Bonita Springs Asset Protection Lawyers
One of the difficulties people have when it comes to talking to an attorney is understanding exactly what an asset is. In the broad definition of the term, an asset is anything in your possession that be turned into liquid capital. That includes your bank account and your home and auto that are paid in full. The value of your home and your vehicle become part of your assets and your net worth, and those assets can become exposed to potential lawsuits if you do not do something to protect them.
The most efficient way to protect your assets is to talk to an experienced attorney. You do not need to have significant financial resources to benefit from an asset protection program. The right attorney can put the many tools available to them to use to develop a program that will protect your assets while you are alive and after you have passed on.
Why Asset Protection Planning?
People can often become mistakenly complacent by certain types of insurance and believe that insurance can solve all problems. For example, you might think that your auto insurance will cover all of the damages and injuries from an accident that had been determined to be primarily your fault. But if those damages exceed your insurance coverage limit, then you will be responsible for paying whatever the insurance does not cover. This means a lawsuit could be filed that would take your home, your bank accounts, and any other assets to pay those bills.
A Bonita Springs asset protection lawyer can create a program that could protect your assets in a situation like the one above, and in any kind of legal situation that may arise against your estate after you pass away. In this way, asset protection planning would be the thing that protects your estate and the future of your family from unexpected legal action.
How To Choose An Asset Protection Lawyer
Sometimes people will use terms such as estate lawyer and asset protection lawyer interchangeably. While both types are very knowledgeable about topics such as Medicaid planning and creating a trust, there is more to being an asset protection professional. An attorney who specializes in this field is also up-to-date on the latest information in creditor lawsuits, divorce, bankruptcy, and foreclosures.
When you start comparing attorneys, be sure you choose a professional who has taken the necessary bar exams to practice law in all of the associated fields. You should also choose someone who belongs to the relevant professional associations as that sort of affiliation means that the attorney keeps updated on the very latest laws and tactics associated with asset protection.
The Sooner The Better
Some parts of asset protection, such as Medicaid planning, are timed to be done at the most advantageous moment for the client. But the rest of a plan is an ongoing program that is updated regularly to reflect changes in the client’s life. Since no one can ever predict when a tragic financial life event will occur, it is best to see an attorney as soon as possible.
You do not need to reach a certain age or financial status to benefit from asset protection. But at the same time, you can be any age or financial status and suffer from not having a plan in place. If you get sued by a credit card company tomorrow for a significant past due balance, then your assets are fully exposed if you do not have a plan in place. If you try to start a protection plan after you have been named in a lawsuit, the courts will order your protected assets removed from the program and put back to where they can be exposed. The more you wait to talk to a professional, the most risks you are taking.
How Are My Assets Protected?
There are many different ways to shield your assets from creditors and lawsuits. The will is the most typical protection tool, and it is a very effective way to protect your assets after you have passed on. An experienced Bonita Springs asset protection lawyer can include clauses in your will that will protect your assets and even help reduce the tax burden for your beneficiaries.
There are some tools used in asset protection that are beneficial to have in place while you are alive. A long-term care plan with the proper type of insurance can make sure that you get the assisted living situation you need later in life without having to utilize your assets. Your asset protection lawyer can also help with Medicaid planning to make sure that your paperwork is submitted at the right time, and that it is completed properly.
A trust is a legal vehicle that can be wrapped around your assets to protect them from harm. A trust is set up as its own legal entity that assumes control and ownership of your assets. When a creditor tries to sue you personally for an outstanding debt, your assets will be completely protected by the trust.
A limited liability company (LLC) is similar to a trust, but it is more flexible when it comes to adding or subtracting members. An LLC also has some tax rules that can be used to the client’s benefit in ways that differ from a trust.
Why Not Just Do It Myself?
There are several elements to asset protection planning that are complicated and require a seasoned professional. Despite what the DIY websites tell you, Medicaid planning is not a simple process that anyone can do. Setting up a proper trust requires an understanding of the different types of trusts and how they work. A DIY kit is not going to have the experience an attorney would have to make the right decisions, and it is also not going to be able to check the paperwork to make sure it is completed properly before you submit it.
A DIY plan saves you on legal fees in the beginning, but it could wind up costing you everything if it is not done properly. One incomplete form or one missing signature means that your assets are not shielded and you could be looking at major problems if a creditor decides to come after your assets. Improper asset protection can also cause significant delays for your estate in probate after you pass away and bring a great deal of stress to your family.
Our firm is ready to supply you with the Bonita Springs asset protection lawyer you need to have peace of mind. Our attorneys are efficient in Medicaid planning, creating trusts, and performing all of the essential tasks associated with creating a strong protection plan. Our special needs planning lawyers have years of experience in asset protection and personal risk management, and we are ready to use all of that experience to your benefit. Do not wait for something to happen before you make a move because it will be too late. Give us a call today and let us get your asset protection program started.