Despite how careful you are, accidents and other problems can arise, including those caused by third parties, that put your personal and family’s savings and assets at risk. While you cannot absolutely protect all of your assets from the claims of creditors, even by giving them away, there are steps you can take to limit the exposure of your assets to creditor claims, including:
- Tenancy by the Entirety. Title to your marital residence should be held in tenancy by the entirety, protecting it from the creditors of one spouse.
- Joint Ownership. Select a method of joint ownership to avoid situations where the joint owner or his creditors can seize all of the funds or assets.
- Trusts. To the extent you possess or control assets that belong to others, establishing their ownership via a trust or minor’s account may protect them from claims of your creditors.
- Insurance. Adequate insurance such as automobile, comprehensive liability, property, umbrella and other policies can protect your assets.
- Separation. Maintain and own assets separately, especially those owned in part by others.
- Documents. Record ownership, transfers and the rights of any parties to assets you own, possess or control by proper documentation.
- Protection. Safely store, maintain and protect documents necessary to establish your ownership, transfers of property and the rights of others.
There are other steps that you can take to protect your assets from creditor claims, including transferring assets to heirs or others during your life, but it is often too late to do so after a claim arises.
Brooks, Tarulis & Tibble, LLC assists numerous individuals and families in implementing ways to protect their assets from creditor claims. If we can assist you in this regard, please contact me.