What Texting and Asset Protection Planning Have in Common
October 15, 2014
By: Barry E. Haimo, Esq.
Asset protection planning essentially removes assets from the table from creditors, or people/companies to whom you owe money. Legally, there are structures and strategies that can be employed to accomplish this end. Similarly, there are financial planning vehicles that are characterized as creditor exempt assets while also yielding a conservative return on investment. A solid asset protection utilizes both of these alternatives in a nice balance.
What Does this Have to do with Texting?
It’s undeniable how significant texting is in today’s communication, especially the younger generation. I could write a whole article on why it’s destroying relationships by fatally impairing peoples’ ability to read body language and interpret other nonverbal signals. However, I’ll keep the topic of this post to how texting and driving, in particular, is the quickest and easiest way to destroy your wealth that you’ve worked so hard to acquire.
Did you know that depending on which study you read, phone usage makes a driver between three and 23 times more likely to crash. In 2012, one person was injured every 75 seconds due to an accident involving a distracted driver, according to estimates by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Of those, 3,328 people were killed. http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/floridas-texting-while-driving-ban-turns-up-few-citations/2187402
We don’t need statistics to admit that we’re all guilty of it to a varying degree. Strangely, we would never look away while we cut up vegetables for fear of a laceration. Yet, without hesitation we’ll impulsively look away from operating a two-ton projectile missile (car) moving at 60 mph to make sure our friends know that ___ (insert something unimportant here).
So, what do texting and asset protection have in common? If you cause an accident because you’re texting and driving, you’re going to incur liability because you’re at fault. The person or entity pursuing collections who may or may not have a judgment entered against you is called a creditor. Hopefully you have enough auto insurance to cover the claim. However, people frequently have inadequate coverage or the carrier refuses to pay.
Whether or not you have sufficient coverage, it’s not a bad idea to invest in protecting your assets; especially if you’re going to take huge risks that endanger your life and the lives of others. In addition to the significant dangers you expose to yourself and others, texting and driving represents an easy way to attract the entry of a judgment against you. Read this post entitled “Not Judgment-Proof May Equal Checkmate” so you don’t wait until it’s too late. That happens once a creditor emerges and wins. Depending on the circumstances, fraudulent transfer laws may unwind your ill-timed asset protection planning.
Bottom line: Playing defense isn’t only for the Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Dolphins or other competitive professional teams. Pat Riley’s philosophy is that a strong defense leads to a strong offense. Since we live in an ultra-litigious society, there’s no better time than now to start protecting that which you work so hard to acquire. Texting and driving just happens to represent arguably the worst reason to lose everything you own.
Barry E. Haimo, Esq.
Strategic Planning With Purpose
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