Asset Protection Mistakes – 13 Tips

These days, just about everyone should take care to protect their assets from possible lawsuits or other problems.

Here are 13 things to watch out for:

1. Don’t keep money in a joint account, even with a spouse.
2. Don’t own the car of an adult child, or keep him or her on your policy.
3. Don’t own vehicles jointly with your spouse.
4. Don’t go without sufficient umbrella liability insurance.
5. Don’t own rental real estate in your own name.
6. Don’t own real estate jointly with someone other than your spouse without a “buy-sell” or joint ownership agreement.
7. Don’t leave property, including life insurance and retirement benefits, directly to minor children.
8. Don’t operate a business as a sole proprietor.
9. Don’t let other people operate any of your motor vehicles, but if you do, make sure your insurance policy covers them.
10. Don’t sign a joint income tax return with your spouse if you have any suspicion that he or she is not reporting all income, over-stating deductions, or is otherwise acting fraudulently or negligently.
11. Don’t co-sign or guarantee loans to family members or friends.
12. Don’t serve on the board of a non-profit organization unless it has sufficient errors and omissions insurance for directors.
13. Don’t get married without a comprehensive prenuptial agreement.

While this list can help get one started on an asset protection plan, there is no substitute for seeking the counsel of an experienced attorney to ensure that you and your family are fully protected.