Estate planning should entail asset protection, as well as long-term planning strategies that can realize the objectives of both estate planning and asset protection simultaneously. Period.
A recent Fort Meyers Florida Weekly article, titled "Take measures to protect your assets into the future," reminds us that while federal law applies to protection of some assets, such as IRAs and retirement plans, state law also plays a part in choosing the ideal products and strategies for the protection of your assets.
For instance, not every state provides a "homestead exemption" to protect your primary residence or treats life insurance in exactly the same manner.
The more assets you have, the more extensive your estate plan should be. However, anyone who owns a business might be subject to litigation or the seizure of personal assets to satisfy corporate debt. There are several exceptions to what a creditor can attack, but it takes an experienced estate planning attorney to help protect your assets within the confines of state and federal law.
Whether you are a billionaire or anywhere south of that, you should seek the assistance of your estate planning attorney. He or she can examine all of your current and potential assets and liabilities, and create a plan that makes the most sense for you and your circumstances.
Bottom line: Do not wait to meet with your estate planning attorney until the creditor calls or you are served with a civil complaint! At that point you cannot simply move assets from a creditor's reach prior to a judgment. That will be viewed as fraudulent conveyance. Remember, it is against the law to hide assets.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri) and to download free tools to help you organize your estate, visit my estate planning website.
Reference: Fort Meyers Florida Weekly July 23, 2014) "Take measures to protect your assets into the future"