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Protecting Your Wealth, Health, and Family: Estate Planning and the Law

To protect the wealth that you have worked hard to create, you will need the services of an experienced legal team. Regarding your personal estate, you cannot take any chances. You must put your affairs in order for peace of mind and to protect your family. 

Here are some of the areas where an attorney can help.

Asset Protection

It has taken you a lot of time and sacrifice to create wealth. Protecting it should be your top priority, but you’ll need a strategy. 

An asset protection strategy allows you to preserve your money, investments, real estate, and possessions, protecting against creditors, lawsuits, divorce, the nursing home, and other potential legal claims and liabilities. An attorney can work with you to develop a proactive strategy to prevent your valuable assets from being targeted.

But I Am Not Rich!

It is a common misunderstanding that asset protection applies only to multi-millionaires and billionaires. This is not the case. No matter the “amount” of your assets, they are yours and worth protecting. An asset protection lawyer can help you legally shield your money. It is better – in fact, it is essential – to implement such a strategy before facing a lawsuit, divorce proceedings, or other legal claims.

These are some of the most common and effective asset protection strategies. They can be implemented without evading taxes or committing fraud:

1. Corporations and Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)

These business formations make it easy to separate your personal assets from commercial investments. The aim of establishing a corporation or an LLC is to limit the liabilities that may arise from the operation of a business. 

Both entities offer the same level of protection, but LLCs are less complicated and do not require as much paperwork to establish. However, you cannot use such entities for the sole purpose of protecting personal assets against litigation.

2. Transferring Property Rights

Transferring property rights is a perfectly legal move to make. If, for example, your investment portfolio consists largely of real estate holdings, you can transfer ownership of some or all the properties to a spouse, relative, or trust. This is a good way to protect such investments from creditors and lawsuits.

The advantage of this strategy is that it counters any attempt to seize control of your assets. You maintain possession, or at least control, of your property. The disadvantage of the strategy is that it can lead to conflict within your family. The other downside is that certain transfers can create tax liability for your family on down the line. These tax issues are often one of the drivers behind our clients creating asset protection trusts instead of transferring assets to a family member.It is best to consult with an attorney to determine the best asset protection strategy for you. An experienced attorney will hear you out with care and compassion. Houck Menninger Law, LLC specializes in this area of law. You can contact us today for advice and counsel.

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Houck Menninger Law, LLC (“HM Law”) has placed the information on this website as a service to the general public. Use of this website does not in any manner constitute an attorney‐client relationship between HM Law and the user. While the information on this site is about legal issues, it is not intended as legal advice or as a substitute for the specific advice of your own attorney. Anyone seeking specific legal advice or assistance should retain an attorney. This website may also include inaccuracies or typographical errors and may not otherwise be up-to-date.

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