Everyone can take some rational steps to better protect their hard-earned money since a lot of people can't afford a sophisticated asset protection plan. The Marvont Group categorizes some of these basic techniques:
- Always use a separate entity for every liability generating asset and never combine liability generating assets. Let’s say that an apartment house shouldn’t be owned by the same entity which owns a printing business.
- Get a local lawyer and each time you make a significant move, pay for certain advice. It is considered money well spent. In addition, the market is filled with well-trained lawyers. Avoid being afraid to negotiate fees.
- Remember that general partnerships and handshake agreements will only cause trouble and therefore you should avoid them. Note that any general partner can commit the partnership to any legal contract. All general partners are jointly and separately liable.
- Please be careful of individuals posing themselves as asset protection experts. Always check references and avoid the professional seminar givers. Don’t believe that charging order protection is enough. Never trust someone who asks you to trust someone else with your hard-earned money, and someone who swears to save you income taxes.
- Don't show off and don't put everything in your name because you'll be sued if people think that you're rich. If you're reluctant to have a modest lifestyle then you should keep a low profile and don't title your assets directly in your own name. Don’t forget that in order to take your assets, they first have to be found. Furthermore, a good asset protection plan doesn’t depend on stealth, and it should work even if every single document is discovered.
- Know that every state is different. Remember that what a creditor can get is usually controlled by state law. Even if you’re faced with serious creditor attack, you may be able to keep assets by getting good advice. Let's say certain states have liberal homestead laws and some states accord greater protection to pension plan type accounts than other states.
- Keep in mind that no country in the world automatically recognizes US based judgments as well as US tax judgments. Most countries think that the tort laws, securities laws and anti-trust laws in the United States are meaningless.
- Never ignore a lawsuit. If you are served, always get good advice.
- You should still keep adequate insurance even if you affect an innovative asset protection plan. The main importance of a good policy is that the insurance company should provide you a defense.