You work hard to earn your money and save it. Now you want to protect the nest egg you’ve accumulated. During these uncertain economic times, market corrections and news headlines can evoke fear about losing your portfolio. Engaging in asset protection strategies will help you protect your money and property for your benefit and future beneficiaries.
Asset Protection Rules
Asset protection describes various arrangements and financial structures you can use to keep your assets safe from creditors and judgments against you. There are many different asset protection strategies you can take depending on your unique circumstances. If you would like to protect your assets, the experienced estate planning lawyers at Surprenant & Beneski, PC are here to help. We will discuss the rules for asset protection that will help you protect yourself and your hard-earned wealth.
1. Protect Your Assets Before a Lawsuit Arises
Most of us don’t anticipate being sued as we go about our day-to-day lives. However, being sued can happen to nearly anyone. In our highly litigious society, lawsuits are more common than ever. Once another person or company files a lawsuit against you, there isn’t much you can do to protect your assets. If you do try to transfer your assets into a trust or to your children, it can be considered a fraudulent transfer that involves the intent to cheat creditors. The best time to develop your asset protection strategy is now before you’re dealing with a lawsuit.
2. Waiting to Plan Can Backfire
Waiting to develop a proactive asset protection strategy can backfire. For example, if you transfer your assets after your suit to avoid paying a judgment against you, you can face serious charges. You and whoever assisted you in a fraudulent transfer can be held liable for the creditor’s attorney’s fees. Additionally, you may be unable to discharge your debt during a bankruptcy proceeding.
3. Separate Your Personal And Business Assets
Running a business is challenging, and it can be easy to mingle your business and personal assets unintentionally. One way to protect your assets is to separate your personal and business assets. You can transfer your personal assets into a trust. A properly drafted trust will protect your assets against creditors. Similarly, you can place your business assets and entities in a trust or create a limited liability company or corporation to protect your personal assets from liability.
4. Understand Your Asset Protection Strategies
When we work with clients to develop an estate plan and asset protection strategy, we want to make sure they thoroughly understand their plan. Our estate planning lawyers are patient and willing to answer any questions our clients have and explain their asset protection plan. If it’s too complicated for our clients to understand, difficulties could arise down the road.
We focus on asset protection plans that are easy to understand yet legally effective at protecting our clients’ money and property. As a result, we frequently create and fund an irrevocable trust for our clients so they can draw interest from the trust during their lifetime and protect the assets in a trust for the benefit of their children or grandchildren.
5. Use Insurance To Your Advantage
Creating an asset protection plan isn’t a substitute for insurance. Instead, it’s wise to use asset protection strategies and purchase insurance. Purchasing a robust life insurance policy and creating a life insurance trust can help your family members access cash immediately after you pass away so they can pay for expenses such as your funeral and medical expenses. Depending on your circumstances, purchasing other types of insurance policies could be beneficial. If you aren’t sure which types of insurance you should purchase, our skilled estate planning lawyers can provide you with legal advice.
6. Don’t Hide Assets From Creditors
If you have creditors concerned about losing your life savings, we recommend discussing your case with an experienced lawyer. Many people panic because they are understandably worried about losing everything they’ve worked for. They may try to hide assets from their creditors, but doing so will only worsen the situation.
Creditors have many ways to discover whether debtors are hiding assets, and they will use any information they find against you. If you hide assets from your creditors, you may lose the opportunity to file for bankruptcy. An experienced lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and develop a strategy to handle the situation you’re facing.
7. Avoid Asset Protection Scams
Many companies advertise asset protection services for a low fee. As the saying goes, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Proper estate planning and asset protection planning require the work of an experienced lawyer. Creating a comprehensive estate plan is an investment you will make in your future and your children and grandchildren’s future.
It’s worth paying for high-quality estate planning instead of risking your future for a company that takes advantage of customers. There are many companies out there that advertise excellent asset protection services but are essentially scam artists. Working with a well-established law firm like Surprenant & Beneski, PC will give you and your loved ones peace of mind.
Consult with an Asset Protection Lawyer in Southeastern Massachusetts
At Surprenant & Beneski, PC, our primary focus is on ensuring our clients are protected on all fronts. We help our clients create thorough estate plans to distribute their property according to their wishes after they’re gone. Asset protection is a critical part of estate planning. Making sure your assets are safe against lawsuits, creditors, and divorce is a top priority. If you would like to discuss how to create an effective asset protection plan, we can help. Contact us today to learn more.