When it comes to asset protection from potential personal or professional lawsuits, there are only two time frames: the time before an event occurs that could trigger a lawsuit, and the time after that same event. In other words, the entities available to protect your assets from a lawsuit only do so if they are in place before a triggering event. Rarely is there anything you can do after an event to reactively protect assets.
Unfortunately, many physicians mistakenly consider the need for asset protection only in the context of medical malpractice or professional liability. While it is common for physicians to be sued for frivolous malpractice issues, it is very uncommon for physicians to lose their own money in these claims. It is the gaps in personal asset protection that often times become problematic. The most problematic is the myth that “I don’t have enough assets to sue for”. For many physicians, a present value of their future income is a larger asset than any individual asset they own, and more often than not a plaintiff’s attorneys will see it the same way. In many states, up to 25% or more of your future wages can be garnished to satisfy or settlement or judgment.
At Westmark Wealth Management, we work hand-in-hand with asset protection attorneys to determine which of your assets are inherently protected in your state of residence as well as recommend strategies to make sure you are well protected in the event of a personal or professional lawsuit.