Preventative Law : Annual Check-up with Your Attorney May Be the Right Medicine

Many of the problems clients speak with us about, both business and personal, can be prevented, or at least minimized, if clients would meet with their attorney to review their affairs on a periodic basis. To protect against potential problems, a thorough check up may include the review of insurance coverage (automobile, personal, life, disability, business or professional liability), the implementation of asset protection measures, the incorporation of a business, the proper maintenance of the business corporation once formed and the review and/or analysis of your retirement, investment and estate planning.

For business owners, a comprehensive analysis and asset protection plan must be implemented and carefully tailored to meet your own particular needs. If you own or operate your own business, a complete legal check-up should include a thorough review of your business operation and the risk of exposing personal assets to the claims of business creditors. The analysis of an individual’s business exposure, or risk, as well as his or her exposure to any personal risk, is based upon one simple rule: you must protect against the downside of the venture – the risk of failure and the possibility of loss or unanticipated problems.

For example, if you lease your business location and cannot pay the rent, your landlord will likely file claims against you for the unpaid rent due under the lease. If you have signed your business lease in your individual capacity, and not as a corporation, you may have exposed your home, personal savings and those of your family to the claims of creditors such as the landlord. While most business owners believe they will be able to pay such a basic cost as their rent when they start their business venture, unfortunately, many start-up businesses do fail , leaving unsatisfied creditors.

The most important risk avoidance technique involving any business is to properly choose the appropriate form of organization for your bigness, i.e. whether to form a corporation, partnership, trust or sole proprietorship. This process will involve an analysis of the benefits and costs of each form of business operation. Proper risk analysis and the implementation of personal asset protection techniques like those described above and elsewhere on this web site, are therefore critical to avoid or minimize this type of exposure