When is it too late for asset protection?
Generally speaking, it’s too late to do asset protection once you have a judgment against you, unless you have an arrangement to pay off the judgment (and follow through with that arrangement) and are merely planning in order to safeguard assets against future creditors.
Doing asset protection planning to thwart collection attempts post-judgment may result in you and your asset protection planner being fined by a court! Don’t do it!
Doing asset protection in anticipation of a judgment, bankruptcy, or divorce is often (not always) possible, albeit tricky, even if the storm clouds are already on the horizon. However, there is always a risk that such planning may fail due to fraudulent transfer law. It’s much, much better to do the planning before such threats arise, because then the possibility of committing a fraudulent transfer is negligible. Nonetheless, doing asset protection after threats arise may often still be effective – but be careful! Egregious or blatant planning may result in fines and penalties. My rule of thumb is if creditor clouds are on the horizon, retain an attorney and have him hire the planner, so that attorney/client privilege covers the plan’s implementation. It’s a good idea for a planner to work under your attorney, regardless. PF Shield maintains attorney relationships in several states, so if you need an attorney, let us know as we’ll refer one to you.