There’s an old saying that goes something like, “God made man, but Sam Colt made them equal.” In the rough and tumble West, a revolver made it possible to protect your family and your property like never before. It became easier to take risks and move into unsettled territories.
Thankfully, we no longer live in a world where our ability to provide for our families and protect our property from ne’er-do-wells depends on our aim. Today, there are many more sophisticated ways to ensure that your assets do not come under attack. What legal tactic will work best to protect your assets depends on what your long-term financial goals are, and what obstacles you believe you might face.
If you are worried you might be sued because of your line of work, we can help you set up an LLC that will shield your personal assets. This is helpful if you might be targeted in a malpractice lawsuit, or if you fear frivolous litigation filed by an ex business partner or spouse.
We also help protect elderly clients from scam artists by drafting power of attorney documents that allow a trusted friend or family member to help them oversee their financial life and make decisions on their behalf. It can give everyone in the family peace of mind to know that Grandma will not be taken advantage of by a quick-talking telemarketer without someone noticing right away.
Clients who are about to be married may want to protect themselves and their children from prior relationships by executing a pre- or post-nuptial agreement. These documents can structure debts and assets so that everyone is clear about where they stand financially. Financial issues are the number one reason couples fight, so getting them out into the open relieves a lot of tension and stress.
Perhaps the most popular way to protect significant assets and pass them on to a future generation is to set up an irrevocable living trust to hold them. Properties held in a properly-crafted trust do not count as assets when you are applying for Medicaid, and are protected from division if you or another member of your family gets divorced or goes into debt. Irrevocable trusts also allow you to pass on properties outside of the probate system, and without paying certain taxes, further protecting your assets.
If you are serious about protecting your assets and passing them on to the next generation, it is time to talk to an experienced estate planning attorney. You can take the law into your own hands by crafting a custom-made asset protection plan that fulfils your goals and fits your needs. It is unnecessarily risky to rely on the default legal rules or a cookie-cutter plan you could print off the internet when working with an attorney will get you the results you desire and the peace of mind you deserve.