Asset protection refers to using exotic strategies usually directed by an attorney to create Trusts, LLC’s, etc. Or asset protection simply maybe to use Qualified Retirement accounts or Cash Value Life Insurance, or Annuities to shelter assets from lawsuits, or else to simply purchase plenty of liability insurance.

A straight forward, non opaque way of doing asset protection is to buy liability insurance. Another simple asset protection technique is to hold assets in Qualified Retirement accounts, however, one should first consult with an attorney who has expertise in asset protection because in some cases a judge can invade Qualified Retirement accounts to satisfy a judgment.

Using ultra sophisticated asset protection strategies directed by an attorney to create Trusts, LLC’s, etc. may cost a significant annual amount of fees and result in a loss of control over those assets. Most importantly, using those is an art form where there is some risk that they may not work as intended and they may need to be fine tuned frequently. So it is important to consult with a qualified attorney before making a decision about asset protection strategies.

Hidden Traps in Tax Law

Donald Martin is a NAPFA-Registered Fee-Only financial planner and investment advisor.