The most common question I see from Attorneys interested in adding Asset Protection to their practice is:
How much net worth does a client need to consider asset protection? And then how much is it going to cost them?
This is of course a great question. The answer may surprise you. What I have found is that the threshold at which clients are most interested in protecting their assets is when they have a net worth of between $500K and $2.5M. This may seem low and most people comment that they would have expected more like $5-$10 Million and up.
The reason is that saving between $500K – $2.5M is hard to do. It takes many people a lifetime of work. These same people are very, very sensitive to any risk around their assets. Over the past few years, they have become more sensitive as the lawsuit problem in this country has only expanded. Many of them have also has a close brush or have seen a friend or colleague have one and are just plain scared.
What I have found is that this profile makes the very best clients. They are open and available for advice. They understand the need to have a professional do this correctly and they are willing to invest in the fees required to set this up and maintain it.
The fees we charge are fixed. They also do not change if a client comes to us directly, or works with us through an Affiliate Attorney. Our fees represent a very competitive price point from a setup fee standpoint.
From a maintenance fee perspective, we are miles ahead because of the unique use of The Bridge Trust ® , which reduces much of the costs of a traditional APT.
Set up fees for the Bridge Trust ® are $23,000 and the first year annual fee of $2,100. In many cases we will also utilize an Arizona Asset Management Limited Partnership which has a setup cost of $6,000 and a $600 annual renewal fee.
As far as presenting the planning to a client, I have found that the best approach is to engage the client in the concept first. Identify those clients who are interested in Asset Protection and then to schedule a joint analysis with myself, you and the client. At that time we can jointly make a clear recommendation and discuss the fees.
In some cases the client may only need the Limited Partnership, or in other cases they may need just the Bridge Trust ® . Therefore when discussing ‘general’ fees for Asset Protection I say that depending on what you need it could be anywhere from $5K to $25K.
I hope this explanation is helpful. My advice is to not make a fee decision for the client. Don’t assume that they will be unwilling to invest this amount of money to protect their assets. I have found that the opposite is true. Present the options to them and let them determine the value component. I think you will be surprised to see that those clients are far more motivated than you might imagine to protect what they have worked so hard to accumulate.
Remember, please don’t hesitate to contact Kitty Lucarini in my office at 602-230-2014 if you would like to schedule a call directly with myself or with a client.