Asset Protection for Professionals and Business Owners in Utah

Serving Clients throughout Farmington, Layton and Bountiful, Utah and the Surrounding Areas


Asset protection planning involves making prudent decisions today to protect yourself, your business, and your hard-earned assets from loss due to lawsuits, creditors or bankruptcies. This type of legal planning is especially prudent for professionals and business owners, whose personal assets could be at risk due the nature of their employment.

Statistically and anecdotally, we all know that the number of divorces, lawsuits and bankruptcies is staggering. While no one believes lightning will strike them, wealth created through a lifetime of work, saving and investing can be lost overnight if these forms of man-made lightning do strike. To protect your assets from such disaster, proper risk management strategies should be given careful consideration. These strategies include exempting your assets from the claims of creditors, limiting your liability through legal entities, and transferring your risk through insurance.

Exempting Assets in Utah

State and federal laws exempt some of your assets from the claims of creditors. Click here to download a listing of Utah’s exempt assets; note that while some states allow you to choose either the state or federal exemptions, in Utah you must use the state exemptions and federal bankruptcy exemptions are not available.

Once you have identified the protected asset classes available to you under applicable law, it may be prudent to maximize your protection by converting non-exempt assets into exempt assets.

Limiting Liability for Professionals & Business Owners

Many entrepreneurs operate their businesses as sole proprietors rather than through a legal entity, such as a Corporation or a Limited Liability Company. Whether their business is home-based or in the Fortune 500, these business owners are attracted by the informality of sole proprietorship. They also do not want to incur legal fees to create and maintain a legal entity. However, in addition to other advantages, conducting business through a legal entity may offer substantial risk management benefits.

While lawsuits brought against a sole proprietorship are really lawsuits against the owner’s personal assets, lawsuits against a properly created and maintained legal entity are really lawsuits against the entity’s assets. Nevertheless, the selection of an appropriate legal entity is critical for managing your risk.

Transferring Risk with Insurance

When was the last time you reviewed the details of your liability insurance program with your insurance professionals? Are your policies current? Are the coverage limits adequate and are the deductibles reasonable? Have you scrutinized the policies for loopholes? Remember: the fundamental philosophy of any insurance coverage is to pay a premium you can afford to transfer a risk you cannot afford. Take time to understand both the risks you have retained and the risks you have transferred.

Asset Protection Trusts

Many of our professional and small business owner clients desire a higher level of protection. If this is on your mind, and depending on your asset mix, you might consider creating and implementing a self-settled asset protection trust either in Utah or another jurisdiction with good asset protection laws. Asset protection trusts are generally irrevocable and require compliance with the applicable jurisdiction’s laws. Asset protection trusts are separate and in addition to fundamental estate planning that uses a revocable living trust. Contact our office or set up a consultation to further discussion whether an asset protection trust would be a good choice to help you preserve peace of mind.

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Meet Jason Hunter

Jason Hunter practices in the areas of estate planning (including estate and trust administration and asset protection), business planning/transactions...

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Main Office:

Phone: (801) 438-6030

Email: jhunter@sagelawpartners.com

Address: 140 N. Union Ave, Ste 220
Farmington, UT 84025