Asset Protection Strategies to Keep in Mind When Estate Planning

When you are involved in estate planning, a crucially important part of the process is protecting your assets. After all, unless your assets continue to be protected from the many risks that threaten your accumulation of wealth, you will have no estate to plan. At Surprenant & Beneski, P.C., our estate planning attorneys have decades of experience protecting the assets of our clients throughout Southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod. 

One of the reasons we are so successful is that we rely on a broad range of asset protection strategies. Contact us now to discuss the options that will work best for you.

What Your Assets Have To Be Protected From in Massachusetts

No matter how hard you work to earn and amass funds and property, keeping your assets safe from the following threats is necessary if you want to hold onto them as they accrue:

  • Probate can be costly and time-consuming for high-net-worth estates
  • Excessive taxation
  • Loss of eligibility to government benefits (MassHealth/Medicaid) if you should require long-term nursing care 
  • Scams that target the elderly
  • Predatory lenders/creditors/scam artists
  • Divorcing spouses
  • Lawsuit verdicts or settlements
  • Beneficiaries with poor judgment who dangerously overspend

We Can Provide You With a Variety of Asset Protection Strategies

There are a number of ways our lawyers can help to protect your assets, including:

1. Making Your Business a Limited Liability Company (LLC) will protect your business assets from external threats such as lawsuits. An LLC will also protect your personal assets (e.g. home, vehicles, savings) from creditors trying to collect business debts and provide pass-through taxation in which your income/loss is reported only on personal income tax forms. 

2. Establishing a Trust in which your business is no longer owned by you but by the trust itself. Now designated trustee of the business, you manage but no longer own its assets and can no longer be personally responsible for the business’s debts. This will provide your home and personal property of all kinds if, for example, your business is sued for premises or product liability.

3. Irrevocable Trusts cannot be modified or terminated without court approval, but they offer clear advantages as asset protection strategies. As the grantor, having transferred your assets into the trust, you relinquish your ownership of the trust assets which can help you to: 

  • Reduce income and estate taxes through a charitable trust. For example, we can help you establish a charitable remainder trust in which a beneficiary of your choice receives income from the trust for a stated period of time, after which the designated charity receives the remaining trust assets.
  • Protect the eligibility for government benefits (e.g. MassHealth/Medicaid) of a loved one with special needs by putting their inheritance in a special needs trust. These additional funds will provide resources beyond the government stipend to make their life more comfortable and more pleasant.

To recap, irrevocable trusts offer a number of benefits: they avoid probate, minimize estate taxes, and may protect your assets against the claims of creditors.

Contact Our Experienced Asset Protection Attorneys Today

Our highly skilled attorneys will assist you in choosing and implementing the most effective asset protection strategies for you. Contact us now to make sure that your estate plan is both thorough and comprehensive.