Fort Myers Asset Protection Lawyers
If you have assets, then you need to take the right steps to protect them. When most people think of talking about asset protection, they envision a wealthy person talking about their sizable bank account and their yacht. The reality is that anyone can get help to protect the assets they have spent a lifetime building from creditors and other legal issues. You don’t need to be wealthy to worry about protecting your family.
An asset attorney deals in fields such as estate planning and Medicaid planning, but they are specialists in their respective fields. You want someone with years of experience in this field and someone who has taken the bar exams for the fields that pertain specifically to assets. You want a professional who understands the balance between accounting and legal maneuvering when it comes to protecting your family’s future.
What Is An Asset Protection Lawyer?
These professionals are well-versed in every aspect of maintaining wealth and shielding wealth from legal processes. The fields of proficiency you want in your asset protection attorney include Medicaid planning, bankruptcy, personal finance, credit card debt protection, and any area of law that deals with building mechanisms to protect wealth.
Some people refer to an asset protection lawyer as an estate planning lawyer, which is not necessarily interchangeable. A good attorney is going to have proficiency in areas that may not necessarily be part of estate planning, but are essential in shielding your assets from creditors. When you are looking for the right lawyer, you want to find someone who has years of experience in that specific field.
Many people research asset protection online and find websites that claim that the whole process can be done easily with a few forms. There are plenty of dangers in not hiring an experienced professional, and the biggest danger is the possibility that you forget to sign a form now and in 20 years it causes all of your protection to fall apart. Elements of asset protection such as Medicaid planning and creating a trust are complicated legal matters that can only be done properly by an experienced attorney.
If you do this yourself, who is going to make sure all of your paperwork is done right? Who is going to make sure that you have all of the right paperwork filed in the first place? Initially, you might save a few dollars by not hiring a Fort Myers Asset Protection Lawyer. But when you get sued by someone that you struck with a car and you find out your assets are not properly protected, then you could lose a lot more than just lawyer’s fees.
The Tools Used
Your attorney has many legal and accounting tools at their disposal to help shield your assets. The most common protection tool is a will. This is a legal document that outlines important elements of your estate such as your administrator and how you want everything distributed after you are gone. Your lawyer can include clauses in your will that shield many of your assets and even offer tax breaks to your beneficiaries.
An attorney is just as concerned with your assets while you are alive as they are with protecting your estate in probate. Long-term care planning is critically important in making sure you have assets to distribute after you have passed away. Without long-term care insurance, you may need to liquidate your assets to pay for assisted living care. Your Fort Myers Asset Protection Lawyer can also assist with Medicaid planning, which includes guiding you through the complicated Medicaid application process. Most people do not realize that they need an asset protection lawyer for Medicaid planning, but it is essential to have a lawyer to make sure that everything is done properly.
A trust is a legal structure that becomes its own legal entity and assumes ownership of your assets. In most states, a trust does not have to go through probate, which makes the distribution of assets to your beneficiaries much easier. A trust also protects your personal assets because it acts like a separate owner of your assets.
When most people see the limited liability company (LLC) designation, they immediately think of a business. But an LLC can also be used to protect your assets in much the same way a trust can. The LLC offers more flexibility when it comes to adding beneficiaries and it also offers tax benefits not found in a trust.
These are just some of the tools available to your Fort Myers Asset Protection Lawyer. It takes an experienced probate & trust administration lawyer to know when to use these tools and to determine which tools would offer you the most benefit.
When Should I Get Started?
Some aspects of asset protection are one-time events that need to be done at the proper time. For example, it is important that you start your Medicaid planning at a strategic moment to allow the most benefit from the program. But the rest of asset planning should be an ongoing process that you start as soon as possible.
If you put off putting together a program and get hit with a lawsuit regarding property damage you had done previously, then your assets are exposed. Once you are involved in a lawsuit, you are no longer able to start protecting your assets. If you do try to start putting together a shield, then the courts will have you remove protected assets and have them exposed again.
You never know what life will bring, and that unpredictability makes talking to an attorney about your assets something that cannot wait. The process of asset protection can take some time, so it is important that you get started immediately no matter what your age or financial status may be.
Getting Ready To See The Lawyer
Preparing to see your attorney is something that should take a little time and thought. You will want to write down your goals for your plan to give your attorney an idea as to what kinds of tools to use. You will also want to let your attorney know if you are facing any pending lawsuits that might affect your protection planning.
Your attorney will need detailed information about all of your assets, including property deeds and bank statements. You will be given options for managing your protection program and you should be prepared to put time into maintaining your asset shield throughout the year. Asset protection is a dynamic process, but it is something you need to do to protect yourself and your family.
Our firm has years of experience in being devoted asset protection lawyers. We invite you to give one of our Fort Myers Asset Protection lawyers a call and find out exactly what we can do to protect your assets while you are alive, and how we can make sure that they stay protected after you have passed away.