If you are a high-net-worth individual looking into potentially setting up an asset protection plan, you are probably hoping to find the best advice possible. But finding the best asset protection attorney might prove a challenging task. The internet is full of websites with advertisements and information regarding asset protection and related legal services, often with unclear or conflicting information.
But determining who is the “best” asset protection lawyer is far from obvious. The decision is a highly subjective one and depends on various factors such as the type of legal services, the relevant jurisdiction, and the individual’s specific needs. Your wealth is deeply personal. The way you manage your assets can have a large impact on your lifestyle and your legacy. Your asset protection plan should be just as personal.
Asset protection is a niche and relatively new area of the law. Unlike famous plaintiff side attorneys and colorful criminal defense lawyers, asset protection professionals tend to keep a low profile. That is why you are unlikely to read too much about asset protection attorneys in the media outside of highly specialized publications.
The Father of Asset
If there ever was a most famous asset protection attorney, it was Mr. Barry Engel. Barry Engel is widely considered today to be the “father” of the asset protection field. He was born in 1954 in the city of Los Angeles, California but grew up in Omaha, Nebraska and later moved to Colorado to attend the University of Colorado. Mr. Engel received his law degree in 1979 from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
In 1984, Barry Engel started his law firm, Engel & Reiman P.C., in the city of Denver. Engel & Reiman quickly gained a reputation as a leader in asset protection planning and integrated estate planning. In the late 1980s, Barry Engel helped established many of the best asset protection solutions available today, such as offshore asset protection trusts.
In 1989, Mr. Engel helped draft the Cook Islands International Trust Act of 1984 enacted by the Parliament of the Cook Islands. This law was the first asset protection statute in the world and helped establish the Cook Islands as the go-to jurisdiction for asset protection trusts. Since then, Cook Islands Asset Protection Trusts have only grown in popularity as people try to prevent getting caught in litigation.
Cook Islands Asset Protection Trusts continue to offer the highest level of security available. The Cook Islands International Trust Act that Mr. Engel helped draft would also serve as a model for numerous other offshore jurisdictions around the world.
Engel & Reiman served as counsel to numerous distinguished clients and operated as an independent law firm until it was acquired by a large national firm in 2016. Sadly, Barry Engel passed away shortly afterwards in 2017. It is no overstatement that thanks to his work and influence, Barry Engel helped shape the field of asset protection into what it is today.
Choosing an Asset Protection Attorney
Today, numerous asset protection law firms exist in almost every major city. This can make it confusing to decide where to turn for the best advice. Finding the best asset protection lawyer for your specific needs will depend on several factors, such as the type of assets you need to protect, the complexity of your financial situation, and the legal environment of your jurisdiction. Should you be looking at large firms or small ones, national reach, or local knowledge?
It’s important to do your research and find a lawyer who has experience and a good reputation in the area of law that you need. After all, choosing a lawyer can be a crucial decision that can have a significant impact on the outcome of your legal matter.
Asset protection is a specialized area of the law and only an experienced attorney can offer the best range of asset protection solutions. A good asset protection lawyer should have a deep understanding of the law and legal procedures, as well as strong analytical, research, and writing skills. It is also important to be meticulous with their work, paying close attention to details and being thorough in their research and preparation.
In addition, you likely want an attorney who is approachable and that you feel comfortable with. Good lawyers tend to be very effective in their communication, both orally and in writing. They should be able to explain complex legal concepts in a way that is easy for clients to understand. Putting together an asset protection plan could require some lengthy and maybe even uncomfortable conversations. Fortunately, an initial consultation can help you assess whether a lawyer is a good fit for your needs.
Finally, a good asset protection lawyer needs to stay up to date with the latest developments both in regulation and technology, and be able to help with a wide variety of strategies, including novel situation such as protecting cryptocurrencies and other digital assets.
To find a lawyer who can assist you with asset protection, you can start by searching for lawyers who specialize in this area of law and have experience working with clients who have similar needs to yours. You can also consider asking for referrals from trusted sources, such as other professionals or individuals who help implement the asset protection plans or have used the services of an asset protection lawyer before. Additionally, you can check the lawyer’s qualifications, track record, and reputation before deciding to work with them.
Perhaps you might want to consider a specialized and experienced attorney who focuses his practice exclusively on asset protection and has helped hundreds of clients over the years. A small law firm can help you avoid the higher fees associated with large firms and can ensure you always have direct access to your attorney when you need help or questions arise.
Asset protection attorneys rarely make the news. That could have a lot to do with the specifics of this area of the law. Often, their greatest triumphs are not in winning cases, but rather in legal battles that are not fought. Of course, avoiding and preventing litigation is part and parcel of asset protection. Out of court settlements tend to be very private and often confidentiality agreements are signed to keep the entire dispute confidential. For these reasons, there is no real way to know who the best Asset Protection attorney is, but that doesn’t mean there is no right attorney for you.
At Blake Harris Law, we practice asset protection law exclusively and can walk you through the process and help you understand what asset protection plan might work best for you. If you are looking to learn more about asset protection or are looking for guidance with different offshore trust alternatives, please contact Blake Harris Law. Protect your assets by working with us, a legal team focused on strategic asset protection planning. You can reach us through our contact page.