Asset protection planning can bring a lot more certainty to our lives — at least with respect to financial matters. And there is a lot of evidence that certainty makes us happier.
Personal planning — whether financial planning, estate planning, or asset protection planning — clearly brings a degree of certainty to our lives. A good estate plan cannot insure that your stock portfolio will do better next year. But it can give you the comfort of knowing that whatever assets you do have will be distributed the way you want. Estate planning thus brings a degree of certainty. Likewise, asset protection planning can give you the comfort of knowing that you have done what you lawfully and reasonably can do to protect your assets.
A recent article by a Harvard psychology professor says that certainty actually makes us happy — even happier than having more money.
I see this all the time with respect to asset protection planning. Some business owners and individuals (including physicians and other professionals concerned about catastrophic lawsuits) are sometimes more worried than they should be about losing everything in a huge lawsuit. If adequate insurance is in place, the risk of losing all your assets as a result of a malpractice suit or other litigation may be relatively small. Nevertheless, worrying about a risk can literally be catastrophic in itself. After consulting with an asset protection attorney a client knows what strategies are reasonably available and which are not. Knowing that you have done whatever you reasonably can to protect your assets usually brings a significant amount of relief.
Professor Gilbert says in the article I referred to above that certainty can bring greater happiness than money. While asset protection planning will obviously not provide certainty in all aspects of your life, it can significantly reduce the uncertainty about what will happen if you face losses from some catastrophic lawsuit. And it seems that should make you a lot happier.