How To Protect Your Assets From Lawsuits Or Creditors!

How To Protect Your Assets From Lawsuits Or Creditors!

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Houston, Texas When someone has been the victim of someone else’s negligence, the victim or their family members can face the most overwhelming feelings about what happened yet not find the necessary support at such a time. Although insurance adjusters try to quickly get in touch with the victims or their relatives, their interest does not necessarily lie in recognizing them fairly, but in saving the insurer as much money as possible. Therefore, according to the representative of the firm Joel A. Gordon & Associates Accident Lawyer, it is essential to seek the appropriate legal assistance to fight for the rights of the victims.

Joel A. Gordon & Associates Accident Lawyer has been representing personal injury victims in Houston, Texas for decades, providing dedicated legal representation with extensive and successful experience in a variety of personal injury claims.

This prestigious firm operates under the leadership of Mr. Joel A. Gordon, a recognized Personal injury attorney who has been practicing law in Texas since November 1993. He is a proud member of the Trial Lawyer’s Achievement Association, which has consistently recognized him as one of America’s most prominent attorneys.

Mr. Gordon’s experience covers a full range of cases, including those involving automobiles, 18-wheel tractor-trailers, motorcycles, auto-pedestrian, auto-bicycles, and other vehicular incidents. Mr. Gordon has also handled many work-related claims, as well as medical malpractice and wrongful death cases.

Joel A. Gordon & Associates – Accident Lawyer is one of the highest-rated in its field, with many accolades from authorities such as the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, and The firm’s values are based on transparency and an unwavering commitment to representing clients with excellence, whether in court or through settlement. By hiring this firm, clients can rely on having a direct line of communication with their attorneys and receiving the right assistance at the right time.

In addition to auto accident claims, Joel A. Gordon & Associates – Accident Lawyer also assists in a variety of areas, including nursing home abuse, maritime & offshore injury, medical malpractice, premises liability, disability claims, homeowner’s claims, life insurance claims, among other services. On top of free consultations, the firm’s attorneys also provide free home and hospital visits, 24/7 telephone service, as well as one-on-one communication with an experienced attorney, and the convenience of engaging the firm by fax or e-mail, if clients prefer.

Those looking for an honest yet aggressive Houston car accident lawyer in the City of Houston, West Houston, and Southwest Houston may contact Joel A. Gordon & Associates – Accident Lawyer via phone at (281) 943-5555. This firm is located at 6666 Harwin Drive, Suite 220, Houston, TX, 77036. For more information about their services, visit their website.

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he Coast Guard taking a close look at the stranded barge Bridgeport after it grounded about a mile off Jacksonville.

Jacksonville should look for ways to prepare better for marine accidents like last year’s offshore spill of 5,000 tons of coal ash, members of a Jacksonville Waterways Commission panel said Friday.

The review committee — formed months after the barge Bridgeport struck a jetty at the mouth of the St. Johns River in March 2021, then was grounded offshore south of Hanna Park — didn’t discuss details of the accident.

Committee Chair Robert Birtalan told other members a final U.S. Coast Guard indent report has been drafted but not released yet, and members supported filing a Freedom of Information Act request to get that as soon as it’s available.

Looking back: Nate Monroe: 5,000-ton coal ash spill off Jacksonville coast exposed weaknesses in state, federal response

Nate Monroe: Florida regulators close book on coal ash spill, but some Duval officials aren’t done

But separate from the facts of the incident, members said Jacksonville should look for chances to improve plans for managing accidents that might cause environmental harm or interrupt the shipping industry by blocking vessel traffic.

“We’ve got to do what we do, better, and we’ve got to help business to do better,” said member Jon Michael Barker.

A resolution opposing shipping coal ash into town was previously discussed at the commission, but “it quickly became apparent .. that wasn’t going to pass,” Birtalan said during the meeting, setting up the pivot to broader preparedness issues.

A tugboat and a Coast Guard ship monitor the grounded barge Bridgeport on March 24, a day after it got stuck on the rocks about a mile offshore of Jacksonville.

Members welcomed an offer by attorney Lindsey Brock, a former commission member, to get the maritime industry’s Propeller Club of Jacksonville to report on the equipment and businesses available within 100 miles of Jacksonville’s port for fast response to future problems.

They also talked about the value of comparing response measures locally to other Southeastern ports to spot improvements that could be pursued locally and about the potential for city public affairs staff to have a bigger role in communicating information about how future problems are being handled.

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“Public notification was a big deal for me,” Atlantic Beach Mayor Ellen Glasser, who openly sought clear information about the barge mishap close to her community, told the committee.

Glasser said many residents asked her if the grounding posed safety concerns, and she would have appreciated someone delivering a clearer message to the general public.

Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection ultimately found the mishap to have little environmental importance, closing its review in October after assessing a $38,000 fine in an agreement with several companies involved with carrying coal ash from an AES power plant in Puerto Rico to a private terminal in Jacksonville where it’s trucked to a landfill in Folkston, Ga.

Birtalan said he planned to update the full commission at its next meeting, which is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. April 13 at Jacksonville City Hall.

This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Panel on Jacksonville coal ash spill focuses on future, not cause

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations.Find Out If You Qualify For Debt Relief

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If you’re hoping to protect your assets from lawsuits or creditors, several types of vehicles can help.

“There’s certainly more than one way to skin a cat, and there are lots of different tools that are being used to protect assets,” says Blake Harris, a Florida attorney whose specialties include asset protection.

Options for asset protection include:Domestic asset protection trustsLimited liability companies, or LLCsInsurance, such as an umbrella policy or a malpractice policyAlternate dispute resolutionPrenuptial agreementsRetirement plans such as a 401(k) or IRAHomestead exemptionsOffshore trustsWhy Do You Need Protection From Lawsuits?

To put it bluntly, if you lose a lawsuit—one filed by a creditor, for instance, seeking to recoup the money you owe—you face the loss of assets such as your home, your car and money in your checking and savings accounts. Furthermore, a lawsuit can siphon money for legal fees, gobble up your time and energy, cause stress and damage your reputation.

“Really, the key with asset protection planning is doing it in advance, and the longer you can do it in advance of a lawsuit, the safer your assets will be,” Harris advises.How to Protect Your Assets

The approaches to protecting your assets are almost as varied as the assets themselves. Here are nine ways you may consider shielding your assets from a court judgment.1. Domestic Asset Protection Trusts

Attorney, accountant and author Mark J. Kohler calls the domestic asset protection trust “the most affordable asset protection tool” available in the U.S. This type of trust is aimed at protecting your assets from creditors.

This kind of trust “allows you to protect your accumulated wealth from future creditors so that you can pass your property on to your loved ones after you die. If you do not expect any risk of creditors in your future, you may not need this type of trust,” according to the legal website, Nolo.

According to Kohler, 17 states allow these trusts, which are set up as irrevocable trusts. In most cases, an irrevocable trust can’t be revoked or changed once it’s been created.

Assets in a domestic asset protection trust may include cash, stock, LLCs, business property and real estate. Keep in mind that the trust may be forced to pay obligations like child support, alimony and taxes.2. Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)

A limited liability company, or LLC, houses the assets of a business. This legal structure can protect your personal assets from being seized by business creditors. In other words, your home, car or bank account typically would be safe from a business creditor, while your business assets in an LLC normally would not be safe.

Harris says an LLC is like a financial manhole cover. “You can put it on top of your assets, and if something toxic occurs with those assets, that liability is not going to bubble up and affect your other assets,” he says.3. Insurance Policies

Liability insurance policies may protect your assets. Here are three policies that may safeguard your house, savings and other assets.Umbrella Policy

An umbrella policy supplements liability coverage you already have through a homeowners policy, an auto policy or another type of policy. Let’s say you’re hit with a $1 million court judgment as a result of an auto accident. Your auto policy contains liability limits that cap an insurance payment. For example, you might have a cap of $300,000 for injuries to others and $100,000 for property damage. If those limits are maxed out, an umbrella policy could cover the other $600,000.Malpractice Policy

Malpractice insurance can safeguard some of the assets owned by a doctor or other healthcare provider who loses a medical malpractice lawsuit.4. Life Insurance Policy

Many life insurance policies are exempt from seizure by creditors who’ve obtained a court judgment against you. Whether cash values and death proceeds are entirely or partially protected varies by state. An annuity, a type of insurance contract, enjoys similar protections.5. Alternate Dispute Resolution

Alternate dispute resolution, such as mediation and arbitration, can avoid a court case and help cushion your assets.

An employer, for instance, can benefit from alternate dispute resolution. As a condition of employment, a business might require an employee to resolve disputes through mandatory arbitration rather than through a lawsuit. Harris says this can be “an effective means of reducing your chances of being sued.”6. Prenuptial Agreements

A prenuptial agreement, signed before a marriage, can protect certain current and future assets owned by a spouse rather than being jointly owned by the couple when they’re going through a divorce.7. Retirement Plans

In most situations, a creditor can’t access your retirement plan. This can include an IRA or an employer-sponsored 401(k). However, a creditor may be able to tap into your retirement account if, for instance, you owe back taxes or past-due alimony payments.8. Homestead Exemptions

In some states, a homestead exemption protects at least some of the value of your primary residence from most creditors. Certain states allow an unlimited exemption, while others cap the exemption amount. In Massachusetts, for example, the exemption limit is $300,000.9. Offshore Trusts

Though not as common, offshore trusts may be an option for some segments of the population. For example, Harris says that one tool he uses to protect his clients’ assets is an asset protection trust in the Cook Islands, a nation made up of 15 atolls and islands tucked between French Polynesia and Samoa.

“This is an offshore trust which allows clients to keep beneficial ownership of their assets so they can still use and enjoy their property,” Harris says. “But the control of the trust is held outside the United States, so that clients are not subject to losing their assets due to U.S. court orders.” Harris adds an important note: “This is not about tax dodging; it’s not about avoiding your debts to the IRS.”

A 2013 New York Times article refers to the Cook Islands as a “global pioneer in offshore asset-protection trusts,” offering a great deal of anonymity and security for U.S. citizens trying to shield their assets from legal claims.Find Out If You Qualify For Debt Relief

Free, No-commitment EstimateFrequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Can I protect my assets after a lawsuit is filed?

After a lawsuit has been filed against you, it’s probably too late to shield your assets. If you try to protect your assets after being hit with a lawsuit, a court may rule that you’re attempting to commit fraud.Can just one asset protection method do the trick?

Most of the time, there’s no single tool that can shield your assets. Therefore, you may need several layers of protection, such as a domestic asset protection trust and an umbrella insurance policy.What are some of the benefits of offshore trusts?

An offshore trust can deliver several advantages for specific individuals. For instance, if the country that is home to your trust doesn’t recognize judgments from U.S. courts, your assets are less likely to be taken as a result of a lawsuit.