What is Asset Protection?

Asset Protection

People spend their entire lives working to accumulate high-value assets. Unfortunately, it is harder than some might imagine to protect them. Americans are known for filing lawsuits, and assets that are unprotected may wind up in jeopardy. As such, asset protection is crucial for divorce, estate planning, nursing homes, and family issues.

You shouldn’t have to work a lifetime to provide for your family only to wind up enriching a third party. Working with a team of asset preservation attorneys can help you avoid this situation.

The Basics of Asset Protection

Asset planning refers to safeguarding wealth against anyone who could have a claim against it, including not just litigants but also creditors. It takes a holistic approach to estate planning, making it easier to pass it on to legal heirs without probate court proceedings or estate taxes.

Experienced asset lawyers will examine all of your potential creditors, not just now but in the future, to determine your overall risk. This risk level will help to inform the estate planning structure.

An attorney can help you minimize the risk that assets will be lost to creditors or others in future litigation and understand the tax situation to ensure the most favorable outcome.

When to Engage in Asset Preservation

The best time to engage an asset protection planning lawyer is well in advance of possible risks. If you’re already being sued, it’s too late to reap the full benefits. Don’t just assume that you won’t be exposed to any serious risks. Asset protection planning can help with a wide variety of situations, including suits brought by:

  • Business partners or associates
  • Consumer debt agencies
  • Fellow company shareholders
  • Customers of a business you own
  • Accident victims in car crashes or on your property
  • Former spouses
  • Medicaid, typically for nursing home costs

It’s not worth taking the risk. If you engage in comprehensive asset protection planning well in advance, you’ll be in a much better place if a claim arises.

Who Needs Asset Protection?

Some people are at greater risk of facing lawsuits than others. People with exceptional amounts of wealth should always engage in asset protection planning, as should physicians and any other professionals who are more likely to be sued than most.

For those with a high net worth, asset protection plans in place can give some extra peace of mind.

Protecting Assets from Nursing Homes

A common form of nursing home abuse is financial abuse on behalf of the nursing home administration. Elderly people with assets can be taken advantage of by being overcharged for services and having money stolen form their accounts.

Asset Preservation During a Divorce

When going through a divorce, assets are divided by divorce lawyers to best satisfy both parties. It is important for people with assets to protect as much of their money and property as possible as to not be taken advantage of.

Protect Assets From Creditors

There are many asset protection tactics that we can use to protect your assets from creditors. They include:

  • Offshore trusts
  • Domestic asset protection trusts
  • Third-Party spendthrift trusts
  • Special needs trusts
  • Other irrevocable trusts
  • Gifts
  • Medicaid planning
  • Homestead exemptions
  • Other statutory exemptions

When you structure assets to avoid future losses, you’ll also benefit from significant tax advantages.

When to Hire an Asset Protection Attorney

Asset protection planning is a very complex field, and this process is not one that you should undertake alone. The laws governing asset protection are different in each state, and they’re constantly changing.

If you want to protect or preserve your assets, then get in touch with an estate planning attorney as soon as possible.

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