Maintaining your wealth is certainly not an easy feat. Because you have put sweat and tears into amassing your fortune, you need to know how to protect it. Yet, how can you do this when dozens of creditors are always waiting for you to slip to seize your assets? Fortunately, securing assets is not rocket science since many tried-and-true methods can help you protect your money and property.
Whether you are a shrewd business owner who built themselves from the ground up or an average Joe who came into money recently, try the next tips to properly secure your assets.
Hire a Lawyer
What is the best course of action for you, assuming that you do not have vast financial or legal knowledge? Whenever you find yourself out of your depth, consult an expert. For this reason, the first step you can take to protect your investments and money is to hire a lawyer. This is especially the case if you have recently named the executor during the probate process. The estate planning attorneys from this Johns Creek law firm explain that hiring professional help enables you to secure the deceased's assets, pay off their estate debts, and distribute the assets among other beneficiaries. Similarly, you may also want to have a lawyer by your side when drafting your will to ensure that your property falls into the right hands.
Keep Your Business Separate
The business scene can eat you whole if you do not properly protect your money. It only takes one bad investment for things to go awry. This is why it is better to set up an LLC (limited liability company) instead of being the only one owning and running your corporation, as this allows you to keep your personal and professional assets separate. In case you face any legal complications or your company becomes weighted down by debts, creditors will not be able to access your assets.
With all its different kinds, insurance remains a staple for anyone who wants to protect their property. Whether you own an expensive car, real estate, or rental property, you can always benefit from purchasing insurance. Various policies like homeowners, auto, and liability insurance are usually a must, as they protect your property from theft, vandalism, and some common natural disasters and also prevent you from being the target of lawsuits. Car insurance, in particular, can also cover some of the damages you might unintentionally cause if you become involved in a car accident and are required to compensate the other party. Although these types of insurance are indeed effective, there are not enough to protect your assets if your net worth exceeds $500000. If this is the case for you, then you can invest in umbrella insurance along with other standard insurance types.
Retitle Your Assets
Married couples have an extra layer of protection when it comes to securing their assets. Some businesses are considered high-risk, so even if you take all the necessary precautions, you might find yourself getting the short end of the stick anyway. Thus, you can retitle some of your property and transfer the ownership to your partner. Just keep in mind that this strategy is only effective if your relationship is already stable. If you do not want to take the risk, you can resort to tenancy by the entirety (TBE) instead. This solution makes both you and your partner have joint ownership of the property, and none of you can sell it without the consent of the other. Assets that hold the TBE status are safe from creditors since they are not fully yours to exploit in the first place.
Cover Your Debts and Taxes
You should always be careful about paying your debts on time, especially if you have listed specific assets as collateral when applying for a debt. In case of your default, your collateral will be seized by creditors. So, you must remain vigilant when it comes to paying your monthly installments. In a similar vein, paying your taxes on time can help you avoid lawsuits and other legal complications, thus saving you money and protecting your property in the long term.
Managing and securing many assets is overwhelming. At any moment, they might be seized to settle lawsuits or pay your outstanding debts. So, being careful is key to remaining financially stable. By implementing different methods, such as investing in insurance, keeping your personal and professional assets separate, and retitling your property, you can guarantee that your wealth remains intact. Also, don't disregard the importance of consulting an expert when in doubt.
5 min read
Except for 16, I have celebrated all of my milestone birthdays in New York City.
I turned 16 in Arnold, Missouri. Arnold is a small town (though not small anymore) 20 miles south of St. Louis. St. Louis is known for the Gateway Arch, a beautiful arch of shiny stainless steel, built by the National Parks Service in 1935 to commemorate Thomas Jefferson's vision of a transcontinental U.S. St. Louis is also known for its custard, a frozen dessert that is so thick, they hand it to you upside down with a spoon inside. Something else about St. Louis you should know is that there is a courthouse just steps from the base of the Gateway Arch where one of the most important cases in history was tried: Dred Scott v. Sanford.
I'm turning 50 during what I define as a miraculous time to be alive.
Mr. Scott was born into enslavement around 1799 and, in 1830, was sold to a military surgeon who traveled back and forth between his military posts in Illinois and Wisconsin, where slavery was prohibited under the Missouri Compromise of 1820. In 1842 the doctor and Mr. Scott both married, and they, all four, returned to St. Louis. Still enslaved, Dred Scott filed a lawsuit against the doctor's wife for his and his wife Harriet's freedom. We don't know exactly why he chose this moment in time to file a lawsuit, however, he did. At the time of filing his, now, famous lawsuit, he was 50 years old. Ultimately, The Scott family did not gain their freedom, but their profound courage in filling this case helped ignite the Civil War and what we would come to know (or think we know) as freedom from enslavement for all human beings. Powerful then and even more powerful now.
My next milestone was turning 21, and I did it in the Big Apple. Having only moved to "the city that never sleeps" a few months prior, I knew nobody except my new friends, the bus-boys from the restaurant I was working at, Patzo's on the Upper West Side. And, yes, pazzo is actually the correct spelling of the Italian word, which translates to "crazy." Trust me we all had several laughs about the misspelling and the definition going hand in hand. I worked a full shift, closing out at around 11 PM, when, my kitchen team came out from the line with a cake singing, "Cumpleaños Feliz." It was fantastic. And the kindness of these almost-strangers was a powerful reminder of connection then as it still is today almost 29 years later.
I design the life I desire and the Universe creates it for me every day. I show up, keep the story moving, and work hard because I am relentlessly devoted to making the world a better place and this is how I choose to leave my legacy.
When I turned 30, I had just finished a European tour with Lucinda Childs dance company. The company had been on tour for months together and were inseparable. We traveled through Paris, Vienna, Lisbon, and Rome. We ate together, we rode on a bus together, we had drinks after shows together, and we even took turns giving company class to get warmed up before a show. It was deeply meaningful and dreamy. We ended the tour back in New York City at BAM, The Brooklyn Academy of Music. It was an incredible way to end the tour, by being on our home court, not to mention I was having an important birthday at the culmination of this already incredible experience.
So, when I invited everyone to join me at Chelsea Pier's Sky Rink to ice skate in late August, I was schooled really quickly that "tour" does not mean you are friends in real life, it means you are tour friends. When the tour ends, so does the relationship. I skated a few laps and then went home. This was a beautiful lesson learned about who your real friends are; it was powerful then as it is today.
Turning 40 was a completely different experience. I was in a serious relationship with my now-husband, Joe. I had just come off of a successful one-woman dance show that I produced, choreographed, and danced in, I had just choreographed a feature film, John Turturro's Romance and Cigarettes, with A-list actors, including Kate Winslet and James Gandolfini, who became a dear friend and had even been on the red carpet with Susan Sarandon at the Venice Film Festival for the movie a year earlier.
And I encourage all women to identify their power and choose to be fully in your power at any age.
This was a very special birthday, and I had, in those 10 years between 30 and 40, come to cultivate very real friendships with some wonderful colleagues. We all celebrated at a local Italian restaurant, Etcetera Etcetera (who is delivering for those of you in NYC — we order weekly to support them during COVID), a staple in the theater district. Joe and I were (and are) regulars and, of course, wanted to celebrate my 40th with our restaurant family and friends. We were upstairs in the private room, and it was really lovely. Many of those in attendance are no longer with us, including Joe's Dad, Bob Ricci, and my dear friend Jim Gandolfini having transitioned to the other side. Currently, that restaurant is holding on by a thread of loving neighbors and regulars like us. Life is precious. Powerful then and today even more so.
I write this article because I'm turning 50, still in New York City. However, I'm turning 50 during what I define as a miraculous time to be alive. And I could not be more filled with hope, love, possibility, and power. This year has included an impeachment hearing, a global pandemic, and global protests that are finally giving a larger platform to the Black Lives Matter movement. Being able to fully embody who I am as a woman, a 50-year-old woman who is living fully in purpose, takes the cake, the rink, and the party.
I'm making movies about conversations around race. I've been happily married for 11 years to the love of my life, Joe Ricci. I'm amplifying and elevating the voices of those who have not previously had a platform for speaking out. I choose who to spend time with and how long! I design the life I desire and the Universe creates it for me every day. I show up, keep the story moving, and work hard because I am relentlessly devoted to making the world a better place and this is how I choose to leave my legacy. Being 50 is one of the most amazing things I ever thought I could experience. And I encourage all women to identify their power and choose to be fully in your power at any age. I'm 50 and powerful. Dred Scott was 50 and powerful. This powerful lesson is for today and tomorrow. We have the power. No matter what age you are, I invite you to use your powerful voice to join me in making the world a better place.