Asset Protection Planning

January 10, 2014   Asset Protection Planning

Do All Assets Go Through Probate?

Not everything you own will automatically go through probate. The obvious assets that will need to be probated are those with a title that is in your name only. These might include bank accounts, investments, home, other real estate, vehicles, etc. If yours is the only name on the title and you are deceased, only the probate court can take your name off the title and put someone else’s name on.   Assets that generally do not go through probate are 1) jointly owned assets that transfer to the surviving owner; 2) assets that have a valid beneficiary designation; and 3) assets that are in a trust. However, these assets do not always avoid probate.   1. Jointly Owned Assets. Jointly owned assets that transfer to the surviving owner do not go through probate. (This kind of joint...
July 1, 2013   Estate Administration

What Will Your Paper Trail Say About You?

By Wendi Temkin
As with many people of their generation, my Great-Uncle Marcus managed the family finances, thinking he was doing my Aunt Bobbie a favor by leaving her out of this chore entirely.  When he died last year, she was left with the problem of having to reconstruct their financial lives based on random pieces of paper stuffed in drawers, buried beneath 40 years’ worth of miscellany.   While it took weeks to try to figure this all out, imagine how much harder it would have been if there had been no paper trail at all for some of their accounts.  How much of your life is lived on-line?  Do you have bills that you pay automatically, based on emailed invoices and on-line payments directly out of your checking account? Are your paychecks automatically deposited into your che...
July 11, 2011   Trusts

Promotion of Family Values Through a Trust

By Patrick Phancao, J.D.
According to a study done through The Institute For Preparing Heirs, 70% of people who receive an inheritance will spend it in its entirety, and 80% will do so within 2 years. These are pretty frightening numbers, especially considering that the size of the inheritance plays a very small factor in the speed at which that amount will be expended. Yet, most revocable living trusts focus mainly on the asset portion of a family estate plan. The disbursement of family assets are usually set at certain age brackets without much thought behind it. Those numbers are usually arbitrary; simple milestones such as a graduation, job acquisition, and so forth. Though there is nothing wrong with that, I would like to challenge the status quo and dig deeper to see the purpose behind these decisions. Let...
April 12, 2011   Estate Planning

Domestic Asset Protection as an Estate Planning Tool

By Patrick Phancao, J.D.
When the majority of society thinks about estate planning, most have a Will or a Revocable Liv­ing Trust in mind. The main concept is about avoiding Probate. After all, what could be better than writ­ing your own “legal rules” regarding the handling of your assets once you pass or are incapacitated. For the most part, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this approach. In this article however, the focus will be shifted to dealings within the Asset Protection arena.   After years of practice, it never ceases to amaze me how many “good people” are sued over their business dealings. Gone are the days when a person’s word or handshake would suffice to resolve a dispute. All this to say that we live in a litigious society where clients, whether famil...
October 14, 2010   Estate Planning

For Whom the Bells Toll: Asset Protection May Be for Everyone

By Jeffrey R. Matsen, J.D.
As attorneys, we are all aware (or should be aware) of the need for Asset Protection Plan­ning. Over the last few decades expanding theories of liability and the proliferation of litigation has given increased emphasis for Asset Protec­tion Planning to the extent that it is now a well recognized are of practice. We live in a victim oriented society where aggressive plaintiff lawyers are always trying to find the “deep pocket”. There is an increased media and society awareness of large plaintiffs’ judgments and a high notori­ety for mal-practice and other errors and omissions types of lawsuits. Obviously, there are individuals who are more at risk such as professionals like physicians, dentists, lawyers, CPAs, architects, engineers, etc. Business owners and any...

Asset Protection Considerations for Business Owners

By Ryland F. Mahathey, Esq., CPA, LL.M. and Brad Milhauser, Esq., LL.M.
Many business owners devote much time and energy “working in” their business to improve business operations and profitability; however, they often neglect to “work on” their business by not addressing certain asset protection issues. Business owners, particularly those owning their business in corporate form, should consider the following: 1) how to own C corporation or S corporation stock to minimize exposure to creditors, an “outside” asset protection issue; and, 2) whether to implement several basic business agreements designed to protect and even enhance business value from the “inside” of the corporation. Stock Ow...
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