Millions of individuals go to attorneys regularly in order to learn more about how to secure their assets, and how to keep those assets safe throughout the state and aging process. But not all attorneys have the same approach or philosophy about the problems associated with asset protection. There are many misconceptions about the process that even the most experienced attorneys may still propagate. Unfortunately, Asset Protection is still not regularly taught in law school and most attorneys do not specialize in Asset Protection. Just being an attorney does not mean they are capable of a highly specialized Asset Protection Plan.
The need for simplicity
Many attorneys want to present asset protection as a sort of puzzle that only they can solve. They want to sell a wide variety of instruments to meet every possible need or request. These instruments include trusts, annuities, real estate investments, and many other vehicles to store and invest money. In some instances, these instruments are inherently complicated and are not well-understood by the client. Anyone interested in asset protection needs to realize that they can protect their assets through simple wealth management strategies just as well as they can through complex instruments.
The simple approach is often the most effective one. A competent attorney can use two or three entities, accounts, investments, or trusts to lock up the vast majority of a person’s assets. Don’t get confused with complicated off-shore or “cutting edge” trusts that many firms offer. You don’t want to be the “Guinea pig” when it comes to Asset Protection. Simple domestic legal entities such as LLCs, Corporations & Trusts can be just as effective and many times are even more effective than the latest new name trust or off-shore plan.
Asset protection is also viewed as a field that does not offer much flexibility. The instruments that attorneys offer are meant to lock money away for years or even decades. The perception is that individuals trade away accessibility and liability for protection and stability. They also trade away a full understanding of the plan and products that they have in exchange for having the best plan possible, which will protect their assets from taxation and fees.
But a person can retain a considerable amount of flexibility by pursuing the right products. Many attorneys suggest that people consider or use annuities to protect their assets. But an annuity may tie up the principle of a particular estate for between 30 and 40 years. Individuals have no ability to access their money before the due date is up. If they do not wait, they may be forced to pay a considerable penalty. The same can be true for long-term CDs that prevent a person from accessing their money and pay them a pittance of an interest rate in return. Instead, a person should have a plan that can change and grow as a person’s needs change, or as the status of their estate or financial plan changes. Specially drafted LLCs, Corporations, and Trusts that have been court-tested over many years with a great track record can be simple to update and change as your estate plan inevitably will.
Attorneys are often the expert that individuals should consult when they are putting together an asset protection plan. But not all attorneys are created equally. Individuals need to discover what approach is best for their own needs and ideas about their assets. Finding the right fit is much more important than simply finding the first attorney that one encounters.
Nobody cares more about their assets than you! Take the time to educate yourself rather than just trusting someone with your entire estate. We are the longest-running Asset Protection & Wealth Creation Event in the Nation with experts available to help you protect what matters most.