Wednesday, June 22, 2011
According to Devji, the field of asset protection planning has seen a boom in the last four years, and an unfortunate result of this boom is an increase in the number of unqualified attorneys seeking to take part in this growing profession. While many attorneys attend CLE classes in areas outside of their specified practice, Devji finds that more and more attorneys claim an expertise in asset protection simply after attending an asset protection CLE.
Additionally, Devji claims that many attorneys do not address asset protection with their clients until the client seeks outside counsel on the subject. It is only after the client receives an expert’s asset protection plan that the existing attorney takes over and provides the client with “more planning.” To help prevent clients from hiring unqualified asset protection attorneys, Devji suggest clients ask these potential attorneys the ten following questions:
- Are you a lawyer or part of a law firm that will keep our discussion privileged?
- How many clients have you done this specific type of planning for?
- What’s the average net worth of your clients?
- Where do you work?
- How many types of law do you practice and how long has Asset Protection been part of your practice?
- How many doctors do you protect? (This is a doctor specific question).
- Can you provide any professional recommendations?
- Have you written anything on this topic that outlines your tools and strategies?
- Can you provide a specific written plan that outlines costs, results and requirements?
- What kind of on-going support or education do you provide to your clients and at what cost?
Ike Devji, J.D. (Attorney, Phoenix, AZ), How to Pick an Asset Protection Lawyer—Key Due Diligence Questions and Caveats, Pro Asset Protection, Jun. 13, 2011.