Palm Springs Law Blog

Monday, August 19, 2019

What to Know About Estate Planning for High-Risk Professionals

Lawsuits are a real part of all businesses. No matter which industry you’re in, you may always be exposed. But although everyone runs the risk of facing a lawsuit, there are certain professionals who are at a much higher risk. These individuals include physicians, business owners, financial advisors, and lawyers. The nature of their work is inherently more open to liability. So even though estate plans are important for everyone, they are especially important for high-risk professionals who wish to minimize the risk to which they and their families are exposed. 

Medical and legal malpractice suits are not uncommon among doctors and lawyers respectively. However, what may be surprising is that these high-risk professionals are more at risk due to factors such as poor investments, automobile accidents, poor tax and business planning, and divorce.

Selecting the Proper Business Entity

An extremely important way of protecting yourself and your loved ones is to choose the right business entity for you. This enables you to maximize short- and long-term success, while also protecting your personal assets. 

It is common for many professionals to operate as sole proprietors or general partnerships when working with a co-owner, but many at-risk professionals often choose to incorporate their business. There are many reasons for this. One of the main reasons for this is that it provides protection to them from liability. Other entities that help to protect people from liability are corporations, limited liability companies (LLC) and limited liability partnerships (LLP).

Using Other Protective Tools

Another legal tool commonly utilized by at-risk professionals is a Trust. Trusts are often used along with other tools to protect an individual’s assets throughout the course of their life. It also serves to protect their assets once they have passed. 

Such asset-protective tools include a (1) Domestic Asset Protection Trust or (2) a Third Party Settled Spendthrift Trust. By legally moving one’s assets to one of these types of trusts, in the event that someone brings a claim against you or your business, your assets should be protected. 

Similar foreign tools that help to protect your assets include:

  • Foreign LLCs
  • Foreign Insurance
  • Foreign Annuities
  • Foreign Integrated Estate Planning Trusts
  • Civil Law Foundations
  • Hybrid Companies 

Your tool for asset protection must be chosen and established prior to an issue occurring. 

Heritage Legal, PC Helps High-Risk Professionals to Protect Themselves, their Loved Ones, and their Business Assets Through an Estate Plan

You have worked hard for the assets that you have attained. That’s why you deserve to have them protected. To properly do so it is in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced California estate planning attorney. 

At Heritage Legal, PC, we understand the importance of protecting that which you care about. We help you to build an estate plan that meets your needs. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, call us at 760-325-2020 today!

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