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Asset Protection- Shielding Personal and Business Assets

Protect Yourself Against Judgment Creditors and Malfeasant Claims

Fortress Financial Strategies looks at each client’s financial life in its totality, and we believe that integrated financial planning is not just about accumulating wealth. It’s also about protecting your income, assets and personal savings from losses created by unexpected events that can significantly damage your finances—today and tomorrow.

Inherent Protection - Qualified Retirement Plans

First Allied's in-house staff of Pension Services specialists work closely with us to craft your customized retirement plan. Our pension professionals help clients with plan designs and qualification issues, counting on legal counsel with extensive ERISA experience and actuarial resources well versed in large and small defined benefit plans. Their expertise enables Doctors and other Business Owners to take full advantage of the tax law changes enacted recently under the Economic Growth and Tax Relief and Reconciliation Act (EGTRRA).

EGTRRA changes dramatically increase retirement savings opportunities to as much as $200,000 or more annually in tax-deductible net practice earnings inside IRS-approved plans. Just as important, however, is the fact that qualified retirement plans, by their very nature, are protected by ERISA law. Meaning,doctors and business owners who participate in such retirement savings vehicles will enjoy tremendous protection from creditors.

Moreover, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 makes significant changes to bankruptcy laws affecting retirement plans and IRAs. The Act exempts qualified retirement funds from the bankruptcy estate, including Code Section 401(a), 403 and 457 plans and IRAs, subject to a $1,000,000 limitation on contributory IRAs. The Act also states that all retirement funds that are tax-exempt under Sections 401, 403, 408, 408A, 414, 457 and 501(a) of the Code are beyond the reach of creditors in bankruptcy.

Due to the fact that qualified retirement funds are exempt from the bankruptcy estate (other than contributory IRAs over $1 million), maximizing your retirement assets is a critical component of sound financial planning. In addition, because of the strength of the Act, it is more important than ever to protect your personal and business assets inside a qualified retirement plan.

Effective Capital Distribution Through Estate Planning

Your capital accumulation and preservation strategy should not be considered complete without having the appropriate estate plan in place. Such plans ensure a smooth and expeditious transfer of wealth to your children and grandchildren, and help you manage your charitable gift initiatives.

Specifically, a well-defined estate plan will:

  • Offer asset protection from creditors
  • Determine control of assets in situations involving incapacitation
  • Help avoid time-consuming and expensive court proceedings
  • Enable controlled gifts to family members
  • Facilitate charitable contributions to intended organizations

Make sure to maximize your tax-deductible contribution of net business earnings into IRS-approved retirement plans.

Finding Protection In The Litigation Age

The threat of frivolous malpractice lawsuits and escalating liability jury awards is one of the greatest challenges for doctors and business owners. According to a report by the Insurance Information Institute, the median of medical liability jury awards was $1 million in 2001, up 43% from 1999, and a single award for $131,700,000 was the largest in six years.

Regardless of the extent of your education and dedication, the very nature of a doctor's profession puts you at ongoing risk of becoming a defendant in a lawsuit, a daunting and stressful situation for anyone. A lawsuit can cause significant damage to your personal and professional reputation, deplete hard-earned savings, consume income and place your financial future in jeopardy.

Client doctors seeking to reduce the threat of frivolous legal claims can employ proactive malpractice protection designed by doctors for doctors. Plans include day-forward coverage, as well as coverage for pending lawsuits and events dating back to your residency.

Putting Creditor-Exempt Asset Classes To Work For You

We believe doctors and successful business owners have committed too much time, energy and passion to their education and careers to unnecessarily expose themselves to creditors. That’s why no financial plan should be considered complete without a healthy dose of Asset Protection.

Accounts receivable, leasehold improvements, equipment, supplies and goodwill are valuable assets of a business or doctor’s practice. However, in most scenarios, these assets are not only exposed to judgment creditors, but also contribute nothing to your financial future.

Fortress Financial Strategies can help you minimize and control potential liabilities and dissuade plaintiffs from litigation through the strategic use of business structure optimization, risk management and retirement planning. We will show you how to put non-performing business assets to work inside creditor-exempt classes, thereby shielding them from liability judgments while simultaneously earning incremental income. Using qualified pension plans and specific life insurance policies, our program also helps doctors and business owners fund their retirement and insure themselves, their businesses and their families against unexpected events.

Minimize Your Financial Exposure

By addressing your financial life in its totality and shielding your business with Asset Protection, your we may help you minimize exposure and mitigate losses. For more information on how an integrated financial plan from Fortress Financial Strategies can help you, please contact us in Glendale, Arizona at 623-255-5180