The 11 Biggest Asset Protection Planning Mistakes (Part 2)

3. Inadequate divorce protection not properly segregating non-marital assets—inheritances, wealth acquired before marriage, etc.—can put into play assets that would have been impervious to the divorce axe. This applies as much to your kids as to you, and not using the right kinds of trusts, with protectors, can lay your treasure bare to the attacks of your children’s’ soon-to-be-ex spouses, who you always knew to be barbarians anyway. The right trusts can often also function as very elegant pre- and post-nup devices, without souring the romance the way traditional pre-nups can.

4. Titling errors risk assets—cars, boats, planes, non-homestead real estate, etc. should be titled to an encapsulating entity like an LLC, or at least in the name of the principal operator: his car in his name, and so on. Joint titling or other mistakes can engender needless and expensive liability.

5. P&C gaps in any asset protection plan, liability insurance is the very first line of defense. Not having adequate insurance for vehicles, toys, business and real estate exposures, as well as proper levels of business and personal umbrellas, is a problem we see all the time. While this area is complicated and exposing gaps takes some work, the insurance is usually cheap and well worth exploring. It’s the first line because marauding plaintiffs’ attorneys can be often be placated (get a nice percentage fee without much work) instead of going after your real assets . . . and in today’s hyper-Google world, it won’t take them long to find out where your treasure’s buried.

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