A lot of interesting dialogue on this thread so far. The first thing a financial advisor (or whatever they want to call themselves these days) should do, is actually assess where you're at in terms of your financial picture such as assets, debt, expected income, goals, etc. A lot of the answers to your question are going to be more closed based on things like how old you are and what type of purchases you plan on making (or not making). There are a LOT of people that sell financial products, but aren't really good at dealing with your total financial picture. I think DHK is a GREAT example of someone who really understands that planning your financial future has a lot of moving pieces and most professionals lack his depth of understanding. If this is a significant amount of money, you should definitely interview advisors. It may very well be that your advisor isn't greedy, but is just inexperienced and/or lacks the proper training/products to really help you. The best way to avoid taxes is not to make any money. Since that's impractical, focus on paying taxes *efficiently*. Two years ago I wrote Uncle Sam a check for $52,876 dollars because I had a better year than I had expected. If I had done poorly that year I wouldn't have had to pay anything, but I like making money too much to use that tax strategy. With respect to protecting your assets, it sounds like you're trying to use the "blood from a stone" defense by locking assets up or something equally obscure. What you should look at is getting a personal umbrella policy which will cover you if someone wants to sue you under most circumstances of personal liability. That policy will have minimum coverage requirements for your other liability insurance (auto, homeowners, etc) and in the event a claim happens they'll be the ones providing your defense and such, all of that comes at a fairly reasonable price. I like the umbrella policy because it actually helps deal with the litigation and the liability as opposed to just trying to hide/protect assets. Feel free to share the dollar amount of the settlement if you're comfortable with it (or a range), the larger the settlement the more doors can open for you in terms of companies to help you manage it.