Asset Protection – Is it your New Year’s Resolution? If not, you should make it one!January 19, 2015
By: Thomas Henn
Are your assets adequately protected against any potential ‘rainy days’ ? Thomas Henn, Senior Taxation & Commercial Lawyer at Murfett Legal has written an article on what to keep in mind when implementing an effective asset protection strategy.
We all make New Year’s resolutions. Some common ones might be…
- Losing weight…
- Spending more time with family…
- Learning a new language…
- Getting richer…
Few of us consider making a New Year’s resolution to ensure that our assets are protected from creditors, but it is something that we should definitely turn our minds to.
There are many recent examples of apparently successful businesses failing, and people can “fall on hard times” through no fault of their own. Often, the difference between losing your assets in circumstances such as this, and retaining most of them for the benefit of yourself and your family is having those assets held in an appropriate structure.
The New Year is a great time to sit down and consider what assets you and your family control, and how to protect them should the worst happen.
The biggest asset protection mistake is waiting too long!
If things are already starting to “go bad” for you or your business, it is often too late to fully protect your assets.
The people that derive the most benefit from their asset protection strategy are those who put it in place as early as possible.
- Have you given personal guarantees e.g. on your lease, on a supply agreement, on a bank overdraft, as a company director?
- Are some of your debts cross-collateralized? Do you even know what this means?
- Have you conducted a PPSR search recently over your business or even over yourself, and understand what those secured interests are over you and why?
- Are all your details up to date with ASIC, or have you changed address recently and not informed ASIC?
- Do you have a current, properly drafted Will and a Power of Attorney?
- Have you loaned friends and/or family money with no written contract?
There are many things you can do.
- Have you considered financing your business loans and facilities with multiple financiers / banks?
- Have you considered holding assets in trust and do you understand the advantages / disadvantages of holding assets in trust?
- Have you considered using your self-managed superannuation fund for asset protection, tax and estate planning? (Do you have a self-managed superannuation fund to start with?)
These are only some of the things you should consider.
Murfett Legal are experienced at putting structures in place to ensure that the assets controlled by you and your family are protected and transactions are structured and documented in the right way.
Please contact us to discuss the strategies required to suit your particular circumstances.
(c) Murfett Legal 2015 – All rights reserved
Thomas has over 20 years’ legal and tax experience, gained in Germany and Australia in such diverse roles as Civil Law Lawyer in Germany and Tax Accountant, Tax Lawyer and as an Academic Lecturer in Australia.
Thomas is an internationally recognised Tax Specialist (Chartered Tax Adviser “CTA”) with a Masters in Taxation Law and a Trust and Estate Professional (TEP). Thomas’ experience is founded on his law degrees from Germany and Australia and expanded and solidified in Australia working in accounting, academic, business and law.
Due to his work as a company director, lecturer in taxation and trusts, a lawyer in Germany and Australia, Thomas has developed a very practical, yet technically astute, approach to his clients’ objectives and legal needs and he provides a value-orientated, results-focussed advice on all the issues facing his clients.
Thomas’ main areas of work are:
- Asset protection; (Setting up Business Structures for optimal tax and asset protection purposes and reviewing current structures);
- Business Succession and Estate Planning;
- Superannuation and SMSF Strategies including limited recourse borrowing arrangements;
- Tax Advising;
- Tax Controversy, Disputes and Litigation;
- Trusts (including Child Maintenance Trusts, Special Disabilities Trusts, Bare Trusts);
- International Tax; and
- Companies and Partnerships.