Asset Protection for Retirees

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Many retirees have worked hard over the years to acquire money and property. Nest eggs are sometimes used to fund an active retirement or pay for long-term care. Often, people like to preserve as much property as possible to pass on to loved ones. This desire to pass on things of value can be achieved through careful, strategic asset protection.

Protecting Your Life’s Work

Asset protection is generally defined as safeguarding wealth from claims against it. Claims might include civil judgments, divorce actions, and creditors. One of the most important things to remember about asset protection is that you must take action before claims are made against your property. Attempting asset protection after a claim is made, or after the basis of the claim originated, may be considered a fraudulent conveyance.

Employing Asset Protection Strategies

Some of the more common reasons for safeguarding your property include:

  • Funding your retirement years;
  • Paying for long-term care;
  • Preserving your estate for your heirs;
  • Protecting against creditor claims or judgments;
  • Safeguarding assets from an ex-spouse; and
  • Preserving assets in the event of a bankruptcy.

Even if you feel some of these reasons will never apply to you, exploring asset protection methods is still a good idea. During your next discussion with your estate planning attorney, ask if your estate needs to build a defense against potential claims.

Using Asset Protection to Your Advantage

Often, retirees have prepared estate plans that address their retirement, incapacity, or death. Those plans may not be complete if they don’t include asset protection strategies. Some of the more common methods of safeguarding property include:

  • Moving assets to an asset protection trust;
  • Transferring money to an off-shore account;
  • Creating a family limited partnership;
  • Using the Florida homestead exemption;
  • Titling property as Tenants by the Entirety; and
  • Contributing to qualified retirement plans, IRAs and annuities.

These methods provide benefits under the right circumstances but may contain pitfalls if used incorrectly. Please consult with an attorney before using asset protection strategies.

We can help.

How your assets are protected may affect what your beneficiaries are allowed to do with their inheritance. Discuss strategies with your financial and legal advisers. Make sure your heirs receive the full benefit of your hard work.