Have you worked hard over the course of your lifetime to acquire the assets you now own? Do you save prudently and invest wisely to ensure that those assets are available for your retirement years and to pass down to loved ones when you are gone? If so, you also need make sure you are aware of the numerous ways in which those assets might be at risk. Moreover, you need to incorporate asset protection strategies into your estate plan to ensure that your assets are safe. To get you started, the Vernon Hills asset protection attorneys at Hedeker Law, Ltd. discuss how your assets might be at risk, including hidden threats you may not have considered.
Are Your Assets at Risk?
Your assets may be at risk in ways you never considered. While some of the potential threats to your assets are relatively obvious, others are not. For example, consider the following risks:
- Divorce – this is one you have likely considered. Your own divorce, for example, can clearly be a threat to your assets; however, so can the divorce of a beneficiary if the beneficiary co-mingled a gift or inheritance during the course of their marriage. In that case, the assets become marital property and your ex daughter-in-law, for instance, could end up with your hard-earned assets in the divorce.
- Business failure – like many small business owners, you may think that by incorporating you are protected from personal liability for the debts and liabilities of the business; however, it may still be possible to come after you personally for debts and/or liabilities of the business, particularly if a creditor can get past the corporate veil.
- Beneficiaries – your own beneficiaries may be the biggest threat to your assets. Imagine leaving a lump sum to a loved one who proceeds to blow through the inheritance in record time without anything of value to show for it? Likewise, a beneficiary with an alcohol or drug problem, or who is suffering from mental illness, may also waste an inheritance.
- Economic downturn –an economic downturn could have serious consequences for you even if you tried to plan for the possibility. Creditors could end up with your assets to satisfy debts if you are forced into bankruptcy, for example.
- Long-term care – although you may prefer not to think about it, you stand about a 50 percent chance of needing long-term care when you enter your retirement years. The cost of that care could diminish the value of your assets in record time if you are forced to use them to pay for that care out of pocket. Medicaid may be able to help; however, you must first qualify for Medicaid. If you did not include Medicaid planning in your estate plan ahead of time, qualifying for Medicaid, may require you to “spend-down” (sell) a significant portion of your assets first and use the proceeds to pay your LTC expenses until Medicaid chips in and starts covering your expenses.
Asset Protection Is the Key
The good news is that there are several asset protection strategies that can be incorporated into your comprehensive estate plan to help protect your assets from the various threats to your assets. The key is to work closely with an asset protection attorney early on in your life to address the various potential risks to your hard-earned assets. Doing so will ensure that those assets are available to provide for you and your loved ones over the course of your lifetime as well as to pass down to loved ones when you are gone.
Contact Vernon Asset Protection Attorneys
For more information, please download out FREE estate planning worksheet. If you have additional questions or concerns regarding the numerous and varied potential risks to your assets, or you wish to get started on a plan to protect those assets in your estate plan, contact the experienced Vernon Hills asset protection attorneys at Hedeker Law, Ltd. by calling (847) 913-5415 to schedule an appointment.