Do You Need An Expert In Asset Protection Planning?
You need an expert in asset protection planning, if you desire for your asset protection plan to actually succeed in preserving money for the benefit of your loved ones. Asset protection planning is a difficult and detail-oriented area of law. Most attorneys will not attempt it unless they have spent a great deal of time studying the area of law, and is not an area suited to doing it yourself. There are rules, there are statutes, and there are case laws to be considered. Some of them appear to contradict each other, and some actually do contradict each other. Your chances of violating one of the many pieces of law that affect asset protection planning will actually exceed your chances of having any success, due to the complex nature of the subject. If you are interested in having support for your family, even if things go very badly for you, then you need expert guidance.
Are My Retirement Assets Protected From Creditors?
As long as your retirement assets remain in the retirement account and are not distributed, they are generally protected from creditors. Unfortunately, the United States Supreme Court recently held that once your children and most other beneficiaries inherit your retirement account, that money is no longer protected from creditors at all. Many of my clients are making their irrevocable trusts the beneficiary of their retirement accounts as the irrevocable trust can continue to have asset protection even after the retirement benefits are received.
Why Is Asset Protection Necessary?
Asset protection planning is not required by law, but if you have concerns that you or your loved ones may suffer from lawsuits, nursing home costs, divorce, or other predators, and if you are desiring that your children or your grandchildren not be left indigent, an asset protection plan is a necessary part of your overall estate plan. An asset protection plan is not enough estate planning by itself, but it is an important piece of a well planned estate.
The reason that an asset protection plan is insufficient to handle your entire estate is because if we were to make you insolvent using your asset protection trust, it is likely that a creditor will be able to convince the court to pierce the protection of that trust, as you did not retain sufficient income and assets to meet your known needs in life. For issues like this, it is extraordinarily important that you use a thoughtful estate planning attorney to help you consider which assets should go into which trust and how much money you should hold in a revocable trust for your personal needs.
Is It Ever Too Late To Start Asset Protection Planning?
If you wait until the unfortunate incident occurs that shows the reason that you should have had asset protection, it is practically certain to be too late to protect any assets from that particular incident or predator. If you wait until you are involved in a terrible car accident, it will be too late for an attorney to fund your assets into an asset protection trust and keep them from being taken by the judgment creditor. The law allows the courts to undo those transfers, as a transfer to avoid a known creditor is a form of fraud. There definitely comes a time when it’s too late to prepare asset protection vehicles.
How Might A Spendthrift Trust Protect My Assets?
I, as a parent who intends to leave an inheritance for my daughter, placed her inheritance into a spendthrift trust which her creditors will not be able to access. The trustee of that trust will have defined guidelines on what they are allowed to purchase with the funds belonging to the trust. My trust for my daughter can indicate that my trustee is allowed to purchase housing, food, and medical care. Neither my trustee nor the court will enlarge that gift to allow it to be used for other purposes. The money in the spendthrift trust does not actually belong to my daughter. This money belongs to the trustee. The trustee is allowed to provide benefits to my daughter but those benefits are specifically defined, and they will only include things that the creditors are not allowed to take from her. Therefore, my daughter’s inheritance will not be fully in her control, yet she can benefit from it for a long time after I am gone.
For more information on Need For Expert In Asset Protection, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (405) 880-8960 today.
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