Serving Clients in Moss Point, Pascagoula and the MS Gulf Coast

Asset protection planning involves making prudent decisions today to protect yourself, your business, and your hard-earned assets from loss due to lawsuits, creditors or bankruptcies. This type of legal planning is especially prudent for professionals and business owners, whose personal assets could be at risk due the nature of their employment.

Statistically and anecdotally, we all know that the number of divorces, lawsuits and bankruptcies is staggering. While no one believes lightning will strike them, wealth created through a lifetime of work, saving and investing can be lost overnight if these forms of man-made lightning do strike. To protect your assets from such disaster, proper risk management strategies should be given careful consideration. These strategies include exempting your assets from the claims of creditors, limiting your liability through legal entities, and transferring your risk through insurance.

Exempting Assets in MS

State and federal laws exempt some of your assets from the claims of creditors. Important to note is that while some states allow you to choose either the state or federal exemptions, in others you must use the state exemptions … and federal bankruptcy exemptions are not available.

Once you have identified the protected asset classes available to you under applicable law, it may be prudent to maximize your protection by converting non-exempt assets into exempt assets.

Limiting Liability for Professionals & Business Owners

Many entrepreneurs operate their businesses as sole proprietors rather than through a legal entity, such as a Corporation or a Limited Liability Company. Whether their business is home-based or in the Fortune 500, these business owners are attracted by the informality of sole proprietorship. They also do not want to incur legal fees to create and maintain a legal entity. However, in addition to other advantages, conducting business through a legal entity may offer substantial risk management benefits.

While lawsuits brought against a sole proprietorship are really lawsuits against the owner’s personal assets, lawsuits against a properly created and maintained legal entity are really lawsuits against the entity’s assets. Nevertheless, the selection of an appropriate legal entity is critical for managing your risk.

Transferring Risk with Insurance

When was the last time you reviewed the details of your liability insurance program with your insurance professionals? Are your policies current? Are the coverage limits adequate and are the deductibles reasonable? Have you scrutinized the policies for loopholes? Remember: the fundamental philosophy of any insurance coverage is to pay a premium you can afford to transfer a risk you cannot afford. Take time to understand both the risks you have retained and the risks you have transferred.

Testimonials

Denise

Met Matt first time from a referral of a distant family member. I was nervous, and grieving, and he made it so easy and helpful to guide and assist me and my sister’s with our Father’s estate. A Very patient and kind-hearted gentleman. Very professional and I would absolutly refer him to anyone. -With sincerity

Ruth

Matthew Perkins was the lawyer I chose to handle the settling of my daughter’s estate, and I am certainly glad I did. I had plenty of questions, and he always had an answer for me. When I contacted him or his office, I always received a timely response. He is young, energetic, intelligent, professional, and very knowledgeable. One of the things I admire most about him is that he is willing to take on new challenges. Hiring Matthew Perkins to handle this legal matter was a very wise choice. I would recommend him if you are looking for a lawyer who will take the time to sit down and explain things to you. He never left me in the dark as we went through the necessary steps to set up and then close the estate. I could not be more pleased with the professionalism that I received from Matthew Perkins. If you are in need of the services of an attorney, at least set up a consultation with him. I believe that you will be very impressed with his can-do attitude. If I need legal services in the future, Matthew Perkins is definitely the attorney that I plan to hire.

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