Individuals and families with up-to-date and comprehensive estate plans may think their work is done in protecting their assets. But many types of assets could use additional protection before death or incapacitation, which requires a more holistic strategy than many estate plans cover. And some individuals may need asset protection plans more than others, while everyone should have an estate plan in place. Asset protection strategies can protect your wealth from seizure or other losses. Asset protection and estate plans often coexist, but both sides need individual consideration and attention.
Why Do I Need Protection?
You may think your assets are relatively secure, but this can be a mistake. Even the most financially stable of individuals may fall into circumstances that lead to creditors at the door. And high net worth individuals or individuals in high-risk professions such as doctors and lawyers may be targets for lawsuits and scam artists, which can result in high damages awards or unwitting asset transfers without strategies in place to mitigate these losses and shield assets from these claims. Spouses and in-laws can also serve as surprising asset predators, especially if marriages dissolve and tensions become hostile, even if planning for that unfortunate possibility seems difficult to imagine. Finally, hefty taxes can be imposed on certain asset types by the government, which can be protected by certain trusts and a good tax strategy.