What Is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is developing a plan for what happens to your assets when you die or if you become unable to care for your affairs. An estate planning attorney can advise on the best way to do this. While most people are familiar with wills, a good estate planning attorney can help with so much more. He or she can help you develop a living trust, create health care directives, minimize estate taxes, and protect your assets for generations to come.
What Is Asset Protection Planning?
Asset protection planning is the legal process of protecting your assets for the future. Risks such as debt, divorce, and lawsuits can destroy a lifetime’s work toward building savings and assets. An attorney trained in asset protection can help you limit your exposure and protect your money and property. The process begins with an evaluation of your current assets, goals, and areas of risk. Then the attorney can give you some options for protecting what you’ve worked so hard to build.
A complete asset protection plan should be tailored to your situation and designed as far as in advance as possible. While you can create an asset protection plan after you’ve been sued, it’s much more effective beforehand. Because it is designed just for you, it may include many different types of risk management such as these.
- Wealth protection
- Rights to financial privacy
- Avoidance of lawsuits
- Prevention of asset seizure
- Protection of domestic and offshore assets
- Tax considerations
What Should an Attorney Know Before Offering Asset Protection Services?
General estate planning attorneys should possess these specific skills and knowledge before venturing into the world of asset protection.
- Bankruptcy law
- Statutes related to creditors and debtors
- Conveyance and fraudulent transfer laws (UFTA and UFCA)
What Should I Ask if I’m Hiring an Asset Protection Attorney?
When you hire an asset protection attorney, you’re entering into a relationship that requires great trust. Here are a few questions to ask that can help you find the right professional for your needs.
- How long have you been working with clients on asset protection plans?
- Do you help with tax issues?
- How much of your business is asset protection work?
- How do you define success? How often do you achieve those goals?
As you begin making plans for the future, engage the services of a knowledgeable and experienced asset protection lawyer to help secure your legacy. Choose someone familiar with the procedures and laws of your jurisdiction to get the best results.