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News & Resources

Josh Bloom Speaks at the CME Beach Retreat for the Emerald Coast Medical Association

Lubell Rosen Associate Josh Bloom recently presented a lecture on Preventable Medical Errors at the CME Beach Retreat for the Emerald Coast Medical Association.

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Options for Asset Protection

Even if you have spent your entire career working hard to ensure your financial security and the security of your loved ones in the future, your assets could be under attack at a moment’s notice. It can be hard to protect your financial holdings and physical assets from every angle once that happens. For people in high-risk professions like medicine and health care, or people who invest in business and real estate, or even those going through messy divorces, asset protection plans are critical to keeping them and their families from financial ruin.

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Protecting Your Assets: A Look at Foreign Accounts

In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, many Americans have said that they’ll be picking up and moving to another country. Joking or not, there’s a lot to consider if you’re moving money to another country, even if you remain in the U.S. Although many crime movies and TV shows use foreign bank accounts as plot points (a villain squirrels his money away in a Cayman or offshore account, for example), plenty of people have utilized foreign accounts as part of their asset protection plans.

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Planning for Tax Requirements in Asset Protection Plans

If you have a significant amount of assets, you definitely want to get a protection plan in place, especially if you work in a high-profile or high-risk career, in which you could find yourself in financially precarious situations. Litigation is a fairly common step for disputing parties in today’s society, and disagreements about treatment options, divorce proceedings, custody, parking, fault in a car accident, and more can quickly end up in front of a judge.

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Assets in Trust: Trustees and Their Fiduciary Duties

In the context of estates and planning for the future of loved ones, a fiduciary duty is generally a responsibility that is closely governed by the wishes of the individual seeking to establish a trust, as well as by the legal obligations that trustee or representative will have to those involved in the person’s will and his or her family members. Anyone who takes on this responsibility is subject to scrutiny, especially in acrimonious or troubled families, or in cases which the will and arrangements could be controversial.

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Still don’t think you need to retain legal defense when Going Bare? Think Again.

A study issued in November 2011, from the American Medical Association (AMA), found the average expense paid to defend a medical liability claim in 2010 was $47,158.  The study also found that 2 out of every 3 claims were dropped, dismissed, or withdrawn without compensation. Yet, even in those circumstances the average expense paid to handle that superficial claim was still a hefty $26,851!

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Asset Protection with Alter-Egos—How to Avoid Them

Whatever the structure of your practice—corporation, S corp, partnership, LLC, or LP—it’s important to be familiar with the alter-ego theory. The theory grew out of precedents in corporate law, specifically, efforts designed to circumvent the limited liability benefits of a corporation. In essence and under the theory, a plaintiff seeks to pierce the corporate veil by arguing that business funds have been commingled with the personal finances of a company’s owners. (Examples of comingling: using business funds to pay for your vacation to Hawaii or to buy your child baby formula.)

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Asset Protection & Business Structures—One Size Does Not Fit All

One primary way to protect your assets is to retitle them, namely, to place them under the ownership or control of a business entity.  Most business entities are their own “person” under the eyes of the law and, generally, are considered distinct from the entities’ owners. These entities have their own tax identification number (like a Social Security number), pay their own taxes, and incur their own liability.  To use these structures for asset protection, the business entities must exist for a legitimate purpose and respect the legal formalities that govern them.  Too, and it should go without saying, they must meet the needs of their owners.

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Pre-paid Legal Defense for Uninsured Doctors reduces risk of losing lawsuits

Many physicians throughout the country have made the decision to drop their medical malpractice insurance.  However, simply eliminating your coverage without replacing the insurance with a thoughtful strategy is like flying a plane without a pilot.  You will certainly reduce lawsuits without the target of insurance above your head, but there is still a risk.  In order to lower that risk, doctors need to employ the following two-part strategy:

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Asset Protection’s Best Buddies—Garnishment Exemptions

The best-known exemption from garnishment is the head-of-household exemption. This immunity applies if you provide more than half of the financial support to a dependent or other relative. In this case, only a portion of your earnings can be garnished. Whether or not you can claim the exemption depends on the definitions of earnings and head of household. As you might guess, these definitions are outlined in Florida statutes.

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