We recommend you consider asset protection strategies to safeguard one's wealth and assets from potential legal claims or creditor actions. The goal of asset protection is to shield assets from being seized, attached, or garnished in the event of a lawsuit, bankruptcy, or other financial difficulties.
There are various asset protection strategies, such as setting up trusts, incorporating a business, and purchasing insurance policies. These strategies can help protect assets by legally separating them from the individual's personal assets, making it more difficult for creditors to access them.
However, it is important to note that asset protection should not be used to defraud creditors or evade legal obligations. The use of fraudulent or illegal asset protection strategies can lead to severe legal consequences.
General steps that you can take to protect your assets:
- Identify your assets: The first step is to identify all your assets, including personal and business assets, real estate, investments, and any other valuable possessions.
- Evaluate your risk: Assess the risks and potential threats to your assets, such as lawsuits, bankruptcy, divorce, or other financial difficulties.
- Understand asset protection laws: Familiarise yourself with asset protection laws in your state or country.
- Create a plan: Develop an asset protection plan that addresses your specific needs and objectives. This may involve creating trusts, companies, or other legal entities to hold and manage your assets.
- Transfer assets: Transfer assets to legal entities or trusts to protect them from potential creditor claims or legal judgments.
- Maintain records: Keep accurate records of all transactions and legal documents related to your asset protection plan to ensure that it is legally binding and enforceable.
- Review and update: Regularly review and update your asset protection plan to ensure that it remains effective and meets your changing needs and circumstances.
We recommend you consider estate planning for the management and distribution of an individual's assets and properties after their death. Estate planning involves making important decisions about how your assets will be distributed among your heirs, beneficiaries, or charitable organisations, and how taxes and other financial obligations will be paid.
The estate planning process typically involves the creation of legal documents such as a will, trust, power of attorney, healthcare directive, and other relevant documents that outline how your assets will be managed and distributed after your death.These legal documents ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes, and that your beneficiaries receive their rightful share of your estate.
The estate planning process also includes consideration of factors such as estate taxes, probate, guardianship of minor children, and the management of any business interests.
General steps that you can take to develop an estate plan:
- Determine your objectives: Think about your goals and objectives for your estate plan. This may include identifying who you want to receive your assets, how you want your assets to be distributed, and any specific wishes you have for your medical care or funeral arrangements.
- Create a will: A will is a legal document that outlines how you want your assets to be distributed after your death. Work with an experienced estate planning attorney to draft a will that accurately reflects your wishes and is legally binding.
- Consider trusts: Trusts can be used to manage and distribute assets to beneficiaries, provide for minors or individuals with special needs, and minimise estate taxes. Consult with an attorney to determine if a trust is appropriate for your estate plan.
- Appoint guardians: If you have minor children, it is important to appoint a guardian to care for them in the event of your death. Consider the qualifications of potential guardians carefully.
- Consider healthcare directives: A healthcare directive (also known as a living will) is a legal document that outlines your wishes for medical care if you become incapacitated and are unable to make decisions for yourself.
- Review beneficiary designations: Ensure that the beneficiary designations on any retirement accounts or life insurance policies are up-to-date and accurately reflect your wishes.
- Plan for taxes: Consider the potential tax implications of your estate plan, and work with an accountant or financial planner to develop a tax-efficient plan.
- Update regularly: Review and update your estate plan regularly to ensure that it reflects your current wishes and circumstances.
What is involved?
The process is straight forward as outlined below:
- Initial discussion and meeting to work through Asset Protection and Estate Planning Questionnaires,
- Information provided is reviewed and request made for any additional information, if required, from the client,
- Review of our client engagement letter & fee proposal for the preparation of two reports i.e., a Structure Advice Report and an Estate Planning Report,
- Client returns signed engagement letter and pays a retainer,
- Accountants prepares a Draft Structure Advice Report and Lawyers prepares a Draft Estate Planning Advice Report,
- Client reviews the draft documents for accuracy, makes comment and/or further instructions given to Accountants & Lawyers for consideration
- Review of our client engagement letter & fee proposal for the Structure Advice and Estate Plan implementation. Client pays implementation fee.
- Final meeting arranged to finalise and sign-off on Estate Plan & Structure Advice