Asset Protection and Wealth Preservation
Many people in Florida accumulate substantial estates throughout their lives. If they pass away without measures in place to protect their wealth, however, it can lead to discord among their family members, increased tax obligations, and distributions that do not comply with their wishes. Further, many people risk losing their assets through exposure to liability in civil lawsuits. Accordingly, it is critical for people who wish to safeguard their property during their lifetime and beyond to seek legal counsel regarding their options. The seasoned Cape Coral estate planning lawyers of Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano, P.A. can advise you of what asset protection and wealth preservation measures you can employ, and if you retain our services, our attorneys will develop a comprehensive plan to meet your needs. We routinely help people protect their interests in Cape Coral and in Fort Myers, and Naples.Protecting Assets
Professionals who regularly engage in business with other individuals or provide goods and services to clients in Florida often accumulate vast wealth. Thus, they may be exposed to liability in civil lawsuits arising out of their business interactions. People may be the target of lawsuits for other reasons as well and may also risk losing their assets to creditors.
Regardless of the types of exposure people face, there are planning tools they can employ to protect their interests. For example, it might be beneficial for business or rental property owners to create family limited partnerships. Essentially, a family limited partnership is an agreement between family members that are actively engaged in a business or trade, which includes owning real estate or investments. In many instances, a parent will be named as a general partner, and one or more children will be designated as limited partners. Business assets are transferred to the partnership, after which they are generally protected from creditors, judgments, and distribution in divorce actions. Family limited partnerships also often lead to a reduction in estate taxes by allowing general partners to transfer assets to limited partners.Preserving Wealth
It is important that people with substantial assets employ the proper instruments to preserve their wealth when they pass away. Trusts are valuable tools for helping people protect their property. After a trust is created, the property is transferred into the trust to be disbursed to named beneficiaries by trustees pursuant to the trust terms, rather than transferring assets directly to family members or heirs or providing for their distribution via a will.
Broadly speaking, trusts are either testamentary or living. A testamentary trust becomes effective upon the grantor’s death, and in most instances, is established via a will. Testamentary trusts allow people to control the distribution of their estates, and may also reduce capital gains and income taxes, and protects assets from creditors and lawsuits. They do not allow people to avoid probate or estate taxes, however.
Living trusts become effective during the grantor’s lifetime. The grantor no longer owns assets once they are transferred into a living trust. Living trusts may be revocable or irrevocable, but only irrevocable trusts provide significant benefits in terms of asset protection. Specifically, they not only allow parties to avoid probate but also might allow them to avoid estate taxes, offer a reduction in income and capital gains taxes, and protect assets in the trust from exposure to judgments or creditors.Discuss Your Needs with a Florida Asset Protection and Wealth Preservation Attorney
People with significant assets are often rightfully worried that oversights and insufficient planning could expose their property to creditors and result in significant taxes. As such, it is smart for anyone with concerns about protecting their assets or preserving their wealth to meet with an attorney as soon as possible. If you wish to develop an estate plan or safeguard your property, the capable Florida lawyers of Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano, P.A. can meet with you to discuss your asset protection and wealth preservation needs and advise you of options that may be suitable to help you meet your goals. We frequently help people address their planning needs in Cape Coral and Fort Myers, and Naples. Our offices are located in Cape Coral, Naples, and Fort Myers, and you can reach us through our online form or at 800-283-7442 to set up a consultation.