Financial disaster can stem from personal setbacks like divorce, business disputes, litigation, and numerous other causes.  But the last few months of 2012 remind us that sudden, unexpected financial catastrophes can also come from other sources – – like natural disasters and general economic conditions.

Hurricane Sandy is a grim reminder that certain losses are simply not covered by insurance.  The potential “fiscal cliff” we are currently facing is a grim reminder that political deadlock can trigger severe economic woes.  Our current environment is increasingly one of uncertainty.  It is more prudent than ever to structure assets in a way that they are as protected as applicable law permits. 

Simply re-titling assets between spouses (and possibly other family members); family LLCs; and various trust arrangements are just a few of the possible strategies that could better protect your assets.  There is no “magic bullet.”  Each situation has to be analyzed on its own.  But one thing is clear:  asset protection planning (just like estate planning) is best done before disaster strikes.