You’ve earned and cultivated your wealth, now you need to protect it. At Romano & Sumner, we use advanced asset protection strategies to help ensure that our clients’ financial legacies are secure.
Asset Protection Lawyers Representing Professionals, Business Owners, and Investors in the Sugar Land and Houston Areas
Every day, there are more than 70,000 civil lawsuits filed in the United States. Many of these lawsuits target small business owners, physicians, real estate investors, and other high-net-worth individuals who have deep pockets and who can “afford” to pay a settlement to make the case go away. You hear that we live in a litigious society, and it’s true. If filing a lawsuit presents an opportunity to make some easy money (especially when plaintiffs’ lawyers take cases on a contingency-fee basis so there is no financial risk involved for the claimant), you can be almost certain that the lawsuit is going to be filed.
This makes asset protection planning essential for anyone who has a lot to lose. Asset protection planning involves the use of legal entities, trusts, and other tools and strategies to minimize financial exposure in the event of a civil judgment or other substantial liability. When done properly, asset protection planning not only limits the assets you have at risk, but it also reduces the incentive for would-be plaintiffs to initiate litigation.
Who needs asset protection planning? We generally recommend asset protection for:
- Accountants, dentists, doctors, financial planners, lawyers, and other professionals
- Corporate officers and directors
- Entrepreneurs and business owners
- Real estate brokers, developers, and investors
- Retirees with substantial net worth
It is important to remember that lawsuits will not necessarily arise out of your business or practice. Auto accidents, premises liability claims, and even dog bites can all lead to substantial liability for high-net-worth individuals and families. If you have assets that are worth protecting, regardless of your stage in life, we encourage you to contact us so that we can help you put a protection strategy in place.
FAQs: Developing a Comprehensive Asset Protection Strategy
Q: If I start using an asset protection strategy, will I still have access to my assets when I need them?
Generally speaking, yes. While some asset protection tools (such as certain types of irrevocable trusts) can limit the grantor’s access to his or her assets, other tools provide much greater flexibility. When developing your asset protection strategy, understanding what you may need for yourself and what you want to protect for future generations will help inform the specific types of protection tools we will use.
Q: What types of potential exposure warrant consideration of an asset protection strategy?
The list of reasons why business owners, professionals, and investors can (and do) get sued is almost endless. That said, some of the most common lawsuits and liabilities for high-net-worth individuals include:
- Business-related lawsuits alleging products liability, premises liability, and other claims
- Discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination claims
- Creditors seeking to enforce a personal guaranty on a business loan
- Professional malpractice lawsuits
- A spouse claiming substantial property and financial support rights in a divorce
Q: What types of asset protection tools do your attorneys use?
At Romano & Sumner, we use a variety of asset protection tools, and we tailor each client’s strategy to his or her personal circumstances. No two asset protection strategies are exactly alike, and the tools we recommend for you will depend on a variety of factors relating to your business or profession, your risk profile, your accumulated wealth, and your estate plan. Generally speaking, however, the types of asset protection tools we use and recommend include:
- Limited liability companies (LLCs) established under Texas law and the laws of other states
- Domestic and foreign asset protection trusts
- Other legal entities and trust structures
- Overseas bank accounts and safety deposits
- Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
- Qualified retirement plans under ERISA
- Umbrella, general liability, professional liability, and errors and omissions insurance
Q: Isn’t it enough if I have comprehensive insurance coverage?
Not necessarily. While insurance can help limit your personal exposure, it does not provide absolute protection. Plaintiffs’ lawyers routinely claim damages above and beyond defendant’s insurance limits, and there are certain types of liabilities (such as personal guarantees) that will not be covered by your insurance policies.
Discuss Your Asset Protection Strategy with an Attorney at Romano & Sumner
If you are ready to discuss your asset protection strategy, contact the Sugar Land, TX law offices of Romano & Sumner. To schedule a confidential initial consultation, call us at (281) 242-0995 or request an appointment online today.
The attorneys at Romano & Sumner can help you avoid the loss of assets through litigation.
Reasons for Asset Protection Planning
What is the likelihood that you might get sued? Most of the 70,000 civil lawsuits filed every day in America target small business owners and medical professionals. Lawsuits against small businesses, professionals and others presumed to have deep pockets have become more numerous in recent years as people lose their jobs, homes and other assets that require cash payments.
Often people see professionals and business owners as “insurance” for success. Business men and women are expected to provide the perfect product, and professionals are expected to provide a perfect outcome. When expectations meet reality it results in negligence claims, errors and omissions claims, malpractice lawsuits, punitive damage claims, and judgments.
You are permitted by law to build a defense against seizure of your personal and business assets by creditors. However, if you do not build that defense, then the law permits those creditors to seize your property.
Don't Wait to Hire a Knowledgeable Asset Protection Attorney
With sound professional guidance, high risk professionals and business people can implement defenses against future lawsuits. By working within the system, and taking advantage of specific legal and financial techniques, you can protect your hard-earned assets and future earnings. However, these techniques only work if you put them in place ahead of time. Once a lawsuit has been filed, even if it is reasonably anticipated, it is already too late.
Goal of Asset Protection
The main goal of asset protection is to avoid the loss of assets through litigation. Asset protection accomplishes this goal by:
- Deterring Litigation. A contingency fee lawyer may think twice about taking a case that is easy to win, but that will require him to wait for years to get to your assets to collect his 40%.
- Providing Incentives for Early and Inexpensive Settlement. They can sue you, and if they win, they will have a judgment. But your assets are protected and they will never collect. Will they accept 5 cents on the dollar? You better believe it!
- Causing your Opponents to Work Harder and Get Less. First, they will have to win their case against you. Next, they will have to take you to a debtor’s exam to locate your assets. Finally, they will have to try to collect, and they will not be able to. Do they really want to work that hard to never really be rewarded, or will they be interested in settling for 5 cents on the dollar?
Who Needs Asset Protection?
In today’s difficult economic times, hiring an asset protection planning lawyer is especially important for:
- Entrepreneurs and business owners.
- Doctors, dentists, accountants, lawyers, and financial planners.
- Corporate directors and officers.
- Real estate developers and real estate brokers.
- Owners of real estate
Contact our experienced attorneys today and let us help you.
Having the right Sugar Land asset protection attorney from the beginning will save in the end. For a free initial consultation with experienced Asset Protection lawyers in Sugar Land, please call us at 281 242-0995 or contact our Sugar Land law offices.
Romano & Sumner, LLC is proud to serve these Texas areas
Cities / Suburbs:
The Woodlands | Sugar Land | Baytown | Conroe | Katy | Friendswood | Pearland | League City | Richmond | Rosenberg | Spring | Humble | Kingwood | Clear Lake City | Stafford | Jersey Village | Cypress | Missouri City
77478 | 77479 | 77487 | 77496 | 77498 | 77459 | 77489
Harris County, Fort Bend County, and surrounding counties