Asset protection planning involves the application of many different areas of law. The development of a comprehensive asset protection plan may involve family law, tax law, trust laws, business planning laws, state and federal bankruptcy laws, and on and on. The areas of law intersect in different ways depending on each individual’s situation and planning goals. In addition, to develop an effective plan to protect your wealth and assets from lawsuits, divorces, and creditors, you’ll benefit from working with an attorney who is versed in the practice of asset protection. [Read more…] about Asset Protection Planning
I caught a great story about advanced healthcare directives on NPR’s Planet Money Podcast. The story covers a town in Wisconsin where 96% of residents have planned for their death. The U.S. average is around 30%. Even among people diagnosed with major illnesses, only about half of them have planned for their deaths. [Read more…] about Talking about death
Spousal Lifetime Access Trust (SLAT)
In my previous video I talked about avoiding Washington estate taxes by gifting away assets if your net worth falls between $2-$5.45 million. Now many people don’t like the idea of giving away and losing control of their assets. That’s where a Spousal Lifetime Access Trust comes in. This type of asset protection trust gives you some additional options so the gifted assets are not lost in divorce or to creditors. Watch the video below for some information on these “SLATs.” [Read more…] about Asset Protection Definitions: Spousal Lifetime Access Trust (SLAT)
Balancing Washington and Federal Estate Taxes
I recently had a conversation with a family interested in planning to avoid Washington estate taxes. This estate tax is also known as transfer tax or death tax. There is a currently a federal estate tax around $5.5 million and Washington estate taxes for estates above $2 million. People falling in between the $2-$5.5 million have an opportunity to avoid the Washington estate tax if some proper planning is put into place. Check out the video below for more. [Read more…] about Washington Estate Taxes
How to reduce liability in your business activities
I was having lunch with a friend, who works as a financial planner, and he mentioned a client who had been sued and who had to pay out a large settlement that was based on the value of her business as a result. Ouch. The business owner kept a lot of cash in the business for a variety of reasons (it can seem smart to do that as business owner!), so the creditor was able to collect a much larger settlement than they would have been able to if those assets were held elsewhere.
There are ways this business owner could have reduced the risk of judgments to lawsuits while maintaining the necessary or preferred amount of capital in the business. Here’s one example: [Read more…] about Asset Protection Strategies: Separating Business Activities
D-I-Y Estate Planning
This is our obligatory comparison of online estate planning versus human estate planning.
Online estate planning documents might work just fine for you. You also might be one of those people who is great at doing his or her own research and following instructions. You also might not have that much at risk. However, if you aren’t sure whether or not they will work for you, then think of it this way… [Read more…] about Do or do not? The world of online estate planning.