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christy

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello, can someone recommend who to talk with or any advice on protecting our home from a lawsuit? To be more specific, my husband is a physician and if he were sued for more than his malpractice coverage how can we keep our home safe. I do know that it should be in a trust but other than that I need specific advice!!!
Thanks to All!!!
MJohnson

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Reply with quote  #2 
A trust provides no legal protection; (temporary) anonymity only.

LLC's are generally the way to go; however, California has some really nutty tax laws regarding LLCs.

Best way to go is get advice from a competent attorney and a competent CPA.  You could generally set up the entities yourself using Legalzoom.com or something similar, keeping the lawyer's fees to a minimum.  However, you may just want to bite the bullet this once, have the lawyer handle setting everything up, and make sure you're protected.

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RankBull

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Reply with quote  #3 

Insurance. 

Every entity is piercable by competent counsel if anything resembling negligence or misconduct is shown.

Entities are nothing but tax structures.

 
RankBull

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Reply with quote  #4 

Also, the best protection against a "stick it to the man" jury award (other then never making a mistake):  Arbitration Clause.

corkhorner

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Reply with quote  #5 
As Bill Gatten is a speaker in the sdcia association, and that his work is in the sdcia library, i recommend that you post this question at his website http://www.landtrust.net.

The popular opinion over there is that by using their trust setup and then controlling your real estate via the trustee as a beneficiary, your interest in the property becomes personal property and the underlying real estate is insulated.  In fact, the trustee is not required to say who owns a property in question unless ordered by a court.

Can a sharp knowledgeable lawyer penetrate this system/device? I am not so sure there is any case law where that has happened using the Equity Holding Trust Transfer System.  You can call Bill Gattens office to further clarify this if desired for him to corroborate this.

By further being a beneficiary holding that interest as an LLC with multiple members further insulates the property
by making the LLC hard to partition.

I am not a lawyer and and heaven forbid for this to be construed as legal advice.

There are a couple lawyers in SD and SoCal who understand the use of a land trust for your purposes.

I am  not promoting them here however.

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RobertB

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Reply with quote  #6 
Before you spend a bunch of money. Find out if a Dr. has ever lost his primary residence due to a Mal practice law suit in CA. Drs do lose them to the Federal Government for fraud etc.
Easiest way to protect is by having very little equity. Put your cash in a protected account.
Smithosity

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Reply with quote  #7 
Go hire a really good attorney who specializes in this.  Spend the $300+ per hour and you will not regret it. 
randyOC

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Reply with quote  #8 

Quote:
Originally Posted by christy
Hello, can someone recommend who to talk with or any advice on protecting our home from a lawsuit? To be more specific, my husband is a physician and if he were sued for more than his malpractice coverage how can we keep our home safe. I do know that it should be in a trust but other than that I need specific advice!!!
Thanks to All!!!

Just have him quitclaim the house to you.  Wouldn't that be cheapest and easiest way to solve the problem? 

javipa

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelr
put a bs second behind your 1st that totals well more than your house is worth. 



That doesn't work real well, unless the BS second is backed up with something that would fool an attorney. 

If a lawsuit were to occur, because the plaintiff thinks you're hiding behind a bogus lien, and the plaintiff's attorney asks to see the check you received for the money borrowed, what are you going to put into evidence? 

When the plaintiff's attorney asks for the name, address, and contact information of the lien holder, who's name and contact information are you going to trot out for the court to consider?  Your uncle?


Then when the plaintiff petitions the court for access to the tax return of the bogus lender, to see if taxes were paid on the interest income...and nothing is being reported --- who exactly is going to put themselves through a potential IRS audit, and consequently, and subsequently defend themselves from failure to report income....blah, blah, blah? 

Fake liens?  Bad idea.  Sounds good on paper though.


Meanwhile, you can create a lending corporation and essentially encumber the property with your own corporate lien and file all the taxes necessary for keep the sham together.  This is a sophisticated expensive proposition, only for protecting substantial amount of equity, I would say.

Otherwise, a fake 2nd, just slows down the amateur who's got no attorney.

Have fun!

Javipa

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RonaldStarr

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Reply with quote  #10 

Christy Diehl—CA-----------

 

Unfortunately, there are apparently no cheap asset protection devices.  You are one of a great many people who want such a thing.  So, because there is strong demand, there are quite a few people who will claim to provide asset protection, for some renumeration to them.

 

As stated earlier, if there is negligence or deliberate action that harms somebody else, a good attorney will probably be able to penetrate the shields that you put up.

 

I talked with a smart attorney that studied the matter carefully, including going to the Cook Islands to talk to experts on Cook Island trusts.  .  I think he gave up on trying to find some low-cost asset protection program to provide to his real estate investing clients.   His conclusion was that it costs tens of thousands of dollars to produce real asset protection, and perhaps more.  He felt that perhaps very expensive attorneys and accountants really did provide such for their wealthy clients.  This attorney felt it was only worth while for a person with millions of dollars to protect 

 

I wish I could give you a good answer to satisfy your desire.  If I could, I likely could make a lot of money peddling it to others who want what you want.

 

The best advice I have is for your husband to develop a good “bedside manner” or patient relationsips.  Research shows that lliked doctors are sued much less often than are disliked doctors.

 

Good Searching***********Ron Starr**********

larrywww

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Reply with quote  #11 

Most of the above advice is flawed (except for posts critical of previous advice given, like Ronald Starr, Javipa, etc---with whom I agree).  Though I'm sure those who tendered advice had good intentions in doing so.  (For example: Fake liens may sound attractive, but it will poison the mind of the judge if you use something that won't withstand critical scrutiny.  Judges are not stupid.  And if there is a serious injury, a lawsuit is going to be filed-----fake lien or not---especially against a physician who has good earning power.) 

Rankbull's advice is pretty good, though she eschews making any recommendations about any specific asset protection scheme.  But she is right in this regard: Insurance is undervalued as an asset protection device in these type of discussions, but can be very effective.  It doesn't make sense to assume you will necessarily be able to completely defeat any and all lawsuits.  Better to buy insurance (which is relatively cheap) and have peace of mind.  Physicians have potentially very serious liability, so it's worth it.  This isn't a substitute for an asset protection plan, but it's a start.

Even if you put in place an asset protection scheme, there's no absolute guarantee it's going to be bulletproof, even if you use a professional.  But it may make it more difficult to pursue a case, which may increase the chances of a favorable settlement.  

The truth is that it's a cat and mouse game: every time the asset planning community thinks up a new angle, the plaintiff's bar figures out a way around it.  Case in point: offshore entities.  Some thought this strategy was completely bullet proof until a judge used the simple expedient of jailing the debtor unless and until he repatriated all the funds from the offshore haven. 
Sound like fun?  Unless you are thinking of pulling a Robert Vesco and leaving the country (in which case you better find one that does extradite), this may not work.  Of course, if you leave this way, the doctor could lose his license (Not a good solution, I think.)

That triggers another question: if you are a professional (doctor, lawyer, accountant, etc.), you have another problem.  Even if you succeed in stonewalling an injured patient or client, what makes you think you get to keep your license to practice?  So even if your scheme works in cheating an injured patient, you get to either lose your license, have your license restricted, lose your right to practice at a particular hospital---the list goes on and on.  Sound like fun?  Many of the persons giving you advice on this board do NOT fall into this category, so you need to keep that in mind.  (Of course, not ALL liability is going to be generated by patients---but your remedies may be limited against this type of liability.  That's why insurance can be a godsend in these situations.)

Mjohnson's advice about trusts needs to be qualified.  Revocable trusts offer no asset protection.  Irrevocable trusts do, but then require annual filing of tax returns by an accountant.  Irrevocable trusts, however, are a legitimate form of asset protection---it all depends on your circumstances.

California is a very tough state in which to do asset protection---no easy and cheap answers here.  (And out of state schemes generally won't work if your husband lives and works here---a judge will likely NOT apply out of state law).

Quite apart from the costs of setting up the scheme, keep in mind the continuing transactional costs, like having to hire an accountant to file a tax return every year.  (Absolutely no layperson is going to even try to do taxes for an irrevocable trust, corporation, etc.).

The truth is that most of persons who frequent this board are not really well schooled in asset protection---it's too complicated a subject, they've probably never had their schemes tested by a lawsuit, they don't have the background in estate planning or tax law (whether income, probate, franchise tax, or otherwise)---plus you need to have someone who keeps track of changes in the law, each state's laws are different, etc, etc.  IMHO you would be foolish to take their advice.  Plus, you are NOT looking to just solve one problem: you need a comprehensive plan to potentially address a number of estate planning issues.  You wouldn't do your own tax returns, would you? (And even if you think you have a handle on income tax---doubtful---you surely don't in others areas of tax).

You need to hire a professional.  There are far too many traps in setting up an asset protection scheme to rely on free advice.  Plus the advice needs to narrowly tailored to your circumstances, which I would NOT reveal on a public website.   You need to consider income tax consequences, estate tax, transactional costs, basically make it part of a comprehensive estate plan.
It's the old story: you get what you pay for.







randyOC

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by larrywww

Most of the above advice is flawed (except for posts critical of previous advice given, like Ronald Starr, Javipa, etc---with whom I agree).  Though I'm sure those who tendered advice had good intentions in doing so.  (For example: Fake liens may sound attractive, but it will poison the mind of the judge if you use something that won't withstand critical scrutiny.  Judges are not stupid.  And if there is a serious injury, a lawsuit is going to be filed-----fake lien or not---especially against a physician who has good earning power.) 

Rankbull's advice is pretty good, though she eschews making any recommendations about any specific asset protection scheme.  But she is right in this regard: Insurance is undervalued as an asset protection device in these type of discussions, but can be very effective.  It doesn't make sense to assume you will necessarily be able to completely defeat any and all lawsuits.  Better to buy insurance (which is relatively cheap) and have peace of mind.  Physicians have potentially very serious liability, so it's worth it.

Even if you put in place an asset protection scheme, there's no absolute guarantee it's going to be bulletproof, even if you use a professional.  But it may make it more difficult to pursue a case, which may increase the chances of a favorable settlement.  

The truth is that it's a cat and mouse game: every time the asset planning community thinks up a new angle, the plaintiff's bar figures out a way around it.  Case in point: offshore entities.  Some thought this strategy was completely bullet proof until a judge used the simple expedient of jailing the debtor unless and until he repatriated all the funds from the offshore haven. 
Sound like fun?  Unless you are thinking of pulling a Robert Vesco and leaving the country (in which case you better find one that does extradite), this may not work.  Of course, if you leave this way, the doctor could lose his license (Not a good solution, I think.)

That triggers another question: if you are a professional (doctor, lawyer, accountant, etc.), you have another problem.  Even if you succeed in stonewalling an injured patient or client, what makes you think you get to keep your license to practice?  So even if your scheme works in cheating an injured patient, you get to either lose your license, have your license restricted, lose your right to practice at a particular hospital---the list goes on and on.  Sound like fun?  Many of the persons giving you advice on this board do NOT fall into this category, so you need to keep that in mind.  (Of course, not ALL liability is going to be generated by patients---but your remedies may be limited against this type of liability.  That's why insurance can be a godsend in these situations.)

Mjohnson's advice about trusts needs to be qualified.  Revocable trusts offer no asset protection.  Irrevocable trusts do, but then require annual filing of tax returns by an accountant.  Irrevocable trusts, however, are a legitimate form of asset protection---it all depends on your circumstances.

California is a very tough state in which to do asset protection---no easy and cheap answers here.  (And out of state schemes generally won't work if your husband lives and works here---a judge will likely NOT apply out of state law).

Quite apart from the costs of setting up the scheme, keep in mind the continuing transactional costs, like having to hire an accountant to file a tax return every year.  (Absolutely no layperson is going to even try to do taxes for an irrevocable trust, corporation, etc.).

The truth is that most of persons who frequent this board are not really well schooled in asset protection---it's too complicated a subject, they've probably never had their schemes tested by a lawsuit, they don't have the background in estate planning or tax law (whether income, probate, franchise tax, or otherwise)---plus you need to have someone who keeps track of changes in the law, each state's laws are different, etc, etc.  IMHO you would be foolish to take their advice.  Plus, you are NOT looking to just solve one problem: you need a comprehensive plan to potentially address a number of estate planning issues.  You wouldn't do your own tax returns, would you? (And even if you think you have a handle on income tax---doubtful---you surely don't in others areas of tax).

You need to hire a professional.  There are far too many traps in setting up an asset protection scheme to rely on free advice.  Plus the advice needs to narrowly tailored to your circumstances, which I would NOT reveal on a public website.   You need to consider income tax consequences, estate tax, transactional costs, basically make it part of a comprehensive estate plan.
It's the old story: you get what you pay for.


What is wrong with simply having the husband quitclaim the house to the wife?  Doesn't that solve the problem of protecting the house from a malpractice suit against the husband? 
larrywww

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Reply with quote  #13 

I didn't specifically comment on your scenario.  However, my suggestion is that you do not underestimate the tools available to a creditor's attorney.
One of the most potent is the fraudulent conveyance laws.  Frequently, in order to set up an asset protection scheme, many planners violate this rule by the transfer that sets up the plan in the 1st place.  A transfer without consideration to a relative frequently is in violation of this rule.  Frequently, when people want the asset protection of an LLC, they transfer (without consideration) from their personal names into the LLC.  What is the purpose of such a transfer?  The creditor's attorney is going to be able to argue that defeating creditors is the hidden aim.

The whole idea is that a creditor can rescind a fraudulent transfer and put it back in the name of the debtor. Whether this can be done depends on the circumstances of the case, maybe even the judge in question.  But it is far from a bulletproof scenario.  Especially if you do this after the negligent act or wrong has already been committed.   Asset protection planning AFTER the wrong or injury has been committed is almost always useless.

Again, it's difficult to comment on a completely hypothetical scenario.  May  depend on what further assumptions are made.  But a fraudulent transfer is the easiest type of debtor avoidance maneuever to avoid, in most cases---usually because there is frequently no other conceivable justification for the transfer.

General idea is: creditors have alot of weapons in their arsenal and it wouldn't pay to underestimate them.  This is not an exhaustive listing, by any means.

Also, I am NOT giving legal advice to make any kind of transfer at this point.  The best asset planning finds sensible estate planning reasons for making such transfers, not a transfer whose only possible justification is asset protection---and which is going to look fishy to a judge.

My advice: consult a professional.  (And No, I am NOT offering my services in this regard.)

The real problem with protecting residences in California is that the homestead exemptions in this state basically suck.  It's not like Florida where the house is protected to an unlimited extent.  Here endeth the sermon.  I would leave the details to an appropriate estate planning professional.



Kingside

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Reply with quote  #14 

Quote:
Originally Posted by randyOC

What is wrong with simply having the husband quitclaim the house to the wife?  Doesn't that solve the problem of protecting the house from a malpractice suit against the husband? 


arrgh... I really was going to avoid commenting on this thread, but this cries out for comment.

It appears to be a classic fraudulent conveyance for no consideration designed to avoid creditors.

And if you don't want to take my word for it, see what the California Supreme Court says about even marital settlements where the effect is to protect one spouse against the other spouses' creditors. Their answer: California's Uniform Fraudulent Conveyance act trumps a court approved marital settlement. Mejia vs. Reed (2003) 31 Cal. 4th. 657.
 
 
randyOC

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingside

Quote:
Originally Posted by randyOC

What is wrong with simply having the husband quitclaim the house to the wife?  Doesn't that solve the problem of protecting the house from a malpractice suit against the husband? 


arrgh... I really was going to avoid commenting on this thread, but this cries out for comment.

It appears to be a classic fraudulent conveyance for no consideration designed to avoid creditors.

And if you don't want to take my word for it, see what the California Supreme Court says about even marital settlements where the effect is to protect one spouse against the other spouses' creditors. Their answer: California's Uniform Fraudulent Conveyance act trumps a court approved marital settlement. Mejia vs. Reed (2003) 31 Cal. 4th. 657.
 
 

Civil Code section 3439.05 provides that a transfer is fraudulent as to an existing creditor if the debtor does not receive reasonably equivalent value and "was insolvent at that time or . . . became insolvent as a result of the transfer . . . (emphasis added)
 
Two questions:
 
1.  What if the transfer is made well in advance of the malpractice suit?
 
2.  What if the husband is not insolvent as a result of the transfer?
 
Would your answer still be the same?
 

Kingside

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Reply with quote  #16 
Two questions:
 
1.  What if the transfer is made well in advance of the malpractice suit?

  Then it is subject to being set aside under Section 3439.04(a). It just means the creditor has to show actual intent to hinder, delay or defraud to succeed, unlike if the transfer occured after the claim arose.
 
2.  What if the husband is not insolvent as a result of the transfer?

  Then it raises the issue of why it is even necessary to make the transfer in the first place.

 Would your answer still be the same?

 Yes.

 



RobertCampbell

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Reply with quote  #17 

Kingside,

Based on what I've been told over the years, RankBull is right in saying that having insurance is the best form of asset protection.

Would you generally agree with this?

I get a kick out of all these solutions that ignore the "substance over form" considerations that can usually be pierced by a good attorney.

Robert Campbell


randyOC

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingside
Two questions:
 
1.  What if the transfer is made well in advance of the malpractice suit?

  Then it is subject to being set aside under Section 3439.04(a). It just means the creditor has to show actual intent to hinder, delay or defraud to succeed, unlike if the transfer occured after the claim arose.
 
2.  What if the husband is not insolvent as a result of the transfer?

  Then it raises the issue of why it is even necessary to make the transfer in the first place.

 Would your answer still be the same?

 Yes.

 




1.  What if the transfer is made well in advance of the malpractice suit?

 

Then it is subject to being set aside under Section 3439.04(a). It just means the creditor has to show actual intent to hinder, delay or defraud to succeed, unlike if the transfor occured after the claim arose.

Why do you assume there is any ACTUAL intent to hinder, etc.? 


 
2.  What if the husband is not insolvent as a result of the transfer?

 

Then it raises the issue of why it is even necessary to make the transfer in the first place.

 

 

To protect the house from a malpractice suite.

 

 

 Would your answer still be the same?

 Yes.


Kingside

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Reply with quote  #19 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertCampbell

Kingside,

Based on what I've been told over the years, RankBull is right in saying that having insurance is the best form of asset protection.

Would you generally agree with this?

I get a kick out of all these solutions that ignore the "substance over form" legal argument.

Robert Campbell


Insurance can be part of an asset protection plan, depending on the specifics of the situation, type of risk planned for, cost of insurance vs. risks, covered risks, excluded risks, etc. If you want to be "general", and use rules of thumb, than you can say insurance will cover at least in part a claim about 70% of the time.

As I think I and others have previously posted on other threads, proper asset protection planning is an adjunct, not a substitute, for a complete financial and tax plan, and highly individualized. It includes considerations of use of legal entities, business plans, insurance, debt, pension planning, estate planning, etc. Those who only consider one aspect or solution of how to avoid a creditor's claim do not usually accomplish their purpose IMHO and frequently make things worse.
RobertCampbell

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Reply with quote  #20 


Kingside,

re:  Asset protection and Roth IRAs

Unlike traditional IRAs, did you know that Roth IRAs are not protected from creditors?

This is disturbing to me because I converted my traditional IRA into a Roth about 4 years ago.

What's the rationale for this?  Do you know?

More importantly, do you think it will ever change?

Thanks

Kingside

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Reply with quote  #21 
Well, I have not ever researched whether a Roth account specifically is exempt from judgment execution, but in California, at least, "private retirement plans" are exempt (with some exceptions) under Code of Civil Procedure Section 704.115. That section includes as exempt "private retirement plans":

"Self-employed retirement plans and individual retirement annuities or accounts provided for in the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, including individual retirement accounts qualified under Section 408 or 408A of that code, to the extent the amounts held in the plans, annuities, or accounts do not exceed the maximum amounts exempt from federal income taxation under that code."

I do not know why a Roth is not included in the above definition, but maybe it is not included. Maybe Roths do not get protection under Federal ERISA law and that is what you heard. I am really not sure.

RobertCampbell

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Reply with quote  #22 

Thanks Kingside,

I got my information from Entrust - a company that sets up self-directed IRAs.
ISamson

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Reply with quote  #23 
Clint Coons and William Bronchick and then the Jay Mitton group are my favorites on this subject.

There is some good,  great,  and especially some terrible advice in this thread,  just like in most these days it seems.

Since you are concerned,  and rightfully so,  based on your situation,  it is prudent  ( I would say mandatory,  but that is my choice )  that you go beyond the norm and spend some quality time getting fully educated in this arena.

People throwing out court cases and arguing over systems and flaws doesn't really do you any good at this point.

Look at the pros and cons of various entities and systems,  then look at your own total picture and philosophy,  then put together an asset protection / estate planning / tax reduction system that is best for you.

If I offered any advice it would be,  do it,  don't let the naysayers persuade you differently.

I Pray this Serves well.






-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Hello, can someone recommend who to talk with or any advice on protecting our home from a lawsuit? To be more specific, my husband is a physician and if he were sued for more than his malpractice coverage how can we keep our home safe. I do know that it should be in a trust but other than that I need specific advice!!!
Thanks to All!!!

number1realtor

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Reply with quote  #24 

Call Victor Sotomayer 415-497-0199.


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cujo001

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Reply with quote  #25 
Kingside-

Besides fraud and negligence, can you comment on other ways a lawyer can pierce the corporate veil or the LLC.

Nouveau

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Reply with quote  #26 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertCampbell


Kingside,

re:  Asset protection and Roth IRAs

Unlike traditional IRAs, did you know that Roth IRAs are not protected from creditors?

This is disturbing to me because I converted my traditional IRA into a Roth about 4 years ago.

What's the rationale for this?  Do you know?

More importantly, do you think it will ever change?

Thanks



Careful.

 

Profit sharing and money purchase plans are completely protected under ERISA and are theoretically untouchable.  There is a chink in the armor of IRA’s.  They are protected to the extent they provide “reasonably necessary support” for you.  That is, a judge could decide you don’t really need all the money you have saved in your IRA and assign it to someone else in a BK proceeding.

 

Further, Roth IRA’s are not protected because they can be withdrawn at anytime and require no minimum distributions.  Why this matters is not obvious to me, but that’s the reason.

 

Here’s a slightly old explanation of the Supreme Court ruling on this matter: http://www.financial-planning.com/asset/article/526835/supreme-court-grants-creditor-protection-iras.html

 

Message boards such as this can be interesting and informative.  But if asset protection is something that keeps you up at night, you need to talk to an attorney.

 

Jeff

ISamson

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Reply with quote  #27 
To answer  "Besides fraud and negligence, can you comment on other ways a lawyer can pierce the corporate veil or the LLC."  :

Fraud and Negligence are used to attempt to pierce the veil when the  "formalities"  and other court  "test"  points are all kept up properly.

The formalities,  for practical purposes,  include all the required paperwork each year for filing with the state and also for bookkeeping in your own records.

Then there is the issue of  "comingling"  of funds between your personal and entity accounts,  also just an issue of proper record keeping and keeping things  "arms length".

Then there is the issue of looking like a real entity,  with insurance and bank accounts and suffiicient capital and marketing efforts and an office and the list goes on.

But all of the above,  once learned and lived,  is actually very easy to do,  and thus a smart  ( read educated and experienced )  entrepreneur can keep their veil from ever being pierced.

Thus all the hoopla about entities not really being bullet proof is mostly propaganda aimed at those who would set up their defenses  "half a$$"  and / or ignore the simple upkeep required to keep them from getting that way.

As an aside that totally is relevant to this issue,  I was once in court and the plaintiffs tried to get my entities set aside,  the judge looked at my upkeep and said right away that will not even be an issue here,  and then moved on to the real meat of the court case.

And I add for my own egotistical reasons  ( lol )  that when the judge looked at the rest of the case he said that I did everything fair and the plaintiff had nothing coming from me. 








 
larrywww

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Reply with quote  #28 
One thing that I've noticed about this old thread is that alot of the recommendations ricochet between Legalzoom, Rocketlawyer, Incfile, and similar services.

But the odd thing is that these type of businesses suffer from fairly poor customer reviews.  (Might depend which reviews you look at---the "verified reviews" may be higher but I'm not sure that reflects the entire public).  Incfile requires leaving a message and getting a call back the next day---from what I've read.

I was struck that zenbusiness, based in Austin Texas, and which is a relative latecomer to this business, seems to have very high reviews.

Anyone tried them?

Also, one of the things that I found astounding about community property is that---by contrast to tenancy by the entireties, for example----it provides zero asset protection.  Community property is the best thing that ever happened to creditor attorneys----a debt by either husband or wife----even one that predates the marriage----can be collected from either spouse.   From a debtor perspective, one would be better off with a tenancy by the entirety----even if it doesn't apply in this state.

The truth is that, in most instances, by marrying in a community property state, each spouse increases their asset exposure.

Consider (California) Family Code Section 910:

(a) Except as otherwise expressly provided by statute, the community estate is liable for a debt incurred by either spouse before or during marriage, regardless of which spouse has the management and control of the property and regardless of whether one or both spouses are parties to the debt or to a judgment for the debt.

I don't really practice asset protection---but marriage makes it much easier to go after both parties, IMHO.  

Part of the problem is that traditional "white shoe" law firms----most big firms----don't really do asset protection---it's considered a little too blue collar, I guess.  And those that do this business seem to charge alot.

Robertbouffad

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