Now that you are familiar with the most important asset protection and estate planning concepts how do you create the best plan? Protecting what you have from liability and preserving your estate for your family involves many new concepts for you and it’s not always easy deciding where to begin.
In this section, we will present a summary of the issues and options available-techniques to think about to frame the building of your overall plan. This is the approach we use with our clients to analyze their particular needs and to build an efficient program for asset protection, estate planning, and tax savings.
“Asset Protection and Estate Planning with the Family Savings Trust“
An increasingly popular tool used for asset protection and estate planning is known as The Family Savings Trust. The term is broadly descriptive of a trust designed specifically to hold and protect a variety of assets against lawsuits and business risks. It can be very flexible in form and allows for the accomplishment of most important asset protection and estate planning goals.
“What is the Best Asset Protection Plan for Physicians?“
In our initial discussions with a client, these questions always come up “What’s the best asset protection plan?” “Are there any plans which are completely bulletproof?”
Like any well-trained professional, I usually duck those kinds of direct and unconditional questions. After all, this is the legal system we’re talking about and when we compound the mixture of judges, jurors, and lawyers, the results can be unexpected, to say the least. Law is probably a lot like medicine in that respect. So while we can’t honestly guarantee that the particular plan we design will produce the exact outcome we want, we do know what has happened before in similar situations. If existing case law and legislation are clear and well developed then an asset protection plan that falls within the pre-set boundaries will have favorable and predictable results.
“Answers to Key Asset Protection Questions“
When I sit with clients to prepare or review their estate planning and asset protection goals a wide variety of questions and issues arise: What plan is most efficient? How are tax savings created? How do we protect against the lawsuit and business risk? Although I have addressed many these topics in detail in previous columns, here are a few starter questions which often arise and which may open the door for further thought and discussion.
“Asset Protection: Needs Change Over Time“
The type of asset protection planning you need depends on where you are in your career. Because the amount and form of your investments and the particular risks you face will vary over time, your initial planning should be appropriately flexible and capable of adjusting to meet these changing needs.
“When Is It Too Late For Asset Protection?”
One of the life’s ironies is that the worst time for asset protection planning is when you really feel like you need it the most. Although the law favors and encourages asset protection in most circumstances, there comes a point in financial transactions and legal proceedings when it is no longer permitted. In some cases, this boundary is clearly defined, but often the question of when the remedy of asset protection is still permissible is fuzzy. Experienced planners can follow several guidelines and make some educated guesses about where the line should be drawn in situations that physicians may encounter in their practice.