In the following blog we outline some important tips you should always consider in order to protect your assets in an efficient manner. First, you should select a team of professionals that can help you develop a plan to properly protect your business and personal assets – you need an accountant, an attorney and an insurance broker. Often, people underestimate finance, legal and insurance complexities and believe they can handle these matters without the assistance and guidance of the key people mentioned above. Nonetheless, when managing your assets you want to be prepared for growth, not changing your systems midstream to adapt to your growth patterns.
There are five (5) key ways to protect your business and your personal assets:
- Insurance – to protect both your real and personal property, as well as your business;
- Operating in a Corporate Structure – not as self-employed. Always consult an attorney for guidance;
- Estate Planning – wills, trusts, Power of Attorneys (“POAs”), living wills and health care proxies must be considered. It is important to work with an attorney in connection with these matters as well.
- Trusts, as we discussed in our previous blog Estate Planning: An Introduction to Trusts, are legal instruments used primarily to avoid probate, protect an individual’s assets and control the manner in which they are distributed. You may create a trust in your will or as a living trust. Trusts include, but are not limited to:
Revocable – where you still control your assets;
Irrevocable (for asset protection and Medicare planning) – your assigned trustee controls your assets;
For Medicare planning we recommend trusts be set up in your early 60s if you have no major health issues. If you have serious health conditions, you should set up the trust sooner rather than later.
- Special Needs Trust;
- Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust – the trust owns your life insurance policy;
- Charitable Trust; or
- Deferred Sales Trust.
- Pre Or Post Nuptial agreements – to protect not only your personal property but also as a way to manage marital property; and
- Buy Sell Agreements, aka buyout agreements – if you own a business.
Please note that this blog must not be considered as financial or legal advice and should be read for informational purposes only. If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact our office.
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