Many individuals seek an estate planning attorney to protect their assets. These people want to make sure their assets and wealth go to the people or charity they choose. And while transferring these assets, they want the tax man to get as little as possible. Included in the "tax man" are creditors. You have to think, what happens to my Amex bill when I die? What about my car loan? Well, protecting your assets against the claims of creditors is equally important, if not more important. You need assets to transfer - if the tax man gets them first - you will have nothing to leave your heirs. Even the greatest estate plan can't help you then.
Legal Asset Protection
We are not in the business of lying, or illegally hiding assets to protect you from creditors. The law provides many ways for you to legally protect your assets. The key is to work with an estate planning attorney to make sure these are in place before something happens.
Common Asset Protection Strategies
Gifts. The easiest way to protect your wealth from your creditors is to give it away to your children or other family members and/or charities.
- Trusts- You can protect assets from your heirs’ creditors by placing them in a trust.
- Retirement plans- A 401(k) or 403(b) plan — is one of the best ways to protect assets. These plans generally are exempt from creditors’ claims, at least until the benefits are distributed. IRAs will also offer some limited protection against creditors.
- Family limited partnerships (FLPs)- Another technique for protecting assets is to transfer them to an FLP in exchange for limited partnership interests for you and your family.
Seeking the help from qualified estate planning attorney can help you make the right decisions to protect you, your family, and your business.