Tips to Reduce Estate Conflict
To reduce the potential for conflict in your estate plan, do not name joint personal representatives (executors) or joint trustees. Administering probate, trusts, and your estate with just one person accountable for the final decisions in each legal entity will simplify your heirs' interactions. Simply because an heir is the oldest or of a certain gender does not qualify them to administer your estate. In fact, all of your heirs may not be suitable to serve in these roles, in which case a neutral third party needs to be appointed.
A neutral third-party entity can be a trust company or bank that can execute your wishes without family participation in decision-making. For those who worry an heir may squander generational wealth, a discretionary trust administered by a neutral third party enables you to provide for your beneficiary without worrying about the money going to waste.
Protection Against Creditors
A major reason why New Yorkers need asset protection is from creditors who have claims against their assets. For example, if you default on a bank loan, this could result in a claim against your assets.
Protection in a Divorce
Asset protection is essential if you are going through a divorce because the legal process helps determine how assets are divided up based on fairness, need, and ownership rights. Those who have children from a prior marriage, own their own business, or have benefitted from a previous inheritance must be particularly cautious.
If you invite a guest to your home and that guest is injured, you could be sued. The same is true if you are involved in a car accident. Lawsuits can be filed against people due to a lack of insurance or when only limited coverage is provided. All of these are great reasons to have a comprehensive asset protection plan in place.
Protect Assets From Long-Term Care Costs
We also help clients protect their assets while drafting estate planning documents so that property and possessions go to the rightful heirs. Asset protection is necessary to evaluate your assets and also to prepare for nursing home and long-term care costs. Many seniors don’t realize that they can be sued by Medicaid for nursing home costs.
Minimize Burdens for Your Heirs
Asset protection is a key component of tax planning to help you minimize taxation on your estate. We know how to utilize state and federal tax laws to retain as much of your wealth as possible—allowing your loved ones to maintain their current standard of living after you are gone. With the help of an asset protection attorney at Alatsas Law Firm, you can rest assured that the fate of your money won’t get tied up in court or in a lengthy probate process.
Provide Protection for Business Assets
People who own businesses can be sued by a partner or business associate, as well as by another business owner or any of their customers. Business-related lawsuits can also occur if you are the shareholder of a business and are sued by other shareholders or if you are a corporate officer or director of a business and held personally liable for corporate liabilities despite the established limited liability component of the corporation.
Avoid Professional Liability
Individuals in certain industries are more likely to be sued due to the nature of their work. For example, accountants, real estate agents, doctors, and nurses all have a high risk of facing legal action due to accusations of fraud, negligence, or professional malpractice. Even with insurance in place, their personal assets can still be at risk if the damages exceed the limits of the policy.
Contact Our Brooklyn Office Today
At Alatsas Law Firm, we offer asset protection services to individuals and families in all income brackets. We know that you have worked hard to accumulate the assets in your possession, and we will work with you to create an estate plan that fits your unique needs—explaining your options in jargon-free terms so you can make informed decisions about the best way to proceed.
Our Brooklyn estate planning attorney Theodore Alatsas can create your estate plan or update your existing documents to ensure they still fit your needs. Contact us online today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation, or call us at 718-233-2903. Alatsas Law Firm is conveniently located for residents of Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. Our ground floor office is handicapped accessible with a subway stop and two bus lines nearby.