The Speiser Law Firm’s approach to asset protection involves a highly structured process that begins with the performance of comprehensive due diligence on each and every client to ensure that we have a full understanding of your needs before we begin the planning process, and to make sure our planning recommendations are specific to those needs.
“Success is the direct result of careful planning and attention to detail.”– Stephen E. Speiser, Esq.
The Preliminary Conference
We begin our process with a preliminary conference to gain an understanding of your goals and objectives, to determine your litigation risk profile, and to obtain an overview of all your holdings.
After the preliminary conference, we gather and read all partnership and business agreements, investment documents, financial statements, and bank records to confirm for ourselves how you hold title to your various assets and in what percentages. (Even highly sophisticated clients are sometimes mistaken as to how they hold title to some of their assets.)
Following this document review, we meet to confirm all our findings directly with you, obtain and review any additional information or documents that may be needed, and schedule telephone calls with your trusted advisors, including your accountant, your estate planning attorney, and others when appropriate.
Some attorneys feel that this level of due diligence is unnecessary and will often “shoot from the hip.” We disagree. Due diligence is the foundation upon which your entire asset protection plan rests.
The Planning Process
Once the due diligence process is complete, we perform substantive legal research on the issues and potential claims that the asset protection plan must confront. We determine which jurisdictions best serve your planning objectives, address potential conflict of law issues, ascertain how best to take advantage of any state planning exemptions, and identify all the legal strategies and structures that can be used.
Only when we have completed both our due diligence and legal research, do we begin the planning process. We hold internal team meetings to debate and discuss the legal strategies and structures that will provide the most comprehensive asset protection. While we certainly express our opinion as to which strategy and structure we believe is best for you, we never put forth only one planning option. Rather, we seek to provide you with a range of options that scale in both cost and complexity, enabling you to make informed decisions based on your own feelings and expectations.
Presenting Planning Options
The next step in the planning process is to provide a white board presentation of the planning options we identify as viable for your situation. This can be done in person in one of the firm’s conference rooms, or presented using a virtual white board program via Zoom.
We find that complex legal issues and structures can best be rendered simple and easy to understand using diagrams and other visual aids on a white board. The options are laid out side-by-side, the merits and demerits of each structure are explained, and you are encouraged to ask questions. Once we are satisfied that you fully understand the different options and structures, we turn the white board over to you to let us know what you like and don’t like, what works for you and what doesn’t. Based upon your feedback, we erase, add, and select the elements you like best.
Our goal is to make the planning process a collaborative effort and to arrive at a collaborative result. Ultimately, your final plan is customized to your preferences, needs, and wishes.