Introducing Our Asset Protection Series: Legal Planning with Ike Devji, J.D.
Over the past 20 years or so, we’ve observed many doctors making common mistakes at all stages of their careers. We have taken our observations, as well as enlightening discussions with well-established professionals in wealth preservation spaces to bring you our Asset Protection Series: Interviews dedicated to bringing awareness to various risks that can affect your wealth. Every Friday, Anthony Williams and our guest of the week will discuss critical questions to consider and provide tips on how to work towards obtaining comprehensive asset protection. Kicking off our series today is our good friend and brilliant asset protection attorney, Ike Devji, J.D.
Ike has personally practiced from Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona for over 17 years as an Asset Protection only lawyer and helps protect a national client base of thousands of clients representing nearly $6 Billion in personal assets. He is the former managing attorney of the United States’ largest Asset Protection only law firm, Lodmell & Lodmell, P.C, and is currently of-Counsel with the firm. Ike helps protect clients in all 50 states and a dozen-plus foreign countries in the area of Asset Protection. He is also of-counsel with the Arizona based business law firm of Davis Miles Mcguire Gardner, a leading business law firm with offices in Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico. A well respected author, Ike has contributed to and published over 250 nationally recognized articles, including in a dozen-plus medical journals such as the Physicians Practice and various legal and financial publications like Advisor Today, Life Insurance Selling, Public Accountant, Financial Consultant, Independent Business Magazine and others.
Our hope in providing these interviews is to continue our mission of helping doctors and their families grow their net worth tax-efficiently while minimizing exposure to litigation, loss of wealth, and detrimental career risks. Enjoy!
1) What are the three layers of asset protection?
- The Client & Clean Living – “Compliance, following best practices, following the law, doing things ethically, being a good leader, being a good manager, and controlling behaviors that keep us out of trouble in the first place.”
- Liability Insurance – Not limited to medical malpractice insurance.
- Legal Planning – “If our compliance fails, if there’s a mistake, if our insurance fails, if there is an accident, let’s have legal tools in place to back all of that up and limit any claim in the future, which we have a legal right to do today.”
2) What risks do physicians face beyond malpractice?
2 Bucket Risks: Personal and Professional
- Personal – “Do you own a home? Do you own a rental? Could you get sued if someone gets hurt there if you don’t have it wrapped in an L.L.C.? These kinds of things sound silly, but the ‘everyday’ exposures are more common than people think. It is not always the big catastrophic medical malpractice suit that is going to be the first thing that threatens a physician’s wealth. It’s going to be something like a car accident, business lawsuit, or an employment lawsuit that makes them feel the shadow of the reaper for the first time.”
- Professional – “If you’re a physician, medical malpractice is not your only professional risk. That is especially true for clients who are owners or partners in practice as opposed to those that are employed. If you are a practice owner or partner, not only do you have all of the complexities of healthcare law, HIPPA compliance, billing compliance, Medicare, Medicaid compliance, right? All of the complexity, and you have all of the same liability as every other business owner in America. So, some people say, ‘Well I’m running a doctor’s office.’ and what I say is you’re running a business that has additional liability and compliance on top of every other business.”
3) How does someone determine their target value?
- Determine collectible assets – “Why would an attorney’s office pursue a doctor beyond the limits of their medical malpractice coverage? Because they’re collectible. If the person is not collectible, then it usually ends in a settlement within the limits of your insurance company, because more likely, the plaintiff’s injury attorneys don’t want to spend time and money obtaining a judgment that are beyond what they can actually collect. You need to know if you’re worth suing beyond the limits of your insurance, if losing those assets would be a problem for you, and if they’d be difficult or impossible to replace.”
- Consider income stream protection
4) How can someone ‘crash test’ their legal planning?
- Consult a professional – “In the course of talking to a professional many of those issues will be discovered. Whether they’re talking to somebody like me or somebody like you, we’re going to find those weak spots as part of our process. That is part of our diagnostic process for the physicians, especially, that we’re dealing with, right, is to look at the fact pattern, look at the patient holistically, and look at what are the risk factors that they present, and help with that.”
5) What are the biggest asset protection mistakes doctors make?
- Doing nothing – “If you’ve worked hard, you’ve accumulated wealth, you’ve followed good habits and you don’t do something to protect your wealth or manage some of those risks that we’ve talked about briefly, that wealth is at risk.”
- Only relying on traditional estate planning – “What we see there are many people have their primary residents, their non-qualified assets that are in taxable accounts, their personal property, and many other things, in their own name or in the name of their revocable living trust. They are unaware that that revocable trust does not protect them from their liability during their lifetime. So, it is a fabulous estate planning tool people implement every day, but it is not an asset protection tool.”
Watch the full interview with Ike Devji:
Contact Ike today to learn more about how legal asset protection planning can help preserve your wealth.
Be sure to check out our other informative interviews here.
Securities and investment advisory services offered through NEXT Financial Group, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. None of the named entities are affiliates of NEXT Financial Group, Inc. Neither NEXT Financial Group nor its Representatives give tax or legal advice. Reference code: 2020-2907.