Surge of New Real Estate Investors Unwittingly Risk Personal Assets

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Surge of New Real Estate Investors Unwittingly Risk Personal Assets
02.03.06, 4:14 PM ET

According to a National Association of Realtors survey, in 2004 a whopping 36% of US residential real estate buyers purchased vacation homes and other investment property. The hot real estate market continues to attract inexperienced investors, and most unwittingly risk their own homes and personal investments by holding all their assets in their own names. Property buyers savvy enough to seek help are commonly advised to protect themselves from lawsuits by forming a traditional limited liability corporation (LLC).

A far safer, less expensive and often overlooked choice, the Delaware Series LLC, shields those with as few as three properties, even in different states. In fact, investors are excited that they can hold assets as diverse as a restaurant business, a rental home and an apartment building under one "umbrella" LLC, creating a virtual firewall between assets so legal action against one affects none of the others.

Northern California attorney Jeffrey Lerman, a 25-year industry veteran known as "The Real Estate Investor's Lawyer," says, "Investment property protection just leapt into the 21st century. The Series LLC safeguards investors, while streamlining accounting and saving thousands in taxes and filing fees."

A growing trend

Originated in Delaware nine years ago, the Series LLC is now legislated in six states, with three crafting statutes offering the entity in just the last year. Investors need not live in or own property in these states. They must simply create their LLC there, to reap the program's benefits. The substantial cost savings, compartmentalization of liability and simplified recordkeeping are keys to profitable investing. To learn more about this valuable tool, contact Jeffrey Lerman, a nationally renowned speaker on the Delaware Series LLC.

President-elect of the Marin County Bar Association, Jeffrey Lerman is an attorney specializing in real estate transactions and litigation, as well as an investor and real estate broker. Based in San Rafael, California, he's an expert on how to lower the costs and risks of property investment. He speaks frequently in seminars and on the radio, including guest spots on real estate programs.