A well known lawyer has recently entered into bankruptcy as a result of various issues surrounding his business. The Trustee in bankruptcy is attempting to challenge or claw back the transfer of some of the lawyer’s real estate to his wife’s name. This is a cautionary tale about belated attempts to isolate assets. If the properties had been purchased in the wife’s name in the first place or transferred to his wife several years ago, it would be very difficult to challenge the ownership of that asset. If assets are transferred solely for the purpose of defeating creditors, then those assets are liable to be reclaimed. At the very least, they will attract the attention of the Trustee and a good deal of cost and stress will go into trying to keep the assets.
Decisions about ownership of assets, such as real estate, are best made at the time that the asset is purchased or at a time when the business is not on the brink of failing If a married couple is concerned because one of them owns and runs a business, then the time to talk about asset protection is now, not when the business is in trouble. Bruce Coode of this office has been looking after property purchases for 35 years and is very experienced in the area, if you are purchasing a property and want to discuss your options, please make an appointment to see him.