Two Reasons You Get Sued
The first is when you do something… and the second is when you don’t.
This satirical statement, shared by a good friend, may have given you a chuckle, but there is a wealth of truth lurking behind it. Frankly, we are living in a litigious world. We would all like to believe that the people we encounter in life wouldn’t do “that” and/or “that” wouldn’t happen to me. But that simply isn’t the case.
Did you know that there are an estimated 40 million lawsuits filed every year in the United States?1 Can you imagine how much money is spent defending these cases? The number must be staggering.
The question for you is this: Could you afford a lawsuit?
Maybe you could. Maybe you couldn’t. Maybe you don’t know.
And here is another question: Can you imagine the stress of getting sued?
My bet is that you don’t want to imagine it. No matter your answer, there is wisdom in prevention.
Don’t get me wrong. You may not be able to prevent getting sued—after all it is a little hard to “do something” or “don’t do something.” However, you could certainly know where you stand protecting yourself…what is at risk and who you would call, and who is going to pay for it.
Part of having a successful Life Plan is having a good Asset Protection Plan. If you don’t know whether or not you have one, odds are you don’t. Which means you have some work to do.
This is one of the first things we begin to dissect when we look at a family’s situation. This is a holistic process that reviews your assets, how they are titled, any insurance, how the insurance relates to the assets, the current asset protection vehicles such as life insurance, annuities, trusts, retirement accounts, etc.
Most people are operating under false assumptions: They may have liability insurance, but are completely unaware that it doesn’t cover one of their highest risk assets; They may have a trust and believe that protects the assets in that trust; They may have everything in retirement accounts and annuities and think they are set. These false assumptions are all too often the cause of bad surprises at the worst time.
We have found that a lot of people simply throw up their hands when faced with this information. It is overwhelming, complex, and simply frustrating. To make matters worse, it often takes a team to get the job done. You may need an attorney. It will most likely involve your property and casualty insurance agents. And most of the time there is some heavy lifting to be done with accountants, bankers, and other advisors. The good news is that this is where we come in.
We are Life Planners. Our job is to learn what it means to you to live Life on purpose™, look at your situation holistically, and identify any potential gaps or overlaps that may endanger your goal. Our next task is to help explore opportunities to help you get everything on track. Last but not least, we help you quarterback the necessary team to do it and manage it.
I want to leave you with one last note. There are many reasons that people procrastinate and don’t work on an Asset Protection Plan—maybe it takes too much time, they don’t want to spend the money or they simply don’t know where to start. I want to ask you what would happen if you got sued today? How much of your time would it take, what cost would it be to you, and where would you start? The bottom line is, plan now or you may pay later.