Asset protection is a great way to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your assets from creditors and others who may attempt to take your wealth or possessions. Much like we can create trusts to hold money and property for loved ones now and in the future, we can also create trusts for asset protection. Is this tool right for you? Keep reading to find out.
What is a trust?
A trust is a legal document created by a person, called the grantor, who puts property or money into the trust, called funding. This is an important part of creating trust, as without a trust being funded, it is not complete.
The grantor has a great deal of power during the trust creation process. The grantor has the ability to layout the terms of who can receive trust benefits, or, beneficiaries, and how those benefits are paid out or provided to the beneficiaries. A trustee is named in the trust document and that is the person who manages the distribution of the assets according to your wishes.
How does trust apply to asset protection?
The greatest benefit to asset protection trusts is their ability to shield your assets from creditors. The biggest difference between the type of trust described above and an asset protection trust is that you are both the trustee and the beneficiary of an asset protection trust.
At first glance, this may not seem like it protects your assets at all, but it does. The trust is a separate and distinct entity from you. In order for the trust to provide you with the greatest asset protection, all of your assets must be titled in the name of the trust. Your house, your car, your bank accounts, your retirement benefits — everything of value that you own will now become trust property. In other words, you don’t own these items as an individual anymore because the trust owns them all.
Don’t squirm at this, though, as you still retain control over the assets because you are the trustee and beneficiary. You are still free to use the bank accounts, buy and sell property, and receive income. However, when you sell or buy an item or a property, you must make certain the trust is purchasing the property and the property is owned by the trust. This is the line of separation.
Taking these steps may seem extreme and complicated, but by taking these steps, you ensure your assets are protected from any creditor, lawsuit, and in some cases, even yourself.
A lawyer can help you protect your assets.
With so much at stake, you should not try to set up a trust to protect your assets without the guidance and skill of an asset protection lawyer, like an . You should also not wait until you need asset protection to consider this option. At that point, it’s too late. Contact an attorney today to get started on your asset protection plan so you don’t have to worry anymore.
Thanks to Citadel Law Firm for their insight into whether or not you should use an asset protection trust.