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How Do I Protect My Assets?

Gentleman holding an umbrella over assets, protecting them.

Protecting your assets from things such as lawsuits, Medicaid recovery, and creditors is an important part of estate planning. Generally, people want their assets going to loved ones or beneficiaries they choose. There are a number of ways to do this, and make sure your assets are protected. Whether a trust is right for you depends on what you want to protect and from whom. 

Trusts

There are several options when it comes to trusts, from irrevocable trusts to living (revocable) trusts. They serve a specific purpose, depending on your needs. However, there are certain things that all trusts have in common. For instance, you will have to name a trustee when establishing a trust, and that person will oversee the trust. In a trust, however, you will be able to manage assets and make changes up until the time of your death. Which type of trust is right for you depends on your circumstances and the reasons behind creating the trust. 

A family trust may also work for you. In a family trust, the grantor can use them for as long as the trust lays out. There is usually a benefit to no longer owning the asset to the family. For instance, it may be useful to protect assets from creditors. An example would be placing the family home in a family trust in order to protect it from a failed business venture. The trust can also be used to set aside money for things like a child or grandchild’s education. Ensuring that your children will receive assets is another reason to use a family trust.

Life Estate

Protecting your assets from Medicaid may also be a goal. A life estate is one way to go about protecting your home from Medicaid when the times come to make such decisions. A life estate is a form of joint ownership of a property, between two or more people, and at different times. Essentially, the owner of the property has control of it until their death, at which time the co-owner takes control of the property.

Transferring your property to an irrevocable trust can also protect it from Medicaid estate recovery. While this can be more flexible than a life estate, it is also more complicated. It can be sold, but any profits made from the property or house must be kept in the trust. This enables the seller to protect more of the value of the house if it ends up being sold. 

Some people decide to “deed” their home to their children. This can trigger the five-year penalty lookback period, and leave you unable to pay for care. Using a trust is a better way to protect assets, in terms of risk avoidance. 

Contact The Mattar Firm

There are a variety of options for asset protection, and several reasons to want to protect your assets. No matter what the reason is, an experienced asset protection attorney at The Mattar Firm can help you navigate the options available, and figure out what is best for you. Contact The Mattar Firm today 239-222-2222 or 844-444-4444.

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