Attorneys in Bonita Springs and Tampa
You are driving down a lovely Florida road admiring the landscape when suddenly you veer to avoid an animal in the road and hit another vehicle. The fact that it happens to people every day does not make this any easier on you. After the insurance companies get involved, you find out that the accident is deemed to be 80 percent your fault and your insurance limits are not enough to cover the claims. Now what?
What happens at that point is that the other party or their insurance company will sue you personally and go after your assets. Since you did not take the time to talk to an asset protection attorney, all of your assets are exposed. This is a harsh story about real situations that happen every day, and it should be a stark reminder as to why you should give asset protection planning plenty of thought.
What Is Asset Protection?
Asset protection is the act of using the legal and accounting tools available to create shields around your assets to protect them from creditors and unexpected legal action. Without protection, your assets are exposed to any court order and that can sometimes mean all of your assets. Your home could be liquidated to pay off court orders, and your bank accounts could be seized as well.
At the Mattar Firm, we are skilled in asset protection. We have the asset protection attorney you need to make sure that your finances are shielded from court orders. We have a variety of accounting and legal tools that we use to make sure that you maintain ownership of your assets, but they cannot be used to satisfy judgments against you.
Why Should I Shield My Assets?
An unexpected lawsuit is just one reason why you do not want your assets unnecessarily exposed to creditors. While you are alive, you want to be sure that the financial plans you have made for yourself and your family are not suddenly destroyed by an unexpected lawsuit. Your retirement, the savings you have created for your child’s college, and anything else could be gone in the blink of an eye without protection.
After you pass away, there can be situations that would cause financial grief for your family members if your estate planning does not include protection of your financial assets. If you are divorced, your children could have problems getting their inheritance if your money is not properly shielded. Your grandchildren might be shut out of their inheritance if your child passes away at the same time you do. The entire idea of shielding assets is extremely complicated, but you have the professionals at the Mattar Firm on your side to make sure everything is done right.
The Tools Used To Shield Your Finances
A will, Medicaid planning, long-term care planning, and other legal and accounting tools can become powerful weapons when it comes to putting a barrier around your assets. At the Mattar Firm, we are diligent in the proper utilization of all of these tools to your advantage.
When it comes time for you or a loved one to live in an assisted living facility, Medicaid planning becomes extremely important. There is a long list of rules Medicaid has when it comes to the transfer of assets and how that affects eligibility. For example, you might think you are protecting your home by transferring ownership to your children just before you apply for Medicaid, but what you may have really done is expanded your wait time for approval to five years. Medicaid planning is complicated and we are the seasoned legal team you need to get the job done right.
The Mattar Firm is not only your asset protection attorney, but we are also versed in estate planning as well. Your will is a powerful tool when it comes to keep your assets out of legal trouble. We can use your will to block attempts to liquidate your assets, and we can make sure that we use the power of your estate administrator to shield your wealth as well.
A trust is a legal device that becomes its own legal entity that is under your control. You can transfer ownership of your assets to a trust and protect them from most kinds of litigation. A trust can also help make the probate process easier for your family and ensure that your beneficiaries get portions of your estate after you have passed on.
A limited liability company (LLC) is a legal business structure that is also used to protect certain assets. An LLC can sometimes be more versatile and flexible than a trust, and there can be tax benefits to having an LLC as well. As your devoted legal team, we know when it is best to use a trust and when is the right time to utilize an LLC.
Long-Term Care Planning
When the decision is made for you or someone you love to enter an assisted living facility, the costs that are not covered by Medicaid have to be paid out of your assets. The average annual cost for standard care in a Florida assisted living facility is approximately $40,000.00 per year, and that can add up if you are not prepared.
We can help by putting together a long-term care plan that will protect your assets and prevent your living situation from draining your bank account. Medicaid planning is just one part of this process. Without good long-term care planning, everything you accumulated in life that you wanted to leave to your children could be liquidated and taken by Medicaid.
Protecting Your Children From Themselves
An important part of being an asset protection attorney that most people do not think about is protecting your assets even after they have been distributed to your children. We can create provisions in your estate planning that can put limits on how your assets are distributed to your children. We can allow for only a small amount of money to be transferred per year until they reach a certain age, we can create a monthly distribution that is in effect until the money is gone, or we can create a custom plan that meets your needs.
The legal team at the Mattar Firm is ready to help you protect that which you have worked so hard to accumulate. We recommend that you do not wait another minute and call us immediately about setting up the ideal asset protection plan for now, and for the future of your family.