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Why Should You Protect Your Assets?

estate planning lawyer talking with client about asset protection planning

When looking at your accumulated assets, it is important to think about why to protect to your assets. Asset protection is an important step in the estate planning process, regardless of your wealth or age. You never know when a claim against your assets may arise. James R. Nici is a Naples estate planning attorney who can answer all your questions about asset protection planning.

What is Asset Protection Planning?

Asset protection planning refers to using legal strategies and techniques to protect an individual’s or business’s assets from the claims of creditors both during their lifetime and after their death. Some examples of asset protection strategies include trusts, LLCs, family-limited partnerships, and prenuptial agreements. A qualified attorney can identify the best asset protection strategies for you and your family.

Why Should I Do Asset Protect Planning in Naples?

There are many reasons why you should talk to an estate planning lawyer about asset protection planning in Naples.

1. Asset Protection Limits Your Losses After a Lawsuit

Asset protection can shield some of your property from collection if you are sued, and the plaintiff receives a judgment against you. High-net-worth individuals and certain professionals, such as physicians, dentists, lawyers, and contractors, are more likely to be targeted in a lawsuit. However, anyone can get sued and it pays to be prepared.

2. Asset Protection Helps Keep Your Property Private

As well as protecting your property after a judgment has been entered against you, asset protection can help reduce the likelihood you become the target of a lawsuit in the first place by providing financial privacy. There are asset protection strategies that work to keep the type of asset you own and its quantity private. It is common for individuals seen as having “deep pockets” to be targeted by frivolous or unwarranted lawsuits from people, agencies, and businesses seeking an easy or vulnerable target. By keeping your property hidden, there is a lower chance that you will be sued.

3. Asset Protection Can Lower Estate Tax Liability

The federal government imposes an estate tax on estates valued at over $12.92 million. Estate taxes can significantly reduce the value of the inheritance you leave behind. The rate ranges from 18 percent to 40 percent. To keep your estate from ending up in the hands of the government, you can use asset protection strategies, such as transferring property into certain irrevocable trusts.

4. Asset Protection Safeguards Against Risks Presented By Heirs

In addition to protecting your assets during your life, there are asset protection strategies that work to safeguard your property when it is left to your heirs after your death. You can ensure that your legacy will not be lost to the creditors of your loved ones. You can also ensure that it will be protected in the event that one of your beneficiaries gets divorced. Furthermore, if you have a loved one with an addiction, or disability, or who is otherwise at a higher risk of being targeted by creditors, there are unique trusts that you can take to protect their inheritance.

5. Asset Protection Defends Your Business from Creditors

Asset protection planning is especially important for business owners in Naples. Opening a business comes with many risks, such as mortgage obligations, claims for damages caused by employees, and product liability. Asset protection planning can ensure that valuable business property is kept out of the hands of creditors and lawsuits. If your business is left exposed, these risks can end up putting your company out of business.

6. Asset Protection Keeps Your Personal Property Safe From Business Claims

As well as protecting business assets, asset protection planning can keep a business owner’s personal property safe and separate from all business liabilities and risks. Business owners need to ensure they will not lose their personal property if their business faces claims by creditors or lawsuit judgments. One way of protecting your personal property in Naples is through the creation of a Limited Liability Company.

Contact a Naples Estate Planning Lawyer

Asset Protection is a critical part of estate planning for your future and those you love. To discuss why and how to protect your assets contact attorney James Nici.  He can help create an Asset Protection Plan that makes sense for you.

Please call James Nici, a Naples asset protection lawyer at the Nici Law Firm at 239-449-6150 or contact us online for a complimentary consultation with a Florida Board-Certified Specialist in Wills, Trusts, and Estates.

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