Asset Protection Plan Attorney
One of the most important steps you can take when it comes to protecting your assets and preserving your property and wealth is to look into the creation of an asset protection plan. It is vital that you start to plan for this now rather than later, as the longer it takes you to implement the plan translates to a longer period of time where your assets and wealth are unprotected. And while it might not seem like it at first, an asset protection plan can play a huge role in keeping your assets safe from frivolous lawsuits, unreasonable claims by creditors, or financial predators.
LOOK AT YOUR RISK
The first thing to do when considering strategies to help safeguard your assets is to take an honest look at the risk that creditors, opportunists, or even former spouses pose to your wealth. Is it likely that a variety of individuals could come after your assets once you pass? If you own your own business, for example, or work in a profession that carries a rather high degree of malpractice issues, then you might consider implementing an asset protection plan to ensure that your assets stay exactly where you want them to even after your death.
BASIC ASSET PROTECTION PLANS
One of the simplest and most effective asset protection techniques is to gift assets to your spouse or your child(ren). This helps keep them away from your creditors' reach. Practically speaking, however, this is not necessarily the best option for your assets for a number of reasons. The first is that you must give up all control over the assets once you gift them, which means you no longer have any say as to what happens to them and cannot access any benefits they might offer. Additionally, this option doesn't protect said assets from the beneficiary's creditors.
Another option to consider is to take excess assets and make maximum contributions to your retirement plan. This might be a profit-sharing, a 401(k), or a pension. Assets that are contained within these plans tend to be protected against creditors' claims, even in the case of bankruptcy. This might not always be the case, of course, which is why it is important to involve an experienced attorney in your asset protection creation process.
MORE SOPHISTICATED ASSET PROTECTION PLANS
To help shield your assets from claims that might come from your creditors as well as those of the beneficiary, consider utilizing an irrevocable trust. This kind of trust consists of transferring your assets accordingly and places them beyond the reach of your creditors as well as your beneficiary's creditors. You can also maintain some control over them in the process, which is always nice. For even more protection, you could use an independent trustee with full discretion over distributions made from the trust.
For more information about asset protection plans and which technique is right for your specific needs, you should reach out to an experienced attorney to discuss your options. Contact Sara Doty, Attorney at Law, LLC, today for more information! Call us for an initial consultation at 256.519.9970.