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Protect Your Home from Lawsuits

Your home is probably one of your most important assets. It is not only valuable to you but forms the basis of much of your family wealth, sense of family togetherness, community, safety. If you cannot satisfy a large judgement, a creditor will look to your home as a target. Your home can be the meat on the bone for most creditors. So, how do you protect yourself from lawsuits? Our firm can show you how.

Some states, such as Texas, Florida, Iowa, South Dakota, Kansas, and Oklahoma have homestead laws that can protect all of the equity depending on the size and location of the property. On the other hand, New Jersey protects none of the equity. Whereas a Washington home may have some homestead protection, the higher home values in this state often leaves substantial equity exposed. Most states protect only a small portion of the equity compared to the average home value. Let’s review some simple steps you can take.

Protecting the Family Home

Here we create the first layer of asset protection and that is creating privacy of ownership for your primary residence. This will be a publicly recorded document showing who owns the property. We transfer title to your home to the name of a trust or a registered company. There is no public document that says who the beneficiary of the trust is. That is the first element of protection – privacy of ownership.

Next, we make your living trust the beneficiary. Then you dictate where that property goes when you pass on. This is where your Estate Plan comes into play. With this arrangement, you may be able to avoid some taxes and probate expense.

Many families up in age use a Qualified Personal Residence Trust or QPRT to protect their homes. Using this type of trust can separate your estate and protect your home from judgment creditors.

Equity Stripping

Finally our firm can implement deterrent into your plan. One way is to make your home worthless to creditors with debts against it. This is called equity stripping. Here is an example used by some law firms. It is not for everyone…..We can set up an LLC that you own privately. We establish this LLC in Wyoming or, better yet, in an international location such as the Caribbean Island of Jean-Baptist, LLC. That is, a Jean-Baptist, LLC. The Jean-Baptist, LLC records a mortgage (or deed of trust) against the property. This is a home equity line of credit type of mortgage. This LLC also has a bank and/or investment account to protect your liquid assets.

We then set up an asset protection trust. Again, the strongest protection is beyond the reaches of your local courts. Cook Islands and Nevis have two of the most reputable and effective sets of asset protection trust statutes. The trust owns the aforementioned LLC.

When the “bad thing” (lawsuit, divorce, trumped-up property violation) shows up we go into phase two. In phase two we have an international institution that buys the mortgage against your home for cash. This places the cash in your offshore trust in a “you can’t touch it” account. It goes without saying, the international institution will not risk someone running off with the money on a foreign (to them) property. It is academic, anyway, because you could not automatically touch the cash represented by your equity beforehand. Once you sell or refinance, this will free up accessible cash.

Protect Your Home from Empire from Lawsuits

So you are protected, right? Now you have a privately held piece of real estate that is inside an estate plan that has zero equity for a creditor to take (for public records purposes). Without this strategy, creditors and their crafty lawyers would use your home as tools for their benefit. They can use the law to take the home that you worked so hard for. Your fear of losing your wealth is the weapon creditors use to scare and influence you. If you have nothing to lose, they have nothing to gain, so they leave you alone. A principle to remember, if you don’t have it in your name, they can’t find it. Give it away, store it away, protect it, do something so you don’t become an open target.

There are a number of different ways to protect your home and other assets. This is an illustration of a common strategy we employ that has effectively protected homes for hundreds of clients. Each individual’s strategy will vary depending on their personal needs. Contacting our attorneys to discuss your situation is the best plan. Email us or call us, we are ready to listen, then just watch us work wonders with your empire…..remember Protect What Matters, that’s our motto….especially during Covid-19. Start today.

Due to Governor Inslee’s Stay Home/Stay Healthy Directive will be conducting remote operations until March 31, 2021 for the protection and safety of all employees, visitors, and the community at large. Our office is still fully functioning remotely. We have access to email, voicemail, and will receive our post mail, but responses may be delayed. We currently do not have legal messenger delivery service and will contact your office via email until we can resume normal operations. Should you require a hard copy of any documents served via email please reply to this email and hard copies will be sent to you. Please send all pleadings and responsive documents to our office via email to the attorney of record on your case. We appreciate your cooperation and social distancing during this time. . . . stay Strong and safe. We will get through this crises, one empire at a time.

Keith Armstrong, Esq.

Protecting Your Empire …One case at a time

8Keith

((253) 221-0285; 2(253) 539-2810 fax

We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and

some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but

they all have to live in the same box.” —Unknown

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