The objective behind using asset protection in estate planning is to keep the “things” you value safe after you are gone. While the exact methods used to accomplish this goal vary according to what it is you are trying to protect, as well as what or who you are trying to protect it from, the state of Florida provides several different options.
Asset Protection Plan Options
While your estate planning attorney will help you decide the best methods for protecting your assets, some of the more commonly used estate planning tools include:
- Life Insurance
- IRAs, 401Ks, and 403Bs
- Land Trusts
- Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts
- Pre-nuptial and Post-nuptial Marriage Contracts
- Nevis Trust or Cook Island Trust
- Children’s Future Trust
- Elder Protection Trust
Steps Utilized to Obtain Asset Protection
The key to an effective asset protection plan is to place it in motion before it is needed. This requires foresight, planning, knowledge, and skill. Together we will determine the best plan of action for your particular situation and conduct a thorough assessment utilizing the following steps.
- Civil Liability Analysis: It is important to conduct an appraisal of your income, liability, and assets to determine your vulnerability for asset loss. Some types of liability you may be attempting to avoid include divorce actions, IRS actions, and lawsuits involving creditors and businesses with which you are involved.
- Asset Review: The next step is to ascertain what assets you have that are already protected and which ones are easily accessible to creditors. The easier it is for a creditor to reach a particular asset the more likely it becomes that they will pursue it.
- Structuring a Plan: We will sit down together to decide which estate planning tools will provide you with the highest level of protection. Founder & Principal Melissa Wheaton holds an advanced degree in taxation and is specially equipped to deal with considerations such as income tax and gift and estate taxation.
Common Asset Protection Mistakes
Having a learned advocate that is well informed of the pitfalls involved in the asset protection planning process is vital. The experienced legal team at TEPS LAW, LLC will protect you from common asset protection mistakes, including:
- Fraudulent Transfers: When it is clear to the courts that a transfer of assets was made for the purpose of preventing a creditor from having access to the assets, it can set that transfer aside and deem it fraudulent.
- Surrendering Asset Control: Although it may be the simplest way to protect your assets from creditors, handing over control of what you have earned to someone else is not usually the best solution.
- Hiding Assets: While it may be tempting to “hide” assets from creditors, lienholders, or ex-spouses, the truth is they will likely be found. Do not underestimate the intelligence or ability of creditors and their lawyers when it comes to identifying your assets.
Contact Our Firm Today
Contact TEPS LAW, LLC today to speak with a skilled and knowledgeable Florida estate planning attorney. Contact our Florida law firm today online or call us at (888) 401-6020 to schedule a discovery session. We offer virtual and telephonic consultations by appointment.