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Asset Protection Attorney Ike Devji Featured In Wall St. Journal

Asset Protection Attorney Ike Devji

Asset Protection Attorney Ike Devji

Phoenix, Arizona.

Asset Protection attorney Ike Devji was recently featured in a Wall Street Journal story about Offshore Asset Protection Trusts by Norb Vonnegut.

“It was pleasure to be part of Norb’s story, especially since he took the time to ask the right questions and do his homework, most reporters focus only on the sensational aspects of international or offshore planning. The fact is, the number of people who do it safely and legally every day outnumber those who do not, or who have been unfortunate enough to work with crooked non-lawyer promoters or bad lawyers by well over 1000 to 1.”

Devji has over a decade of experience devoted exclusively to being a “legal bodyguard” for billions of dollars worth of the wealth and assets of successful Americans and their families across the United Sates. He is a frequent speaker, author and educator, teaching CLE to other attorneys and financial advisors and CME (Continuing Medical Education) to doctors all over the United States and has authored hundreds of articles related to his actual daily legal practice with clients across the U.S.

Devji is quick to point out that there are many myths in the area of asset protection and that a tool is not a good tool for you unless it is a fit for your specific assets and fact pattern. He also believes that the best Asset Protection and Wealth Preservation planning is always a system of layers that includes a professional liability insurance program (not just one policy), risk management and legal tools.

You can read more about Ike Devji, Asset Protection and Wealth Preservation concepts and other related issues at www.ProAssetProtection.com

LINK: WSJ.com – Warding off predators with offshore trusts

 

Is Using Offshore Trusts for Asset Protection Still a Good Idea?

OFFSHORE ASSET PROTECTION TRUSTSThere are many specific methods for implementing Asset Protection planning, some work some don’t. We’ve always had a bias towards the use of offshore trust structures set up at the right time, in the right place with the right language.

Why? Because they take the discretion away from plaintiffs and their attorneys and create a point in time beyond which there is a predictable result.

This article is points out a couple of interesting details:

First, that nobody’s property is safe when Congress is in session.

Second, that a foreign trust in the right offshore jurisdiction is not subject generally to any U.S. judgments. 

See the Article From Newsmax.com  http://www.newsmax.com/Kleinfeld/Foreign-Trusts-Protect-Assets/2011/10/24/id/415473#ixzz34NBBXzyE

Need More info? See our index of “Asset Protection Trust” articles.

http://www.proassetprotection.com/category/asset-protection-trusts/

What’s the Difference Between a Will and a Trust and Which one Do I Need?

FAMILYAn estate plan is always necessary unless you want your estate to pass through “operation of law” which involves the long, uncertain, public and expensive process at your death with a stranger (the courts) deciding who gets everything you leave behind. This process often leads to heartache, delay and additional stress for those you leave behind, especially if they need the assets to sustain the family or if (all too commonly) family members may fight over what you leave behind.

A simple Will comes into effect at your death, controls the distribution of your assets (who gets what and when), and names who the Executor of your estate, the person you chose to be in charge and carry out your wishes, will be. A Will is the most basic form of estate planning and still requires the estate and its assets to go through the probate process, meaning that there will be an expense and delay in transferring assets at your death. A will is also public, meaning that a record of exactly what you left and to whom is available. In our view, it’s best suited for those with limited and simple assets, few or no heirs, and those with no minor children, dependents or pets that require specific care and guardianship guidance.

A Revocable Living Trust (RLT) on the other hand includes all the elements of a will, is established and can take title to a certain assets during your lifetime when you (and your spouse) can actively manage and change it. The RLT avoids probate, passes assets privately with little or no public record and typically includes a variety of sophisticated estate tax avoidance measures. The RLT also names and has specific guidelines for the Trustees of your estate, appoints Guardians for your children and dependents and can retain wealth and “sprinkle” income off the principal to your heirs. It allows a countless variety of sophisticated directives including what you want done if you have some sort of incapacitation condition like an illness or mental issue, typically referred to as “living will” and “health care power of attorney” provisions.

Finally, don’t forget that a well drafted trust has  a variety of checks and balances designed to protect the beneficiaries, the folks you are leaving behind. One such safeguard is called a “trust protector” a person designated with a specific set of powers including the power to remove and replace the trustee if the trustee is unwilling or incapable of serving under the terms of the trust or if the trustee is actually creating some active loss or problem. A trust can also protect what you leave from your heirs’ creditors and spouses if drafted with “spendthrift provisions” that say the trust proceeds are not to be used for paying judgment creditors and other debts.

If you don’t have an estate plan, or have had substantial changes to your family structure, wealth, children’s guardians, asset structure or gifting plans it’s time to get experienced help.

The basic estate planning tools noted above are only the tip of the iceberg. These are “death planning” tools, and do not protect assets during your life. A wide variety of Asset Protection, estate planning and family wealth management tools are available more easily and cost effectively than you know. Get personalized, professional help in figuring out what you need and  using it the best possible way.

What is an ILIT or Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust ? (and why should doctors and business owners use it)

ILITWe’ve previously devoted a number of discussions to the use of life insurance by physicians and business owners including a look at how to buy insurance and discussions of its specific uses and how much life insurance a doctor and his or her spouse should have. This week we take an introductory look at a legal structure that often accompanies life insurance in your estate plan, the Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust or ILIT.

What is an ILIT?

It is an irrevocable trust that, for the purposes of our introductory discussion, cannot be changed or amended outside few very specific exceptions. It is a formal legal structure that should be drafted by a qualified attorney familiar with both estate and gift tax laws. It is specially created to hold life insurance policies as well as cash and various other valuable assets that may be used to fund policy premiums or managed for other benefit of the named “beneficiaries” — the parties for whom the trust was set up.

The policy may be either purchased by the ILIT outright or later sold or gifted to the trust by the person creating the trust, known as the “grantor.” Finally, the grantor appoints a trust manager who can make discretionary distributions and who helps manage the trust known as a “trustee.” The trustee cannot also be a grantor and despite the common practice by many estate planners, in my opinion, should not be a beneficiary. In other words, it should be a third party.

What does an ILIT do?

In the majority of cases it’s used for a basic estate-planning reason — to put the proceeds of a large life insurance policy outside the taxable estate of the grantor. This means that the death benefit can be used to either supplement the value of the estate or to help pay any estate taxes that might be due by purchasing illiquid assets that might otherwise have to be sold to pay the taxes, as just one of several examples.

Why Can’t a Grantor also be a Trustee?

We avoid this practice for the reason that is at the core of this column, asset protection, as we do not want a beneficiary who has the power to make discretionary distributions of trust assets to be forced to make a distribution to his or her own creditors.

The ILIT provides creditor and principal protection of the assets in the trust (including any death benefit received upon the death of the insured) in several ways:

1. It protects the assets in the trust from estate tax by excluding them from the grantor’s taxable estate.

2. It can protect the cash value and death benefit of a life insurance policy from creditors. Some states protect cash values to a very high, even unlimited, dollar amount, while others do not; a properly drafted trust easily achieves this result.

3. It protects the death benefit and other trust assets from the creditors of the beneficiaries themselves, including future spouses. So, if the beneficiaries of your estate face a future lawsuit, bankruptcy, or divorce this asset will be protected from those exposures or even from the beneficiary themselves if they are minors or have other significant exposures like mental or physical disabilities, addiction problems, or other behavioral issues.

4. It protects present assets intended to go to the beneficiaries, including plain old cash you may intend to fund the policy with now or in the future, from the grantor’s creditors. Said simply, it allows the irrevocable present transfer of assets into a “safe” that the trustee can use to pay for the insurance premiums in the future.

This is a very general introduction to a tool that can be exceptionally complex and is not a recommendation that every doctor or business owner out there needs or is even qualified for an ILIT. As always, a good tool is only “good” if it is a fit for your very subjective goals and needs. We will continue our discussion of this topic in the near future, including a look at how assets in an ILIT can be protected from your creditors and still accessible to you during your lifetime through the use of loans.

 

How To Document Property Damage Claims at Your Business or Medical Practice: Asset Protection

Slide1As we’ve seen across the United States over the last year, severe weather, disasters and even intentional acts of vandalism can cause financially devastsing  property damage. Below are tips on how to document and pursue claims with your insurance company to enforce your rights under your  property and casualty policy.

• Step One: Actually having adequate insurance

Check on your property damage dollar limits to make sure they are adequate for the actual value of the building (and its contents) and make sure you understand important policy details like the difference between replacement cost (the dollar amount needed to replace a damaged item with one of similar kind and quality, without depreciation) and actual cash value (which pays only the amount needed to replace the item at its current market value).

• Step Two: Document everything — this is now a legal issue

As is reasonably possible, document the damage to your structure including an inventory of any damaged items you can immediately spot, including medical equipment, fixtures, signage, and office equipment, as well as documenting any appointments that had to be cancelled and other loss of revenue opportunities related to the damage. Write it down at the time so your recollection is fresh and accurate, and support that writing with pictures, video, etc. If you have a smart phone you have the ability to do this at all times.

• Step Three: Protect the property

Most polices have language that requires you to take reasonable measures to prevent further damage after it has come to your attention. This may include addressing covering damage in roof, walls, doors, and windows with temporary shelter. Your insurance policy may exclude further damage to your property if you have not taken reasonable steps to secure the property. Your insurance company will generally reimburse you for all reasonable costs to protect your property, so document everything and keep receipts for all expenses. Avoid any possible permanent repairs and major expenses until your carrier’s claims adjuster has assessed the damage.

• Step Four: Report the claim

Call and report the damage to your insurance agent or representative to start the claim process. Get a claim number issued immediately so you are in the system and have something to refer to on all future calls and correspondence; without a claim number you do not exist. It is vital to document everything. Keep a written log of all phone calls and correspondence, including the names of the people you spoke to, their telephone extensions and e-mail addresses and make copies of all correspondence sent to or received from your insurance company. Many insurance carriers intentionally obfuscate contact numbers and provide an endless maze of dead-end fax and phone numbers, in an effort to delay timely processing of claims, or “paperwork you away.” So if an insurance company employee or adjuster gives you such numbers to use, try to get them in writing.

• Step Five: Demand an adjuster and complete any forms they require

Your insurance company may use a “proof of loss” form or will simply have you make a formal verbal statement on the phone that may be recorded. You are not a contractor; so don’t give opinions on the scope of the damage, costs, and etc. It will likely be used against you later, if you do. Report the damage you’ve been able to see, any remediation you’ve had to perform, and any help you need with further remediation. Inform them you’ve documented the claim with a list and photos. The adjuster should perform a thorough evaluation of the damage, so check their inspection report, when it happens, against your own list to make sure they haven’t intentionally or accidentally omitted any losses. If the adjuster is unable to complete a thorough inspection due to time constraints he may be forced to “scope the loss.” This is a brief inspection of the damage with a second visit necessary to complete the inspection.

If your carrier gives you the run around on any issues, does not timely respond, or most likely, fails to make you an adequate settlement offer, report the issue to a claims manager and support your case with documentation, estimates, and the photos you took. You have specific rights under the laws of the insurance codes of your state; know them. They are typically easy to find on every state’s department of insurance website and will spell out your rights and the carrier’s legal obligations in plain English.

This article originally appeared at www.physicianspractice.com where Ike Devji has written over 135 articles on buisness law, risk managment and asset protection for doctors. 

Arizona Asset Protection Attorneys Featured at 17th Annual Wealth Protection Conference, May 2014

Attorneys Charlie Davis and Ike Devji will be speaking at the 17th Annual Wealth Protection Conference on May 9 and 10 in Mesa Arizona.

From Left, Attorneys Charlie Davis and Ike Devji

From Left, Attorneys Charlie Davis and Ike Devji

Topics covered at the conference will include:

How To Protect Your Assets For Generations,   How to Safely and Legally Use Offshore Trusts and Banks,  Common Fatal Flaws and Misconceptions That Cost Successful People Everything,  Asset Protection Blueprint,   Estate Planning Tips,   Must Have Assets for 2014, Tools To Help You Put Your Business Into Hyper Growth Mode, Profiting During the Impending Dollar Collapse,   Where Energy is Headed & How to Profit, Taxpayers Rights and Abuse Prevention.

Take a look at the Conference website at www.wealthprotectionconf.com and sign up today to secure your spot. If you want to bring a colleague, spouse, child, or a friend the price of a second ticket is half price.

Charlie Davis is the founding partner of Davis Miles McGuire Gardner (DMMG) in Tempe Arizona and has decades of experience in dealing with business owners and other successful Americans on issues related to real estate, tax law and advanced business planning including Asset Protection.

See more on Charlie here: http://www.davismiles.com/attorney/charles-e-davis/

Ike Devji has over a decade of national legal practice devoted solely to Asset Protection and Wealth Preservation and helps protects billions of dollars in personal assets for client base that includes thousands of businesses owners and physicians among others. Ike joined Davis Miles McGuire Gardner earlier this year to help create formal practice groups in theses areas.

See more on Ike here: http://www.davismiles.com/attorney/ike-z-devji-j-d/

About the DMMG Asset Protection Practice group:

http://www.davismiles.com/practice-areas/asset-protection/

 

 

 

Income Tax Deductions Doctors and Business Owners Often Overlook

CPA TJ CASEY

CPA TJ CASEY

As tax day bears down on us with increasing momentum, I turned to a CPA for some tips on commonly overlooked deductions. As always, legal and tax advice given in this forum can only be general information and can never be considered individual tax advice, so discuss these issues with your own CPA now, while meaningful discourse and even some legal tax avoidance planning is still possible.

CPA TJ Casey is experienced in working with doctors through his firm TJ Casey CPA in Mesa, Ariz. and shared the following tips. Hopefully you have your own great CPA that you can turn to and who is helping your practice stay on schedule with its own business-planning calendar.

Here are Casey’s tips:

• Take advantage of reduced income tax from participating in employee-sponsored retirement plan, generally 401(k) plans.

• Keep track of your personal medical expense deductions for possible deductions on state tax returns. Many people don’t bother to keep track of medical expenses due to federal ceilings being so high that medical is generally disallowed. For instance, in our state, Arizona, all deductions for this expense may be allowable

• Take advantage of any available state income tax credits — allocating your tax dollars to working poor, private schools, and public schools; in some states to the tune of about $2,800 each year.

• Mileage deductions for self-employed doctors and practice owners. Most people don’t keep a log, and end up not being able to justify a deduction that could be a $0.55 per mile deduction depending on your state of residence.

• Not reporting when you should. Failure to report foreign bank account and security ownership (including through trust and other legal entities) can cost a doctor up to 50 percent of the account value if discovered by the IRS.

Note from Ike: Although we have discussed the use of a variety of offshores tools by doctors in this column and I personally use them with thousands of clients nationwide, all such tools are tax neutral, and are fully reported to the IRS. The penalties for abusing these tools, as many doctors are prone to do, (often at the suggestion of unskilled or unscrupulous tax plan salesmen and financial advisors), are exceptionally onerous and carry fines of hundreds of thousands of dollars and multi-year jail sentences. Full tax disclosure means never having to say, “I’m sorry.”

• Missing Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) credit carry forwards and missing other tax attribute carry forwards like loses from previous years you may not have been able to fully use then.

• Misreporting issues like failing to properly report debt relief income from real estate transactions like short sales or other write-offs where you escaped the full liability of financing debt.

• Paying unnecessary penalties for failure to properly and timely pay estimated tax payments (do your really want to leave a tip?)

As Casey explained to me, none of this individually may be that exciting from a numbers perspective, but not letting a number of these things get away from you has a substantial cumulative effect.

Given the time of year and the damage severe winter storms have done to many parts of the country I discovered a few other timely and important deductions to consider:

• Deductions for damages and losses due to disaster (and theft and other losses). Again this is fact-specific but we’ve seen large numbers of practices affected over the last few years by tornadoes, hurricanes, and now severe winter storms. Those in official federal disaster areas get some level of automatic qualification, but get professional advice and don’t try to deduct things that actually weren’t a loss (i.e. normal wear and tear) and for which you may have been fully reimbursed by insurance, as one prohibited example.

• Deductions for caring for a parent or other dependent individual. The IRS may allow you take a specific deduction of up to $3,000 known as the “Dependent Care Credit”  for the care of a parent or other individual that meets certain minimum qualifying criteria and who is incapable of caring for themselves.

• Deductions of a variety of common and recurring business expenses including:

• Financial advisory and financial management fees including bank fees of various types;

• The cost of last year’s tax returns;

• Property taxes you may have paid on any time share property (doctors love these); and

• Qualifying personal and business legal expenses.

Again, please explore these issues only with professional tax help in the context of your own business and personal tax returns.

This article originally appeared at www.PhysiciansPractice.com , the nation’s leading practice management resource, where Asset Protection Attorney Ike Devji has written over 125 articles.  See them here: http://www.physicianspractice.com/authors/ike-devji-jd

CPA TJ Casey has experience ranging from estate planning services coordinator in a local law firm to “Big 4″ and local public accounting. He provides his tax clients an added benefit with his extensive background and experience in estate planning both from a tax and trust administration perspective. TJ graduated from Arizona State University with his Bachelors Degree in Accounting in 2001 and Masters Degree in Taxation in 2002. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants, and is a current member of the Board of Directors for the East Valley Adult Resources Foundation. In his spare time, TJ enjoys fishing, camping, attending his children’s sporting events, and playing guitar in a Phoenix based rock band. Learn more about him at: http://tjcaseycpa.com/

Asset Protection Attorney Ike Devji featured on Esq. Resource Radio

Slide1Attorney Ike Devji was a featured guest for a 60 minute interview on Esq. Resource Radio in Scottsdale, Arizona with host Frank Lopo recently.

The interview introduced the idea of Asset Protection, common Asset Protection mistakes and misconceptions, the role of liability insurance and a number of other issues that successful individuals like doctors and business owners should consider in their own legal and financial planning.

You can hear the entire interview at the link below.

 

“Defensive Medicine” is often Good Medicine and “Best Practice” for Doctors

PHYSICIAN AND HEALTHCARE EXECUTIVE LIABILITYAsset protection for doctors is the main focus of this column (note: this article originally appeared at www.PhysiciansPractice .com, The Nation’s Leading Practice Mgmt. Resource) and we’ve examined it from many angles over the last 100+ articles I’ve shared here. Today, we examine the issue of defensive medicine, much decried by politicians and insurance companies and the role a thorough diagnosis, free of fear of such claims by a third-party payer, plays in good medicine and your own risk management plan.

The inappropriately deemed “common wisdom” regarding medical malpractice lawsuits and the overuse of diagnostics due to so-called defensive medicine is something like this:

1. There is a national medical malpractice lawsuit crisis;

2. Doctors run too many unnecessary tests to avoid being sued;

3. These tests have little medical value and are not necessary or reasonable to providing good care; and

4. It is because of this so-called abuse that healthcare and insurance costs are high, fewer medical procedures including testing can be covered, and your compensation must continually be reduced.

This is an admitted oversimplification of the arguments from both sides, but it seems to me that the loudest opponents of this standard of care regularly fall into two primary categories: marginally informed politicians looking for a hot button issue to trumpet and insurance companies and their lobbyists and publicists. It’s my opinion that neither of these groups have effective diagnosis, treatment. or doctors at heart.

I have worked with a national client base of several thousand doctors for 11 years and have seen every imaginable form of liability you can imagine. If you’re a regular reader of this column you know I take the threat to your wealth posed by litigation very seriously and have repeatedly addressed the threat of medical malpractice lawsuits in particular, so let’s assume that I agree you are at risk; in fact most of you will statistically face such a claim twice in your career.

Now, let’s look at the fact pattern behind a vast number of medical malpractice claims, a majority of which (some 35%) center on either “failure to diagnose” or “misdiagnosis” claims by plaintiff patients or worse, their surviving family members. We don’t need to look far for examples. I get news updates on medical malpractice claims, settlements, and lawsuits several times a week and cases like the recent failure to diagnose a bone infection in Texas  that lead to a suit against an orthopedic surgeon, the death of a six-year-old child in Dallas after his internal injuries were misdiagnosed as constipation and treated with enemas, and the misdiagnosis of lymphoma in Louisiana as an infection that was treated with antibiotics and which led to the patient later needing surgery and radiation are common. In the latter case, the lawsuit included claims for damages including, “medical expense, physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, economic loss, diminution of earning capacity, disability, fear of death, scarring, disfigurement and loss of enjoyment of life”. What else do these three cases have in common? They are all from the headlines of the last one week.

I’m not a doctor and my knowledge of the cases is limited to the reports I’ve shared, so humor me and assume that the facts in these are accurate as reported. I am, however, an attorney and I know many other excellent attorneys, including the ones that sue doctors (and everyone else) for a living, here’s a little of what they’ve shared with me:

• Yes, is there is a pool of crooked attorneys out there churning frivolous cases and looking to scare and extort settlements out of any poor doctor they can get their sights on;

• This group is relatively small and spends most of their time on lower level cases that are typically settled or relatively easier to win, like conventional personal injury, dog bites, car accidents, slip and falls, etc;

• The best (meaning most successful and highest recovering) medical malpractice attorneys play to win and hedge their bets by carefully screening cases. They invest significant amounts of time and actual dollars in fronting costs for many claims and don’t usually take cases they don’t think they can win or which are at least strongly arguable as to causation in their client’s favor; and

• A key element of their claims is often related to the testing that could or should have been done to prevent further distress, or worse, to the patient. This standard of care is easily arguable both ways and poses a significant risk to your career and solvency.

My advice to doctors given these fact patterns is simple: Practice “defensive medicine” that puts the full range of modern diagnostics at your patient’s disposal. Its good medicine, good risk management, and the life you save may also be your own.

 

Arizona is an Income Tax Haven for MLB Players – and makes MORE off them by being one

TAX & LEGAL Planning for Pro athletesThis interesting article caught my eye because I represent some professional athletes including MLB players and because I live in Arizona.  It has a really interesting bit of info at the end.

The conventional wisdom at play in the U.S. is that the best way to raise government  revenues is to tax wealth creators at the very highest rates possible.

Arizona makes a large amount of money by being tax friendly and allowing enterprise to flourish, vs. what the state would have made by taxing MLB players in a more aggressive way.

If you are a ball player that wants to relocate your residence to Arizona please let me know, we have some great professional resources to help you. – Ike

ORIGINAL LINK BELOW:

How Arizona Saves MLB Players Millions in Taxes