If you ever listen to talk radio on Saturday or Sunday mornings, then you might hear a financial expert taking calls and giving advice on investing and asset protection. While this expert is obviously trying to attract some new, wealthy clients, the general principles he or she recommends should work whether one is wealthy or middle class. If you have made an effort to really save and invest wisely, then, likely, you have built up some assets for your retirement and eventually for your family. Along the way, you likely want to protect your assets. Right?
Asset protection requires careful planning. Threats to your assets can come from a wide variety of potential predators, including future creditors, medical expenses, and unnecessary taxes. For such planning to be effective, you will need the help of an experienced estate planning attorney sooner rather than later. A Georgia asset protection lawyer could provide further guidance on this subject and answer any remaining questions you may have.
Note: Asset protection is only effective against future, not present creditors!
There are several strategies you can implement to protect your assets before a claim or liability happens. While this is not an exhaustive treatment of a rather complex topic, the following asset protection ideas should be discussed during a consultation with a local attorney.
It is a common practice to add your children to your bank accounts as you age. The idea is to make the finances more accessible in case of an emergency. However, many people are unaware of the risk involved in this relatively simple practice. The money you deposit into a joint account with your kids, senior parents, or business partner is at risk. How? Should a joint owner later become divorced, have a tax problem, or be on the losing end of a lawsuit, then your money in the joint account will also be at risk. Accordingly, if you truly must have a joint account (e.g., so your responsible adult child will have access to funds for your funeral), then try to maintain the lowest account balance possible. By the way, the same advice applies to any type of asset you may own, specifically including your home.
As with jointly-held accounts, when you operate a business venture as a partnership (whether formal or informal), you are responsible for the actions of your partner. Alternatively, consider creating a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or corporation to give you a greater degree of legal protection from your business activities.
Create a business entity. Period. If you own a small business, such as a sole proprietorship, then all of your personal assets are at risk if you are involved in a lawsuit. Consider transitioning your business activities into a more formal entity, such as an LLC or a corporation to limit the risks to the business itself. This move can shield your personal assets.
Contact Nelson Elder Care Law at your earliest opportunity to learn how to protect assets without the risks. Remember: Asset protection does not work after the fact. So call a Georgia asset protection lawyer today.
I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.
The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!
Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.
Josh Nelson, and his staff, have been amazingly helpful to our family. The ins and outs of nursing homes, the rules and regulations that govern Medicare and Medicaid are daunting and the folks at Nelson Elder Care Law have been informative, responsive, and above all, empathetic. I cannot emphasize enough how their service has taken a weight off of our shoulders especially during a world pandemic that has targeted nursing homes across our country. I highly recommend retaining Josh and his firm!
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