Levels of Asset Protection
Want to Secure Your Assets? Call Jeffrey R. Matsen, a nationally recognized asset protection attorney, at 714-384-6500.
At Bohm Wildish & Matsen, LLP we have developed what we call “The Matsen Ladder of Success”. Each step on the ladder or level of strategy provides immediate Asset Protection and Estate Planning benefits.
- Level One involves basic Estate Planning for the professional or business owner which includes Wills, Revocable Living Trusts, Durable Powers of Attorney, etc. This is a basic level that has to be addressed by everybody, but especially professionals, business owners and people of wealth.
- Level Two encompasses the operating business of the individual which is normally the primary source of his or her income and the operation in which the business owner or professional gives the majority of his or her time. In other words, the professional, the business owner and the real estate investor have to make sure that their business or professional practice and/or their real estate ownership is properly protected. This level needs to be closely examined by an experienced attorney who can help to evaluate the business structure and make sure that it is set up and implemented in the proper manner.
- Level Three involves taking advantage of any exemptions that are protected from creditor attack. This level includes homestead exemptions, insurance, annuities and retirement plans. It also encompasses marital planning which may involve the re-titling of assets into a structure of ownership of the non working spouse who is less likely to be at risk.
- Level Four involves liability protected entities for investment assets. In this regard, consideration should strongly be given to placing most, if not all, of your real estate and financial investments into liability protected entities such as LLCs.
- Level Five involves combining the utilization of liability protected entities such as LLCs with the utilization of Domestic Asset Protection Trusts. Eleven states have now adopted favorable legislation that provides asset protection and are the exceptions to the general rule that self settled trusts are not protected from creditor’s claims. This area is discussed in more detail on the “Domestic Asset Protection Planning“.
- Level six on the ladder involves much of the same strategy utilized in domestic planning, but instead of assets being located domestically, they are placed offshore for even greater protection. The benefits of going offshore are discussed on the “Foreign Asset Protection“.
- The final level or seventh rung on the ladder involves advanced estate planning techniques. Many of these techniques such as Charitable Remainder Trusts, Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts and Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts are tied into estate tax savings and passing assets to future generations.
Ladder of Success
If you have questions regarding asset protection strategies or estate plans, please contact us to schedule an appointment at 714-384-6500. We are a great law team to work with that is committed 110% in helping every client preserve, protect, and transfer their legacy.