As a peace officer, can I set up a trust to protect my assets from a lawsuit?

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As a peace officer, can I set up a trust to protect my assets from a lawsuit?

Can I set up a trust to protect myself in case someone decides to sue me for actions in the purview of my position? While my office would provide some legal assistance what is to prevent someone suing me in civil court?

Asked on January 10, 2011 under Estate Planning, South Carolina

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to give more information here as to what you do but generally speaking, if you are sued for actions that are within the purview of your employment then they should defend and indemnify you as well.  But it always good to plan ahead and this could be an opportunity to estate plan as well.  Yes, a trust can protect property from attachment from most creditors but it depends on how the trust is worded and what type of trust it is.  Sometimes if you retain too much control the creditor can seek to have the transfer of the property set aside as fraudulent (meaning to defraud creditors).  You need to be informed as to your options.  Maybe additional insurance (errors and omissions insurance) for you in your course of employment would be better.  Seek guidance close to home.  Good luck. 


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