It may have taken you years to build your assets and increase the size of your estate or business. And if you’re like many of our clients, you hope to leave your assets and accumulated wealth will provide a lasting legacy to your family after your gone.
A North Carolina asset protection plan can prevent your hard-earned life’s work get wiped out unnecessarily!
What is Asset Protection Planning?
At its most basic, asset protection planning is about using different strategies and tools to protect and preserve your property and wealth from taxes, lawsuits, creditors, and other risks. For others, asset protection planning might also include protecting it from the constantly increases costs of nursing home and long-term care.
Asset protection planning could be something you undertake for yourself or it could be something you set up for your surviving spouse and children. Many parents choose to leave the assets to their children's asset protection trusts that protect the children’s inheritance from the child’s lawsuits, creditors, divorce and/or bankruptcy. For example, first let’s assume you leave $500,000 to your child outright via a will. A year or two after receiving the inheritance, your child’s spouse files for divorce and claims $250,000 in the divorce settlement. Now, let’s assume instead of leaving the $500,000 to your child outright, you instead left it in an asset protection trust for your child. A year later when your child’s spouse files for divorce, he or she cannot make a claim to the assets in the trust.
Your Asset Protection Risks
Asset protection risks can come at you from many different sources, such as:
- Lack of proper insurances and protection;
- Unnecessary taxes due to lack of or inefficient planning;
- Being unprepared for health care and long-term care costs during retirement;
- A guest getting injured at your home, vacation property, or rental property and suing you;
- Causing a car accident that results in death or serious injuries;
- Your teen driver causing a car accident;
- A professional malpractice lawsuit if you are a doctor, dentist, lawyer, or similar;
- A business lawsuit due to an injured employee, a faulty product, breach of contract, or similar; or
- Crippling medical debts from an unexpected illness.
Your Loved One’s Asset Protection Risks
Your legacy can quickly be wiped our prematurely due to:
- Your surviving spouse getting remarried and (accidentally) leaving the estate to the new spouse instead of your children;
- Your surviving spouse is left financially unprepared for health care and long-term care costs;
- Your surviving spouse is financial naïve and makes poor financial decisions;
- Your surviving spouse, child, or grandchild gets sued after someone is injured on their property, or they cause a serious car accident or similar;
- Your child or grandchild gets divorced; or
- Your child or grandchild has a significant medical event leading to medical bills and eventually bankruptcy*;
- Your child becomes disabled leading to the assets rapidly being spent down for care needs before your child can qualify for government disability benefits.
*Medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy in the U.S.
How An Asset Protection Planning Attorney Can Help
Our Cary asset protection attorneys pride themselves on providing North Carolina residents with comprehensive, individualized plans that can help people from all walks of life protect what they own. You do not have to be a millionaire to benefit from any one of our Asset Protection programs, which can be beneficial to virtually all families.
Through the use of various asset protection tools, we can help you develop an asset protection plan that will:
- Protect you from future lawsuits;
- Protect you from future health care and long-term care costs;
- Protect your home, vacation home, or rental properties if you get sued;
- Protect your personal assets from a professional malpractice claim;
- Protect your personal assets if your business gets sued;
- Structure your business for stronger asset protection;
- Protect your surviving spouse from future remarriage, lawsuits, or poor financial decisions;
- Protect your children and grandchildren from future lawsuits, creditors, and divorce.
Are You a Sitting Target?
Unfortunately, some individuals have a higher likelihood of being sued due to the nature of their professional or financial stature—in other words, those that have something to lose.
In our years of experience working with thousands of clients in the Wake County area, we find that asset protection planning is particularly important if any of the following apply:
- You own a home and have an estimated net worth of $1M or more;
- You own vacation property;
- You own rental property;
- You are high income-earning professionals;
- You are high income-earning business owners;
- You own a business with significant value.
Don’t leave yourself or your loved ones stuck dealing with the financial aftermath that a lawsuit, medical bills or long-term care costs, or unexpected tragedy can bring to your family. Contact our asset protection planning attorneys today at (919) 443-3035 or fill out our online form to speak with someone about registering for a seminar or a Vision Meeting. You may also wish request a free copy Jackie Bedard’s book, Estate Planning Pitfalls: The Twelve Most Common Threats To Your Estate & Your Family’s Future.
Asset Protection Planning Series:
IRA & Retirement Plan "Stretchout" Protection Planning Series:
Our series on "Stretchout" Protection Planning for your Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), Roth IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and other qualified retirement plans will show you how to protect and maximize these tax-advantage accounts for a lasting legacy for you and your family:
Additional information and examples are provided in our book, Supercharge Your IRA, including:
Don't miss out on this vital information for protecting and maximizing your IRAs, 401(k)s, and other retirement plans, request your copy here.