s or other diseases that require a great deal of health care is devastating to the individual and their families. The progressive nature of these diseases means that while the person doesn’t need intensive health care yet, eventually they will. According to an article from Newsmax, “5 Insurance Steps After Alzheimer's Strikes Loved One,” the planning for care needs to start immediately.

Alzheimer’s Disease International predicts that 44 million individuals worldwide have Alzheimer’s or a similar form of dementia, and 25% of those living with it never receive a diagnosis. Healthcare, including assisted living, memory care and in-home care is expensive. Health insurance is an important component of managing the ongoing expenses of living with Alzheimer’s.

6.3.19Whether you and your spouse have a pre or post nuptial agreement, they are a good way to make divorce or death a little less overwhelming.

If you are wealthy, expect an inheritance or have been married before and have children from a prior marriage, you may want to consider a prenup or a postnup as a useful planning tool. An article from Investopedia, “Prenup vs. Postnup: How Are They Different?” explains why these documents are important.

A prenuptial, made before the marriage occurs, or a postnuptial, made after you’ve said your wedding vows, serves to protect both parties from the emotions (and some of the drama), if the marriage should hit the skids or when one of the couple dies.

5.22.19Some people give generously all year long, supporting local nonprofits and taking care of their family members. If that’s you, perhaps it’s time to consider taking a more strategic approach to lifetime giving.

Not everyone gives because they are looking to minimize their taxes. If you’ve reached the age and stage where you have accumulated more than enough wealth to retire on, you may enjoy being generous and seeing the impact your gifts can have on the lives of those you love, or those who are less fortunate.

WMUR’s recent article, Money Matters: Lifetime non-charitable giving,” explains that lifetime giving means you dictate who gets your property. Remember, if you die without a will, the intestacy laws of the state will dictate who gets what. With a will, you can decide how you want your property distributed after your death. However, it’s true that even with a will, you won’t really know how the property is distributed, because a beneficiary could disclaim an inheritance. With lifetime giving, you have more control over how your assets are distributed.

Brad pitt and kidsHere’s one celebrity savvy about estate planning. Actor and producer Brad Pitt has an estate plan that will keep his money away from his ex and benefit his children through a $250 million trust.

After reading about so many celebrities who fail to plan for the future, it’s refreshing to learn that one bold-face Hollywood star has taken steps to create a will and care for his children. In the recent article from Wealth Advisor, “Even Brad Pitt Has Prepared A Will (And A Post-Divorce Trust),” the 54-year-old Pitt has achieved the dual purpose of keeping his millions from his ex-wife and had a trust created to divide his money between his six children.

A source, who’s a family friend commented, “Brad’s intent is that any money he doesn’t have to give Angie in a divorce settlement and for child support is well-protected. He’s setting up a firewall that is specifically intended to keep her hands off his cash.”

Buzz-Aldrin-FFFEven when planning for competency issues is in place, there can still be problems. When a highly-intelligent public figure makes decisions his kids thinks are wrong, who is right?

The case of Buzz Aldrin, who is taking his son and daughter to court on charges of fraud, conspiracy and exploitation of the elderly, is a tough one. He’s accusing his adult children and his longtime manager of slandering him, by telling others he has dementia and Alzheimer’s diseases, using his money for their own gain and undermining romantic relationships.

The 88-year-old astronaut’s lawsuit illustrates the reason it's important for families to plan ahead for an aging parent. However, cases like Aldrin's can be hard, because it can be difficult to determine when someone has a deteriorating mental capacity, explains Good 4 Utah in the recent article, “Buzz Aldrin lawsuit shows need to plan for aging parents.”

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