You work and save for your eventual retirement. You also accumulate assets with the desire to pass them on to your loved ones. Not only is accumulating valuable assets important as a legacy to your loved ones but planning exactly what you wish to happen to your assets after you are gone is another very important aspect of your estate.
Planning is also the only way that you have control over what happens to those assets and to have peace of mind that they will go to the right people. Protecting your assets is essential to ensure that they are not subject to claims from creditors as well (whenever possible).
What is asset protection?
The basic premise of asset protection is that your assets will be protected from being taxed, seized, or approached in other ways. Because it is a legal process, asset protection sequesters assets in a transparent, legitimate way. That excludes bankruptcy fraud, tax evasion, and fraudulent transfer. Nothing is hidden; everything is up front. Additionally, if you have jointly owned property, it can act as asset protection.
Whenever possible, it is most sensible to have asset protection in place before anything happens. If it happens after the fact, it can become much more complicated and more difficult to resolve. There are several different methods of asset protection, such as accounts receivable financing, trusts, and family limited partnerships.
Real estate and asset protection
One of the types of assets that can be protected is jointly held property. That can be considered a form of asset protection. A typical example of this is if a married couple jointly owns property. Although they both own a portion of the property, that property is not considered as separate pieces. It is considered as a whole.
In the event of a lien on the property, if the lien is against one of the owners, the creditors are not allowed to go after the other owner. However, if the lien is against both property owners, asset protection will not be in effect.
Sound advice from an estate planning lawyer
If you are thinking about asset protection planning and are not sure where to begin, the solid advice of a Bridgewater estate lawyer may prove invaluable to you. The lawyer can guide you through the process and they will be with you the entire time until your case is resolved.