If you do not have an estate plan, the state will create one for you by intervening on your behalf. When you pass away, virtually all of your assets are distributed in one of the following ways.
These can include:
By state law or by will: Anything that isn’t distributed by beneficiary or by ownership will pass through state law. Many people believe that they don’t need a will because they will assume that their spouse will receive everything by ownership or by beneficiary. While that may be true, if both of you were to suffer in an accident together, this can raise significant questions.
Beneficiaries: You usually will name beneficiaries on life insurance plans, health insurance, savings accounts, and retirement plans. These will pass outside of the probate system because they refer to the specific paperwork you filed directly with those account managers.
Ownership: If your property was owned by joint tenants with survivorship, the asset will immediately be transferred to remaining surviving owners. If you own your home with a spouse, for example, the spouse will automatically get it. However, you may have other real estate interests that have not been clearly laid out in your estate plan.
You need to consult with a knowledgeable attorney who can help you navigate this process and ensure that you have considered all potential angles in putting together your estate plan.
Far too many people put off the estate planning process for way too long and end up leaving behind a mess for their children. This can be literally, legally or financially.
The literal type of mess is the cluttered house, when the adult child must step in to clean out a house of things that have been accumulated after a parent passes away. However, the legal and financial mess may be associated with neglecting to put together a comprehensive elder law and estate plan in the event disability or death. Many times, when a loved one suffers a devastating disability or accident that ultimately claimed their life, this was unexpected.
Failing to do the necessary preparation to make it easier for your loved ones to take quick action can put them in a very difficult situation. Many people want their spouse, followed by their children to take over in the event of a disability.
But children or a spouse may be barred from doing so without the proper power of attorney and living will. These are also referred to as advanced directives and enable you to put other people in charge in your life and avoid the hassle of a guardianship proceeding in which a judge makes a decision about your legal guardian.
When you consider how many issues are affected by your willingness to plan ahead, you can make things much easier for your loved ones by stipulating an estate and elder law plan now that considers your needs as well as their future.
The composition of your retirement portfolio affects your ability to support your lifestyle after you retire as well as what you can give away to loved ones.
Many financial managers have recently found that retirees’ assets are in pre-tax accounts, also known as qualified plans. However, this has an additional consequence when it’s time to make withdrawals to cover your living expenses. You would need to pull out additional funds to cover the tax bill that comes with it.
Using a bucket strategy when planning for retirement can help to address this problem. A short-term bucket that has up to five years of retirement needs should be tapped without a major taxable event.
The second bucket should be filled with long-term fixed-income assets and after-tax equity. This bucket could be very important for generating taxable events, given the appreciation of assets. However, if the principle is all after tax dollars, this burden is reduced. The third bucket should be filled with 401(k), pre-tax retirement accounts, and traditional IRA accounts.
These are all subject to RMD rules that begin at age 70 and half and the distributions are taxed at ordinary income rates. The ratio of assets in your third and second buckets is determined by whether or not you have already saved enough to achieve your lifestyle goals in retirement. If you have more resources than you expect to need for your retirement goals, the pre-tax assets might be higher and you should consult directly with an experienced estate planning lawyer to talk about how you will pass on these assets to your loved ones in the future.
The tax code reform framework on the table in DC does have some important ramifications for art related businesses and art collectors. The new nine-page proposal promises bigger paychecks, more jobs and a more fair tax system; however, it proposes eliminating many of the itemized deductions and lobbying groups have already become involved.
It would lower the highest individual income tax rate to 35% from where it currently sits at 39.6%. This could have ramifications for how art collectors approach their estate planning. As of right now, collectors who have taxable estates must plan to address the estate tax on their art which is an illiquid asset. Elimination of the estate tax could alter this dynamic and motivate individuals to reconsider where will their artwork go after they pass away. The tax reform proposal, however, does not address how the tax code will manage inherited assets that have appreciated in value.
Under current law, a child who inherits something that has grown in value since the time it was purchased, would be responsible for paying a stepped-up basis of the current value, such that capital gains taxes are levied on the profit from a higher basis. The proposal also does not address whether tax rates for capital gains on art would be maintained. Taxpayers may opt to categorize the profit from selling a piece of art as ordinary income or capital gains. The highest income tax bracket currently sits at nearly 40% versus the capital gains tax of 28%.
The right lawyer can help you if you need assistance with your estate planning for an art collection.
As you tackle the subject of estate planning, you may have questions about what happens to excess money if you have already considered all the needs of your unique loved ones. After you have taken the necessary steps to minimize taxes and maximize the value of the assets you’re passing on to your loved ones, you will also want to contemplate what will happen to the remaining assets.
Giving things away to charity is a worthwhile philanthropic goal and one that should be considered carefully with the help of a knowledgeable estate planning attorney. The manner in which you pass on assets to charities requires careful consideration of the intersection of your philanthropic goals and tax issues. By choosing to pass on certain assets to charities instead of others, you may maximize your tax benefits while also ensuring that the charity receives as much as possible of the assets you have carved out and set aside in your estate plan.
Your community may play an important role in your individual life and you can use your estate planning documents to further articulate what you want your legacy to be after you have passed away. Scheduling a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney in your area allows you to walk through the various opportunities available to you and select one that is in line with your individual and community based goals.
Are you concerned that a lawsuit or other threat could jeopardize your personal finances? While some people face a higher likelihood of an incident like this, everyone should be concerned about asset protection planning.
Accomplishing asset protection planning is often successful after you consult with an attorney who has experience in this area. Holding assets outright and in particular, those assets that may be exposed to serious risk like real estate investments can be a big mistake in the event that a creditor or lawsuit threatens you in the future.
A limited liability can be structured to hold some assets. This is often used in conjunction with the benefits of providing an orderly transfer of assets to the next generation and reducing your estate taxes.
So long as you respect the legal formalities associated with an LLC, you can also tap into their asset protection planning potential. A limited liability company can be extremely valuable for isolating a risky asset. If in the event that you hold real estate and an injury happens to someone on the property, your personal assets could be tapped for that. However, if the property is owned by an LLC, then the injured party is only eligible to reach the assets in the LLC.
Furthermore, personal creditors typically cannot reach assets inside an LLC. The creditor is limited to a charging order that entitles them to collect distributions made from an LLC to you but not the underlying LLC’s assets. Consulting with a knowledgeable asset protection planning attorney is strongly recommended.
Too many people realize that asset protection planning is valuable when it’s too late. For example, after a lawsuit is filed against a doctor or after creditors swoop in to take personal assets. This can expose your entire family, your company, and all that you have worked so hard for to serious risks, and that’s why it’s important to start asset protection planning now, even if you’re not yet sure that you need it. Putting a safeguard plan in place now makes a lot of sense, but you’ve got to be prepared by setting up an initial consultation with an experienced asset protection planning lawyer. If you face risks because of your wealth or your profession, asset protection planning is a must-do.
Looking ahead to the future can increase your chances that your beneficiaries will be able to receive the assets that you intend. More than $59 trillion is expected to pass from baby boomers to the future generation, according to a study published by the Boston College Center on Wealth & Philanthropy. Unfortunately, however, despite these numbers, very few baby boomers have taken steps to ensure that their wealth does not disappear immediately after the transfer. Up to 70% of families lose all of their wealth by the second generation, according to data shared by the Williams Group Wealth Consultancy. 90% of families lose all of their wealth by the third generation.
There are changing needs for affluent and mature clients who are concerned about successfully transferring and preserving their wealth. Identifying an experienced attorney who can assist with the asset protection planning process and infusing various strategies such as trusts and other estate planning tools can give you peace of mind that your assets will be passed on to a future generation and protected as much as possible.
Have you ever heard of a domestic asset protection trust? This is a tool in which you create a trust inside a U.S. jurisdiction in order to protect the person who is putting together the trust. One aspect that makes these different is that the person who creates the trusts and put assets into it is usually a beneficiary of the trust so that that person still gets the economic rewards of the assts placed into the trust. This can also guard against outside creditor claims, a primary reason why people want to engage in asset protection planning in the first place.
There are many different reasons why you might want to take advantage of this type of trust. First of all, if you have a high net worth, you may want to remove the assets from being so closely connected to your individual assets in the event of a creditor claim. You might also be concerned about litigation risks that could expose your assets to judgments. These are two of the most common reasons why a personal will set up a meeting with an estate planning lawyer to walk through domestic asset protection trusts. There are several groups of people more likely to be targeted in lawsuits, including attorneys, officers and directors of public companies, and doctors. Often this is part of a bigger estate planning goal and can minimize fears about your personal assets being tapped by creditors or by lawsuits.
You might also have a person in your family who you would classify as a spendthrift or a person with disabilities. These kinds of trusts can be valuable tools for orchestrating the transfer of assets while giving the creator some peace of mind and comfort in knowing that all unique concerns have been considered.
Without any advanced planning, your retirement assets do give you some protection against creditors, but it’s not comprehensive. If you want to increase your overall asset protection, you need to consult with an attorney to figure out how to boost the protection of the personal assets you have worked so hard to build.
A qualified retirement plan may be shielded from most creditors; however, it is not complete protection. A retirement plan provides you with the benefit of having a nest egg to save money for your future and most people are also aware that there is an additional benefit of qualified retirement plans that enables you to save money on taxes. However, many people don’t realize that retirement plans can also be used to, in some form or fashion, protect your assets from creditors.
An asset protection strategy is important for all individuals and particularly small business owners. The exemption for retirement plan assets is unlimited under Federal Bankruptcy Law. This means that a small business owner may be able to protect a large deal of wealth inside a retirement plan.
Retirement funds are protected in an asset protection plan in a variety of ways, depending on whether or not the plan is qualified and subject to the Federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act. 401(k) assets, for example, are protected ERISA, but your IRA assets may not be protected appropriately unless you use a standalone retirement trust that is put together by an experienced asset protection and planning attorney.
Estate planning is a comprehensive process that may involve multiple professionals who can assist you with determining the right strategies for planning ahead for your future. A good financial advisor is someone that you will need at some point in your life and the estate planning process is a great opportunity to identify one if you are not working with one already. Financial advisors may have multiple different specialties but the primary idea is that they will help you to invest your money to obtain your financial goals. These goals may include minimizing your tax burden, budgeting, saving for college, retirement, debt reduction, giving to charity or even generating income in the future.
Financial advisors may have multiple different specialties but the primary idea is that they will help you to invest your money to obtain your financial goals. These goals may include minimizing your tax burden, budgeting, saving for college, retirement, debt reduction, giving to charity or even generating income in the future.
A financial advisor can help you achieve these goals as well as the strategies behind these investment decisions so you are better informed. When working with both an estate planning attorney and a financial advisor, you’ll have a broader picture of your financial goals and what will happen to your wealth should something happen to you unexpectedly.
Identifying all of the different strategies being used and having a clearly defined structure for your investment plan will also give you a better perspective of how your retirement planning can assist you when it comes to thinking about planning for long-term care or passing on assets to your loved ones while you are still alive. It is strongly recommended that you identify both an estate planning attorney and a financial advisor who have plenty of experience in the field.
Thinking about asset protection planning after a claim has already arisen is certainly an all too common experience. In fact, it can actually make matters much worse. It is a common misconception that a judge can simply dial things back and act as though a fraudulent transfer has never happened, leaving you protected because you took late planning steps.
Anyone who assisted in what could be viewed by the courts as a fraudulent transfer, as well as the debtor could become liable for the creditors’ legal fees and the debtor can also lose any chance of getting that debt discharged in bankruptcy. Late planning can usually backfire, which is why it is definitely in your best interests to approach asset protection planning holistically well in advance.
The best way to protect yourself is to minimize the chances of a claim before they arise. If a claim does happen, the steps you have already taken to protect yourself mean that not all of your assets are exposed to creditors or other risks. While most people don’t like to think about these challenges until they happen, it is well worth your time to view asset protection planning as something of an insurance policy that gives you some protection in the event that things go wrong in the future.
Most people who have never engaged in the process of asset protection planning before may wait until it is too late to take appropriate action. Although it is certainly worthwhile to reach out to an asset protection planning attorney in the event that you are already exposed to a claim, there are limited things that an attorney can do as far as developing strategy to prevent this problem from escalating.
Many assets can be exposed to creditors but some are protected under federal laws. For instance, if you have an ERISA governed qualified retirement plan like a 401(k), these are essentially out of the reach of the creditors in all but a few limited circumstances.
State laws may also protect certain assets like as his or her primary residence, but bear in mind that the level of protection will vary from one state to another. The majority of states will also protect individual retirement accounts but not all states will offer the same level of protection to Roth IRAs. Many individuals will carry life insurance policies as an additional way to pass on assets to future beneficiaries. Meeting with an asset protection planning attorney and discussing all of your options is the best way to determine whether or not you have a comprehensive asset protection planning strategy already set up.
Set up a meeting today to talk over your options by reaching out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everyone should be concerned with protecting assets even if you do not believe that you currently have an estate big enough to warrant protection. Of course, wealthy people must consider asset protection because their assets are more at risk and they may become a more frequent target of a major lawsuit.
However, many people tend to confuse estate planning tools with asset protection planning tools and the most commonly misinterpreted tool is that of a revocable living trust. Many people who put together a revocable living trust may have an inflated sense of security that this accomplishes both their estate planning and their asset protection planning goals with a living revocable trust, when in truth, it may be that they have significant assets still exposed to risks with creditors.
A revocable trust is often used to hold assets while the person creating the trust is still alive. Assets can be moved in and out of the trust as the individual wishes and the trust will often avoid the costly and lengthy process of probate. However, you should not count on your revocable living trust as a comprehensive safeguard from civil judgements or creditors. A revocable living trust is also not an effective vehicle to avoid paying taxes. Instead, you may want to consider other asset protection planning services that you can learn more about by speaking with an experienced asset protection planning attorney. There are many different concerns you may have in this process and this is why it is essential to work with someone who is familiar with various strategies of asset protection planning.
If you believe that you may have exposure to risk, you should begin the asset protection planning process immediately by setting up a meeting with a New Jersey asset protection planning attorney. The most effective way to handle this situation is to begin your planning process before any significant claim rises against you.
A claim does not arise when a judgement or lawsuit is made against you. Instead, it happens when the underlying event or the circumstance that causes the claim happens. If you suspect that you might be sued but you have not yet been sued, it could actually be too late to do asset protection planning. Many people are exposed to more risks than others as a result of being in a high-risk profession.
Contractors, paramedics, architects, pilots, physicians, entertainers, professional athletes, political figures, individuals in the public eye and high net worth individuals may all benefit from comprehensive asset protection planning. How this ultimately looks for you depends on your conversation with an asset protection planning attorney. All strategies should be aligned with your personal needs and your exposure to risk. By setting up a meeting with an asset protection planning attorney today, you will have a better idea of what to expect and how to protect yourself now and well into the future.
There are many different areas in which you may be vulnerable to a predatory attack during a lawsuit. For example, regular business activities, owning real estate, or operating a motor vehicle could all expose you to potential lawsuit risks.
Most people are aware that lawsuits are more common in our society today than they have been before. That being said, far too many people do not give enough attention and planning to the benefits of guarding against these risks. This process is known as asset protection planning, a form of risk management planning that can be helped by asset protection planning attorney.
The ultimate goal of asset protection planning is to prevent lawsuits from happening. The following questions should always be asked as you go through the process of asset protection planning.
Have you consulted with a knowledgeable insurance consultant about an insurance adequacy analysis for your business as well as you personally?
Do you understand the benefits and basic structures of traditional asset protection planning arrangements within your state as well as a limitation of each, including:
Holding assets in qualified employer-related retirement plans and IRAs
Using life insurance policies and annuities
Owning property and joint names with your spouse
Do you understand how trust can benefit your asset protection planning goals?
If you do have real estate, do you have it owned in a manner that will limit your personal exposure to risks?
Is your business structured properly in order to minimize your personal exposure to lawsuit risk?
Has your business been properly structured and analyzed in order to prevent exposure of assets based on present or future creditors of the owners of the business?
Have you structured an operating agreement, a shareholder agreement, or partnership agreement that has asset protection planning provisions within it?
Are your investment or business assets separated into different legal entities to protect one group of assets from being associated with another?
Do all of the formalities associated with the operation of your business such as having a separate bank account, not intermingling business transactions with personal, executing legal documents in the right manner, keeping regular minutes, and keeping separate records?
Do you know how to structure asset transfers in the most effective manner in order to minimize any exposure to fraudulent conveyance laws?
Do all of your personal estate planning documents have designated provisions associated with protecting assets passing to your children or your spouse?
Are you ready to discuss your next steps? Shah & Associates is here to help you with all your New Jersey asset protection planning concerns. Reach out to our office today to learn more. Set up an appointment by contacting email@example.com .
There are numerous different reasons to consider using a captive insurance company and it is quite similar to a commercial insurance company in that your captive insurance company sets premium rates associated with the risks it chooses to underwrite, puts together policies for their risks insured, pays out claims, collects premiums and is licensed as an insurance company.
The major difference between a commercial insurance company and a captive insurance company is that a captive doesn’t have the ability to sell insurance to the general public. Instead, it only underwrites risks of the owner organization or related businesses and entities. One of the benefits of working with a captive insurance company that you create is that the rules and regulations associated with captive insurance are typically less overwhelming than regulations dealing with commercial insurance carriers.
One of the major reasons that someone considers setting up their own captive is because they have risks that cannot be covered in the current marketplace. This is usually a starting point, but it’s important to remember that it’s not the only thing that a captive insurance company can help you with. Speaking to an attorney familiar with this market can help you identify exactly how to use this planning opportunity.
A captive insurance company can be used to achieve limits that are not currently available in the market like regarding terrorism or credit risk. They can also be beneficial in terms of a tax shelter approach when it relates to large retentions.
There can also be tax advantages associated with the captive but these require working with a sophisticated asset protection planning attorney to help you structure the initial operations of the captive insurance company and to ensure that it is appropriately managed. Consult with a New Jersey asset protection planning attorney today to learn more.
Some people view asset protection planning as an illegal or immoral practice, but that’s not really the purpose of this kind of planning. In fact, when done appropriately, asset protection planning can help you accomplish your goals and shield the wealth you have worked so hard to accumulate.
While it is certainly true that all kinds of professional definitely need asset protection planning, this is true for everyone. The reality is that anyone could be exposed to a lawsuit in which his or her personal assets may be tapped by a creditor or predator.
In fact, asset protection planning breaks down to three primary goals:
Deferring lawsuits in the first place
Helping give you settlement negotiation power
Preventing your personal assets from being seized in the event of a judgment
Asset protection planning also has an added benefit of giving a layer of privacy to your personal assets as well, which is desirable to most people who are accumulating or who have already accumulated substantial assets. Various legal and business entities can be used to help shield your personal assets.
Even if you are not currently facing a lawsuit, most people are aware that litigation presents significant obstacles. Paying for a lawsuit, even if you are ultimately successful, can be frustrating. You may have to expend time and legal fees in order to accomplish successfully deflecting a lawsuit, and any situation in which you may be able to avoid this altogether can benefit you.
What you use for asset protection planning depends on your individual goals, but you can discuss the options with an experienced New Jersey asset protection planning attorney. Remember that if you are already facing a lawsuit, it could be too late to take advantage of the strategies and tools used to protect you.
Are you ready to talk through your options? Contact our office today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are several different important steps you should take when it comes to the asset protection planning process. One of these includes getting the right help form an experienced asset protection planning attorney.
Having the right insurance is an important foundation of your asset protection planning strategy but it is not part of your comprehensive approach. If you are a professional individual, for example, you may choose to invest in errors and omissions insurance to protect you in the event that somebody sues you when losses are experienced. You may also want to consider an umbrella insurance policy.
Many wealthy individuals simply face a higher risk of being sued because an opportunist may believe that you have the assets appropriate to support a lawsuit. A liability insurance policy, however, can protect your assets when someone attempts to link you to an injury or damage that happened on your property. The second step of asset protection planning involves separating your business from your personal assets. As soon as you begin growing your income diversity, it is important to take this step.
Working with an asset protection planning attorney can help you ensure that your business structures are properly divided in order to shield your personal assets to the best extent possible. It is important to understand that many individuals have misconceptions about the role of bankruptcy in asset protection planning. Bankruptcy could be a helpful asset protection planning strategy, although since 2005 this has become less and less true. New bankruptcy rules make it more difficult to file for Chapter 7, for example.
Bankruptcy judges also have a high level of discretion in cases. If you attempt to file for bankruptcy protection after somebody comes after you in a lawsuit, this does not mean that you are comprehensively protected. You need to consult with your asset protection planning attorney to understand when bankruptcy makes sense and when it doesn’t. Reach out to email@example.com if you’re ready for a more comprehensive approach to asset protection planning.
It has only been in the last decade or so that more individuals are realizing the serious benefits of asset protection planning. This is primarily due to the fact that more people in the U.S. see the litigious society and the serious risks that an individual could be exposed to with just one lawsuit. There are, thankfully, plenty of meaningful and effective asset protection planning strategies, but it’s also important to know what this process will not do for you.
You cannot use asset protection planning, for example, to avoid paying your taxes. In addition, this kind of planning is usually effective for protecting assets but not hiding them. Bear in mind that an asset you hide could ultimately be found, but one that has been protected is much more secure overall. Finally, an asset protection planning attorney does not engage in asset protection planning with a client under the guise of defrauding creditors.
This kind of planning is the most valuable when you engage in it long before you have an issue. Trying to get legal help in organizing things when a creditor is already attacking your personal assets is much like a day late and a dollar short. The most effective plans are those you have in place well before an issue occurs, and you need an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to help you get there. Do not hesitate to reach out to someone with experience in this field.
Although there are many assets exposed to creditors if you do not engage in the process of asset protection planning. Federal laws do protect particular assets. For example, a qualified retirement plan governed by ERISA, such as a 401(k), is protected. These are mostly out of reach to creditors except in a few select circumstances. State laws may also protect various assets as well. The majority of states do protect traditional individual retirement accounts.
Many individuals may also use a life insurance policy to help protect them from potential creditor claims. This allows you to also have the peace of mind that there will be finds left behind for your loved ones in the event that something happens to you. Although there are select circumstances in which some of your assets may be protected from creditors if you take no action, it is strongly recommended that you consult with an experienced asset protection planning attorney to protect as much of your estate as possible. It can be an unpleasant surprise for a lawsuit to arise and to have all of your personal assets potentially attached to this.
Having an asset protection planning attorney is vital to long-term success because you need to be able to mitigate risk at any given time. A long-term approach to asset protection requires regular review so that you can prevent problems before they happen. Even though some of your assets may be shielded already, this does not mean you are fully protected. Contact a New Jersey asset protection planning attorney to learn more.