Originally Posted by engr
I'm thinking that once an event occurs on a particular date, any movementsof assets after that date are suspect/disallowed. So, how can asset protection lawyers claim they can get around this?
The legal term is "fraudulent conveyance" -- meaning you are intentionally shedding assets in order to avoid losing them to lawsuits and creditors, or in order to qualify for means-tested public benefits.
You are correct -- while moving assets out of your name after an event that is likely to introduce liability to you is not *always* proof of fraudulent conveyance it's generally assumed that it is.
The state you live in will have a significant impact on your ability to shield assets from creditors -- no lawyers required (until a significant event occurs, anyway). I live in Texas, which has some of the most generous asset protection laws in the country (along with Florida and Oklahoma). All 401K plans, IRAs, annuities, insurance policies and homesteaded personal residences have (in general) unlimited protection from seizure by creditors or judgments.
As in the case of fraudulent conveyance, suddenly opening a $200,000 annuity the day after you caused a car wreck that put someone into intensive care will raise a legal red flag, though. But if you did that the day *before* the accident, at least in the three states I mentioned that money would likely be safe. Having said all that, the first line of defense is an umbrella liability policy.