Asset Protection Attorneys

• Lawsuit Protection

• Litigation Defense


The attorneys with Michael T. Chulak & Associates represent individuals and business entities throughout Southern California in developing asset protection strategies.

Asset Protection Strategies should be thought of as a vaccine rather than a cure. Asset Protection Strategies can be highly effective at preventing future claims by creditors, but have serious limits in dealing with current creditor claims.

California, like most states, has a Fraudulent Conveyance Act that essentially states that transferring assets to hinder, delay or place them beyond a creditor’s reach, is presumed to be a fraudulent conveyance and that such a transfer will not be effective against the creditor. Such conveyances can be set aside by a court.

In order to reduce the possibility of a successful claim by a creditor that a prior transfer was fraudulent, and Asset Protection Plan should be part of an overall Estate Plan and should be implemented long before problems develop with creditors.

Asset Protection Plan – Goals

The first step in an Asset Protection Plan is to discourage a plaintiff’s lawyer from wanting to sue you on a contingency basis. This involves:

Making it extremely difficult for the attorney to locate your assets, and
Convincing the attorney that any assets that are found, will be either very difficult, or impossible to reach.

It is important to note that generally lawyers will represent plaintiffs on a contingency basis only if they can reach significant assets. Otherwise, they are likely to insist that the plaintiff pay hourly. With hourly rates ranging from $250 to $400, or more, the hourly rate will discourage many would-be plaintiffs from filing suit.

If it is not possible to avoid being sued, and insurance is not available or adequate, the next step is to encourage the plaintiff’s lawyer to settle for pennies on the dollar after he or she realizes how difficult or impossible it will be to reach any assets.

In addition, it is important to make certain that the plaintiff’s attorney cannot collect anything if he or she prevails in court.

Asset Protection Concepts – Basics

Isolate or insulate assets by conveying them into different entities, whenever possible. These entities would include Corporations, Limited Liability Companies and a Family Limited Partnership. Family Limited Partnerships are especially effective because, absent a fraudulent conveyance, a creditor of a partner has no legal claims to property of the partnership.
Do not let excessive assets accumulate in your business corporation or LLC.
Observe corporate formalities if you do business in a corporation or LLC.
Avoid General Partnerships, Tenancy in Common ownership, and handshakes. These can lead to unlimited liability for the debts of the business or the negligent acts of a co-owner.
Avoid financial guarantees for others in any form. This includes loans, leases and other obligations.
Do not make your spouse an officer or director of a corporation used for business unless absolutely necessary.
Do not title your assets directly in your name. Remain stealth.
Purchase your insurance from a competent broker. Have your attorney, or a competent insurance consultant review the policies. Transfer risk whenever possible.
Transfer risk to others by means of broad form indemnification agreements when possible. 
Always utilize a Buy-Sell Agreement if you co-own a business with one or more persons.
Always obtain competent legal advice before making important business decisions.
Remember, while Revocable Living Trusts are excellent estate planning tools, they provide absolutely no asset protection.
Do not misclassify employees as independent contractors.  See Summary of Employee- IC Factors.
In addition to everything described above, asset protection should also include protecting you, your family, the personal property in your home, and your home itself from burglaries, robberies and other criminal conduct. For a comprehensive list of security tips, visit CoastSecurityServices.com.
Maximize your assets in Self-Directed IRA-401K Accounts.



Your personal Wealth is

No Longer Safe in America

Without Asset Protection – You Could Be destroyed Financially

Any of these events could leave you in debt and without a dime:

Catastrophic medical bills
An enormous tax bill including penalties and interest following an IRS or FTB audit
A professional malpractice lawsuit
Claims from creditors if your business should fail
An injury or negligence claim that exceeds your insurance coverage
A claim where your insurance company denies coverage
Seizure of your assets, including your home, without a trial or due process, by United States Government agencies with forfeiture power
Large fines for violating state or federal law caused by the actions of a partner, employee or agent
Lawsuits from business partners, an out of state franchisor, employees, or your spouse
You find yourself in court and have the O.J. Jury rule against you

For additional information on Asset Protection and Estate Planning, please contact us for a free consultation:





Vicarious Liability of Employers

Vicarious liability of employers is a form of strict liability which makes an employer liable for the negligent acts or omissions of employees that occur within the scope of the employee’s employment. The employer does not have to be negligent in order to be vicariously liable to a third person. This allows an insured person to sue the employer for the conduct of the employee. Vicarious liability generally does not apply to the acts or omissions of independent contractors. The exception is an independent contractor who is acting as an agent.

An employer can be vicariously liable to a third person when:

An employer knowingly or negligently hires an unqualified employee that is a cause of harm to another person;
An employer fails to provide adequate supervision of an employee that is a cause of harm to another person;
An employer fails to establish policies and procedures for an employee that is a cause of harm to another person;
An employer fails to provide training to an employee that is a cause of harm to another person; and
An employer knowingly or negligently allows an unfit employee to be retained that is a cause of harm to another person.

Common defenses for a claim of vicarious liability are:
The employee’s conduct is not within the scope of his or her employment; and
The employee unreasonably failed to use any preventive, corrective, or safety measures offered by the employer to avoid harm.

Whether the employee’s act or omission falls within the scope of employment will usually depend upon the following standards:
The action taken was of the type the employee was hired to perform;
The action took place substantially within the time and space limits of the employment. For example: during working hours, at the place where the employee was expected to be;
If the action was intentionally harmful, it was foreseeable by the employer; and
The action was taken at least partly for the benefit of the employer.

Vicarious liability of employers is a doctrine that makes both substantial insurance coverage and asset protection strategies a necessity.


Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Statistics

The website USDebtClock.org displays real time statistics for bankruptcy filings, foreclosures, employment, unemployment, the national debt, the national deficit, the national debt per citizen, and much more. It is a wealth of information. It will shock you.


Areas Served:

Los Angeles County:

Acton, Agoura, Agoura Hills, Agua Dulce, Alhambra, Altadena, Arcadia, Arleta, Artesia, Avalon, Azusa, Baldwin Hills, Baldwin Park, Bassett, Bell, Bell Canyon, Bell Gardens, Bellflower, Beverly Hills, Bouquet Canyon, Box Canyon, Burbank, Calabasas, Calabasas Hills, Canoga Park, Canyon Country, Carson, Castaic, Century City, Cerritos, Chatsworth, Claremont, Commerce, Compton, Covina, Cudahy, Crystalaire, Culver City, Del Sur, Diamond Bar, Downey, Duarte, East Los Angeles, East Rancho Dominguez, El Monte, El Segundo, Encino, Firestone Park, Flintridge, Gardena, Glassell, Glassell Park, Glendale, Glendora, Granada Hills, Hacienda Heights, Hawaiian Gardens, Hansen Dam, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Hidden Hills, Highland Park, Hollywood, Huntington Park, Industry, Inglewood, Irwindale, La Canada Flintridge, La Crescenta- Montrose, La Habra Heights, La Mirada, La Puente, La Verne, La Canada, Lake Hughes, Lake Los Angeles, Lake View Terrace, Lakewood, Lancaster, Lawndale, Leimert Park, Lennox, Leona Valley, Lincoln Heights, Littlerock, Lomita, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Lynwood, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Marina Del Rey, Maywood, Mission Hills, Monrovia, Monte Nido, Montebello, Monterey Park, Mount Baldy, Mount Wilson, Newhall, North El Monte, North Hills, North Hollywood, Northridge, Norwalk, Pacoima, Palisades, Palmdale, Paramount, Pearblossom, Pico Rivera, Pomona, Quartz Hill, Rancho Dominguez, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rancho Park, Redondo Beach, Reseda, Ritter Ranch, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Rosemead, San Dimas, San Fernando, San Gabriel, San Marino, San Pedro, Santa Clarita, Santa Fe Springs, Santa Monica, Saratoga Hills, Saugus, Sherman Oaks, Sierra Madre, Signal Hill, South El Monte, South Gate, South Pasadena, Stevenson Ranch, Studio City, Sun Valley, Sun Village, Tarzana, Temple City, Toluca Lake, Topanga, Torrance, Tujunga, Universal City, Val Verde, Valencia, Valley Village, Van Nuys, Venice, Vernon, Walnut, Walnut Park, West Covina, West Hills, West Hollywood, West Los Angeles, West Toluca Lake, Westchester, Whittier, Wilmington, Windsor Hills, Winnetka, Woodland Hills.

Ventura County:

Camarillo, Channel Islands, Faria Beach, Fillmore, Moorpark, Newbury Park, Oak Park, Oak View, Ojai, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Santa Paula, Saticoy, Somis, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Ventura (San Buenaventura), Westlake Village.

Orange County:

Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Balboa Island, Brea, Buena Park, Corona Island, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Dana Point, Foothill Ranch, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, La Palma, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forrest, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Orange, Placentia, Rossmoor, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Santa Ana Heights, Seal Beach, Stanton, Tustin, Tustin Foothills, Villa Park, Westminster, Yorba Linda.

San Bernardino County:

Adelanto, Apple Valley, Barstow, Big Bear, Big Bear City, Chino, Chino Hills, Colton, Crestline, Fontana, Grand Terrace, Hesperia, Highland, Joshua Tree, Lake Arrowhead, Landers, Loma Linda, Montclair, Morongo Valley, Needles, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, Rialto, Running Springs, San Bernardino, Twentynine Palms, Upland, Victorville, Yucaipa, Yucca Valley.

Riverside County:

Anza, Banning, Beaumont, Bermuda Dunes, Blythe, Cabazon, Calimesa, Canyon Lake, Cathedral City, Cherry Valley, Coachella, Corona, Desert Hot Springs, East Blythe, East Hemet, El Cerrito, Glen Avon, Hemet, Highgrove, Home Gardens, Homeland, Idyllwild-Pine Cove, Indian Wells, Indio, La Quinta, Lake Elsinore, Lakeland Village, Lakeview, Mecca, Mira Loma, Moreno Valley, Murrieta, Murrieta Hot Springs, Norco, Nuevo, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Pedley, Perris, Quail Valley, Rancho Mirage, Riverside, Rubidoux, San Jacinto, Sun City, Sunnyslope, Temecula, Thousand Palms, Valle Vista, Wildomar, Winchester, Woodcrest.

Santa Barbara County:

Ballard, Buellton, Carpinteria, Gaviota, Goleta, Guadalupe, Hollister Ranch, Hope Ranch, Isla Vista, Lompoc, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Mission Canyon, Mission Hills, Montecito, Orcutt, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Santa Ynez, Solvang, Summerland, Toro Canyon

Alameda County, Alpine County, Amador County, Butte County, Calaveras County, Colusa County, Contra Costa County, Del Norte County, El Dorado County, Fresno County, Glenn County, Humboldt County, Imperial County, Inyo County, Kern County, Kings County, Lake County, Lassen County, Los Angeles County, Madera County, Marin County, Mariposa County, Mendocino County, Merced County, Modoc County, Mono County, Monterey County, Napa County, Nevada County, Orange County, Placer County, Plumas County, Riverside County, Sacramento County, San Benito County, San Bernardino County, San Diego County, San Francisco County, San Joaquin County, San Luis Obispo County, San Mateo County, Santa Barbara County, Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz County, Shasta County, Sierra County, Siskiyou County, Solano County, Sonoma County, Stanislaus County, Sutter County, Tehama County, Trinity County, Tulare County, Tuolumne County, Ventura County, Yolo County, Yuba County


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