3 Easy Asset Protection Strategies

By Tate Hilmoe


This issue is about 3 easy strategies to protect your wealth. Lawsuits are filed against those with "deep pockets." Whether you have a single rental property or substantial assets, there are several easy steps to consider to help protect your assets.

  • Umbrella Insurance Policy - Umbrella insurance is extra liability insurance. An umbrella policy provides liability coverage over and above your auto and homeowners policy when the damages of an accident or an incident exceed your existing auto or homeowners limits.
    • For example, if you're at fault in a car accident that causes over $1,000,000 in damages (think surgeon or high paying professional) - the injured driver will sue you personally for damages exceeding your auto policy limits ($250,000 auto limits are common). The umbrella policy could provide the additional coverage you need so you are not stuck with the remaining balance ($750,000+ assuming we are using the above numbers).
  • Limited Liability Company - an LLC is a great tool for investment real estate. The LLC will shield your assets from lawsuits within the LLC. For instance, if a tenant is injured and the damages exceed your insurance coverage (assuming insurance covers the damages), the LLC separates your other assets from the lawsuit. LLCs are also wonderful tools to transfer real estate to the next generation.
  • Formalize Informal Business Arrangements - Business partnerships and informal business arrangements expose you to the actions of your business partner(s). A lawsuit against a business partner(s) may expose your assets without the proper partnership agreement or appropriate organizational agreement in writing. Further, formalizing your intentions from the onset will reduce your exposure to disputes among the other business partner(s).

Crowdfunding and Your Company

By Tate Hilmoe


Under the SEC's crowdfunding rules for small private companies, issuers are allowed to raise up to an aggregate amount of $1,000,000 through crowdfunding offerings. Under Regulation Crowdfunding, the aggregate amount an individual investor may invest in crowdfunded securities over a 12-month period is capped at $100,000. There are disclosure requirements and offerings through intermediaries, to name a few of the regulations. Call or email today to discuss your capital needs through crowdfunding or traditional sources.

New Case Alert


 Humboldt County Adult Protective Services v. Superior Court (Magney)  Filed October 24, 2016, First District, Div. One Cite as A145981  Dick Magney appointed his wife, Judith Magney, as his agent in a valid advance health care directive in 2011. The directive contained Dick’s health care instructions, expressed his personal values, and gave his agent the power to exercise her discretion to refuse medical treatment on his behalf. In 2015 he was hospitalized with a serious heart infection. After reviewing Dick’s medical history and recent tests, and consulting with Dick and Judith, his primary physician concluded that further treatment would be futile and would greatly diminish Dick’s quality of life. Upon investigation into possible caretaker abuse or neglect, Humboldt County Adult Protective Services filed an ex parte petition without notice to remove Judith as agent and to compel immediate medical treatment. The court granted the petition the same day. After she was served with the order, Judith filed a petition contesting the merits, seeking dismissal, and for statutory attorney fees. When Humboldt withdrew its petition, the court vacated the treatment order and denied Judith’s request for attorney fees.  The court of appeal reversed and remanded to determine and award Judith’s attorney fees. Probate Code section 4771 allows for a discretionary award of attorney’s fees to the agent under a power of attorney for health care if the court determines that the proceeding was commenced without reasonable cause. Reasonable cause is determined under an objective, reasonable person standard, and the petition must be supported by competent evidence. Humboldt’s petition deliberately misled the trial court of the law and facts. Humboldt lacked reasonable cause to commence the proceeding: its allegations of neglect were unsubstantiated and its view of Dick’s best interests was inconsistent with his instructions and personal values expressed in his advance directive. The Health Care Decisions Law (Prob. Code sec. 4600, et seq.) protects the fundamental right of competent adults to control decisions concerning their own health care.