January 31, 2013   Asset Protection Planning

Keeping Assets in Challenging Times

By Mary J. Drury, Esq.
Asset Protection Against Creditors I frequently get asked about asset protection; specifically about keeping certain types of personal property. About three times a week, the questioning commences with discussions about ATVs, boats, motorcycles and snowmobiles.      
 
Asset protection should start before you have financial difficulties; but even if you are in the midst of challenges, knowing your rights and limitations is worthy of a visit with an attorney.
 
Nevada arguably has the most favorable list of assets excluded from the reach of creditors. This is in addition to Nevada's other benefits, like the Wealth Preservation Trust for higher wealth clients.  These protections can be found in part in NRS 21.090. Some of the most commonly applicable exemptions from the claims of creditors are:

  • The homestead as provided for by law (currently $550,000) (except by federal bankruptcy law, if you file bankruptcy within approx 3 years of filing a homestead, only $125,000 is protected by homestead).
     
  • All money reasonably deposited with a landlord to secure an agreement to rent a unit as his or her primary residence.
     
  • Money, not to exceed $500,000 in present value, held in certain retirement accounts.
     
  • Payments received pursuant to the federal Social Security Act.
     
  • Certain interests in trusts.
     
  • Necessary household goods, furnishings, not to exceed $12,000 in value, to be selected by the debtor.
     
  • Books, supplies, tools, etc. used to carry on the trade or business of the debtor for the support of the debtor and his or her family not to exceed $10,000 in value.
     
  • One vehicle if the debtor's equity does not exceed $15,000 or the creditor is paid an amount equal to any excess above that equity.
     
  • 75 percent of the disposable earnings of a debtor during that week, or 50 times the minimum hourly wage in effect at the time the earnings are payable, whichever is greater.
     
  • Money from life insurance, if the annual premium paid does not exceed $15,000. If the premium exceeds that amount, a proportionate amount.
     
  • All money and benefits paid pursuant to court order for the support, education and maintenance of a child.
     
  • All money and other benefits paid pursuant to court order for the support and maintenance of a former spouse.
This article is not comprehensive and may not be applicable to your situation. Contact me with questions and consider doing some asset protection and estate planning.

About the Author:

After 18 years of practice in Las Vegas, Nevada, Mary J. Drury founded in 2012 the Law Offices of Mary J. Drury & Associates, a boutique practice that focuses on business and real estate transactions, business succession, estate planning, and asset protection. 
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