and Estate Planning
Protect your home and estate from creditors
If you don’t take proper precautions, you may expose assets to claims from creditors including debt collectors, accident victims, nursing homes or anyone else who may make a claim against your estate. There are, however, measures that you can take to minimize that risk.
Put Together an Effective Asset Protection Plan
Asset protection can shield certain property and other tangible assets from the claims of your creditors. Creditors that may seek to receive money from your estate include both known and unforeseen debt collectors, accident victims, and others who believe they have a claim of injury or contract rights against you and/or your estate. Asset protection can even protect your personal assets from an ex-spouse.
Because asset protection planning can protect you in a variety of situations, asset protection tools must be carefully chosen that address the unique risks that you face. Given the complexity of such asset protection tools, you will need the assistance of a trained professional attorney to review and evaluate your estate in order to determine which assets can be shielded from your creditors.
Asset Protection Strategies
We have the knowledge and experience to help you implement the strategy that will best meet your needs. We offer a broad range of strategies and tools. The two most common strategies to protect your assets are using trusts and a homestead declaration.
When you create a trust, you set up a separate legal entity, which can hold title to property. Once you transfer assets into a trust (provided the trust is not revocable), you no longer have legal title to them, so they cannot be attached by a creditor.
You may be a beneficiary of the trust, with an interest that can be subject to a lien, but the property is safe from creditors.
A trust can be created by your will as a testamentary trust, or can be set up separately during your life as a living trust. Read more on Trust Definitions.
The homestead declaration allows you to protect up to $500,000 of equity in your home from creditors. The homestead declaration will not, however, shield your estate from claims under a mortgage, or against any prior recorded liens.
With a homestead declaration, the state, federal and local governments will still be able to file tax liens, and other claims and assessments against the home. Read more on Homestead Declaration