Asset protection and estate planning are comprehensive strategies that allow you to preserve the wealth you accumulate and direct the distribution of that wealth during your lifetime and after your death.
Many people mistakenly believe that having a Last Will and Testament is enough, but comprehensive estate planning also anticipates and makes provisions for what you want to happen if you become incapacitated and can’t take care of yourself. Although almost everyone needs a will, important additional tools, such as trusts, powers of attorney and living wills, are also available to help you achieve your goals.
The Role of Asset Protection in Estate Planning
Asset protection strategies are primarily geared toward minimizing risk so as to preserve as much of your assets as possible, and reducing your tax burden and the potential tax burden on your heirs. This includes income taxes, capital gains taxes, and estate taxes, etc.
While insurance is a helpful tool in managing risk, it is expensive and it may not completely cover all the risks you are exposed to. Depending on your occupation, investments, lifestyle, etc., you may have risks that insurance simply cannot address. This is especially likely if you are a business owner, professional person, or other high-net-worth individual.
When you implement wealth and asset preservation strategies, you ensure that as much of your estate as possible will be available for your use during your lifetime and for the people and charities you want to leave the remainder to when you don’t need it anymore.
How Estate Planning Benefits You & Your Loved Ones
Estate planning allows you to make comprehensive and specific provisions for the transfer of your assets. For example, you can include provisions for taking care of your surviving spouse and for paying the college tuition of your grandchildren. You also have the ability to designate the person(s) who will be assigned to carry out your wishes, rather than leaving it up to a probate judge.
You can also direct what should happen if you become incapacitated and unable to make responsible decisions, even temporarily, – an option that a mere will does not provide. Because you can revoke your will at any time, it only becomes effective at the time of your death. However, powers of attorney and advance health care directives made in advance of incapacity allow you to designate who you want making decisions for you if you become incapacitated, except for certain health care decisions that you have already made in advance.
Choosing a Utah Estate Planning & Asset Protection Attorney
This complex area of the law requires knowledge and experience to ensure that your estate plan meets your needs. It is also imperative that your trust and estate lawyer takes the necessary steps to ensure your compliance with all applicable laws – particularly the tax laws.
The trust, estate and probate attorneys at J.D. Milliner & Associates, P.C. understand how important it is to protect what you have worked so hard to build, and to provide for the future of your loved ones. Contact our Salt Lake City, Utah office today to schedule your personal consultation to discuss asset protection and estate planning strategies customized for your needs.
NOTE: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as providing legal advice. Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. Contact an attorney to obtain legal advice.