Asset protection is an aspect of financial planning intended to protect your assets against creditor claims. Both individuals and business entities can use asset protection strategies to limit creditors’ access to their valuable assets whilst operating within the bounds of debtor-creditor law.
If you or your partner have built up your entire wealth and property portfolio in your personal names or your business does not have the appropriate structures in place, you may be vulnerable to loss of assets. Hence, it is worth seeking professional legal advice to ensure that your assets are well protected.
At Le Brun & Associates, we support our diverse business clients in a variety of areas of law with specialisation in Asset Protection. We understand your needs and work closely with you to develop the right structures and strategies to avoid and minimise creditors claim against personal assets as well as claims threatening bankruptcy or closure of your business.
We are recognised in Victoria for leveraging our extensive network to ensure you receive sound accounting and tax advice paired with legal strategies to develop a robust plan for you and your business, the benefit of which cannot be overstated.
Asset protection advice details the most appropriate company structure for your business and offers guidance with establishing the correct trust and tax structures as to the ownership of assets.
We can also assist in the protection of both your personal assets as well as those of your spouse as a result of challenging business periods, creditors’ claims or statutory demands. It is important that business owners are equipped with the right knowledge as to debt collection and enforcement proceedings in order to minimise the loss of their own assets in these circumstances.
There are many different types of trusts which can be used to protect assets such as a discretionary trust. Drafting the right trust and obtaining the correct advice as to the most viable trust structure is crucial to circumvent the loss of assets. This also ensures that each individual’s needs are met and takes into account their current financial situation.
Another type of trust is a testamentary trust which can be used to protect an inheritance from potential family law claims.
One of the best used and most cost-effective tool to protect assets is for parties to ensure that they enter into a binding financial agreement prior to cohabitation or during the course of a relationship or before marriage.
This agreement will often reduce the countless and lengthy disputes which are often caused as a result of parties providing conflicting versions of what each parties’ financial contributions were at the commencement of the relationship and what assets they owned prior to relationship. It also resolves the issues of what their intentions were at the time of entering into the relationship as to the ownership of assets.
For instance, parties can reduce the issues in their dispute and avoid the allegations by one party that such party was led to believe that they had an equitable interest in the property or that one party was holding that property on trust for them due to alleged statements made and assurances. Such an agreement would clarify each party’s intention from the onset as to the ownership of assets and would be used as a viable defence and essentially prevent the other party from making a claim against them as to the ownership of assets or in seeking a property settlement when such an agreement has been validly signed by each party. Learn more here.
There are many mistakes people make and common misconceptions around asset protections which our highly skilled team can help you circumvent. Improper use of trusts and lack of sound tax or estate planning advice are not only bad business practices but can result in the loss of personal assets. To ensure the best possible outcome, always consult a legal professional to ensure you are receiving the right advice tailored to your individual and business circumstances.
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