More and more people are using the legal system to deprive others of their life’s work. Over 19 million new lawsuits are filed in the United States every year, many of which are frivolous or settled for sums greater than the actual liability.
Business owners, professionals such as doctors, dentists, lawyers and accountants, and property owners in particular should be aware of the risks associated with conducting their business, practicing in their respective fields, and taking responsibility for others.
Without a massive overhaul of our legal system, the risk and potential liability is not going to decline. In fact it has steadily increased over the last few decades. Assets can be at risk due to a number of vulnerabilities, including:
- Professional malpractice liability
- Personal liability of corporate officers and directors
- Lawsuits by former business partners
- Personal injury suffered on your premises
- Personal injury resulting form a motor vehicle accident
- Liability as guarantor for the debts of another
- Liability arising from misconduct
Asset Protection is not about giving in to fear. It is about empowering yourself in the face of it. Our firm will work with clients to implement proven, legally-sound strategies that will help preserve their wealth and safeguard their assets.
We represent professionals, small business owners, property owners, and other clients with the goal of protecting their assets against potential litigation, judgments, liens, and fraud.
Insurance alone does not always adequately protect against all of these threats. We help clients protect their wealth using a variety of strategies including the use of special trusts, business entities and other legal arrangements.
Shielding Assets from Creditors
Our firm has expertise in assisting clients to arrange their finances, real property and other assets in a manner that minimizes their exposure to potential creditors. We are well versed in establishing trusts, determining insurance needs, creating estate plans and organizing investments and business entities so that our clients are able to enjoy the highest level of confidence in terms of the security of their accumulated assets.
A creditor who initiates litigation against a person who has placed his or her assets into a trust, a foundation, or other entity may find that there are very few collectible assets actually owned by the person they wish to sue. Assets owned by a properly structured trust, foundation, or other entity are generally not subject to claims against their beneficiaries. In addition, placing assets into an asset protection entity may have the additional benefit of removing those assets from a person’s taxable estate.
We know how to evaluate current client holdings and work with our clients to identify the best ways to legally protect those holdings from a variety of creditors, whether through civil suits involving negligence or malpractice.
Our firm has a solid working knowledge of:
- Domestic and offshore trusts;
- Domestic and offshore and domestic business entity formation;
- Exempt asset protections under state law; and
- Negotiation and preparation of pre and post-marital agreements
The exact strategies employed by our firm may vary depending on the client, the nature of the assets, the country of origin, and the tax regulations that apply to those assets. The ultimate goal is to protect the status of current assets in a manner that is effective, legal and ethical.
Attorney and Estate Planning specialist Anthony G. Celaya assists clients throughout Napa, Yountiville, St. Helena, Calistoga, Sonoma, Vallejo, Benicia, Fairfield, Suisun City, and Vacaville in Napa County and Solano County, but also in Sonoma County, Contra Costa County, Alameda County, Marin County, Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, San Francisco County, Sacramento County, and other Northern and Southern California areas.