Asset Protection

i_overviewAsset-ProtectionMost people think that estate planning and asset protection is something to be done in anticipation of death or pending trouble. Nothing could be further from the truth.

There is an old adage, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

This is especially true when it comes to estate planning. In conjunction with solid financial planning, organizing your present and future estate will help protect the assets that you have taken a lifetime to build and provide peace of mind for you and your family.

Most Americans accumulate a “nest egg” but fail miserably to preserve those assets for their heirs. This can be a very costly mistake in terms of both the size of the estate being passed on and the amount of frustration the survivors encounter settling your estate. Although death and taxes may be inevitable, estate taxes don’t have to be!

As always, we emphasize we are not dispensing legal advice here-but financial information-as we are not attorneys.

Having said that, in its most simplified form, your estate includes all property or interests in property which you own, minus anything you owe. All U.S. citizens are subject to a federal estate tax, which is a tax on the transfer of property at death. The tax is assessed against the entire estate, minus certain exemptions, and is paid out of the estate’s assets. In most cases, laws of the state where you live govern the transfer of property to heirs, so ensure that you check state laws for any additional estate, inheritance or death taxes that may be imposed on your property.

Always remember that if you do not plan your estate, the state will dictate who will receive which assets and who will be the guardian of your minor children. An administrator will be appointed to manage your estate. As you can see, by doing nothing, you literally give up control of your estate and assets and allow state laws to design a will for you. In other words, if you don’t have a plan your state of residence does, it’s called probate!


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