Your first line of defense against potential litigation will likely be insurance in the form of an “umbrella policy.” Your financial professional can help with the right coverage but be prepared for a policy that’s at least equal to your new net worth. Getting liability insurance is generally a relatively inexpensive way to avoid losing significant assets in lawsuits.
The manner in which you own your property is worth a conversation with a financial professional. Different situations will determine if it’s best to keep your newfound wealth in a joint account or separate. In many states, a form of joint ownership known as “tenancy by the entireties” means that property owned by both spouses can’t be partitioned.5 Loosely explained, if your spouse is sued or a creditor comes after them to satisfy a bill, under most circumstances they can’t seize jointly-owned assets to satisfy the judgment.
Protect yourself from personal liability in the event of an unexpected lawsuit. For example, consider creating a business entity that can help shield your assets if you own rental property. Your personal assets are for the most part protected if you find yourself in a lawsuit. However, an LLC can only protect assets related to its purpose. So, if you put your personal residence in the LLC and a guest is injured, it wouldn’t protect you from liability because your home has no business function.
Protect your assets from your creditors and the creditors of your beneficiaries by setting up irrevocable or lifetime marital trusts. This process comes with specific rules, so work closely with the right advisor during setup.
Protecting what you own is important and doing it correctly is even more important, so if you’re expecting an influx of money, it’s time to talk. We may be able to help or point you in the right direction, so call us today.
This document is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. One should consult a legal or tax professional regarding their own personal situation. Any comments regarding safe and secure investments and guaranteed income streams refer only to fixed insurance products offered by an insurance company. They do not refer in any way to securities or investment advisory products Insurance policy applications are vetted through an underwriting process set forth by the issuing insurance company. Some applications may not be accepted based upon adverse underwriting results. Death benefit payouts are based upon the claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company. The firm providing this document is not affiliated with the Social Security Administration or any other government entity.
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