What You Need to Know about Asset Protection
In today’s litigious culture, you are probably aware of the threat a lawsuit can pose to your assets. A lawsuit, however, is hardly the only potential threat to your assets. Consider the following ways in which your assets may be at risk:
DivorceWhen you enter into a marriage you do so with the belief that you and your soon-to-be spouse will be together forever. If that doesn’t come to pass, the marital assets will be divided. If you failed to protect the assets you brought into the marriage, you could lose them in the divorce.
Business debts and liabilitiesPeople often believe that forming a corporation insulates them from any personal responsibility for the debts and liabilities of the business. In reality, that is not always the case. Creditors may be able to “pierce the corporate veil” and come after your personal assets.
Long-term careIf you need long-term care during your “Golden Years” the cost of that care could rapidly deplete your assets if you failed to plan ahead given the fact that neither Medicare nor most private health insurance plans will cover LTC expenses. The average annual cost of LTC care nationally is over $80,000.
Estate taxesEstates are subject to federal gift and estate taxes at the rate of 40 percent. If the combined value of all lifetime gifts and assets owned at the time of your death exceeds the current lifetime exemption, your estate may lose a significant portion of its value to Uncle Sam if you failed to properly plan.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Assets?Acknowledging the myriad and varied potential threats to your assets is only part of the equation. The implementation of asset protection tools and strategies within your comprehensive estate plan are of equal importance. The key to protecting your assets is knowing which strategy works best to protect against a specific threat. This is where an experienced estate planning attorney can help. It may also be beneficial to learn more about some commonly used assets protection tools and strategies, such as:
◦ Pre-nuptial agreements;
◦ Irrevocable trusts;
◦ Forming the right type of business entity, and
◦ Medicaid planning.
The best way to ensure your assets are protected, and remain available to provide for loved ones after you are gone, is to work closely with an experienced estate planning attorney to incorporate an asset protection component into your comprehensive estate plan.
About Our Law FirmMorrison Law Group, PLC is an estate planning law firm in Metairie, Louisiana. Chip Morrison is Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Administration, as certified by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization, and is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, and offer guidance and advice to our clients in every area of estate planning. We offer comprehensive and personalized estate planning consultations. For more information or to schedule a consultation please contact us at (504) 831-2348 or visit us online at www.morrisonlawplc.com.