A fascinating article by Daniel J. Wakin in the November 29, 2010 New York Times reveals that even Mozart should have done some asset protection planning.

An aristocratic friend of Mozart’s sued him and won a judgment for an amount of more than two times Mozart’s annual income.  The judgment called for garnishing half of Mozart’s salary.  Mozart died shortly after the judgment was entered against him, and it appears that the creditor chose not to press Mozart’s widow for payment of his debt.  But it is clear that the judgment caused Mozart a lot of stress and financial difficulty.

The article on Mozart shows that even in the 18th century, high profile and high net worth individuals faced significant financial difficulties from legal judgments against them.  If Mozart were alive today, I am confident that he would recommend very serious attention to an asset protection plan.  And he would urge you to develop such a plan before you run into financial difficulties — not after there is a lawsuit or judgment against you.