Estate Planning lawyers in St. George are most often considered by folks who are wanting to put their end-of-life affairs in order. The lawyer helps them draw up important documents such as Powers of Attorney and medical directives. They also develop a helpful plan for how to distribute an individual’s property upon his or her death. Wills, Trusts, Executors…these are all typical topics that a St. George Estate Planning lawyer will discuss with clients.
There is also a need to protect one’s assets during his or her lifetime. Not only is this important to the quality of life, but it also helps ensure that there is property to leave behind. Asset protection is about choosing the best strategies to minimize the potential negative consequences of liability. That includes protection from claims made against an individual, as well as claims against your assets. The former would include things such as property damage or physical harm to another that was caused by you. The latter would have to do with damage caused by something you own, such as a business or property.
Commonly, a claim made against an individual or their property can lead to almost everything that person owns being at risk. For example, a judgment against you in a court of law can give creditors the ability to go after your assets in order to be compensated for damages. If someone slips and falls in your restaurant, as the owner, you could lose your home.
Estate Planning focuses heavily on Wills and Trusts to distribute assets after death. However, there are advantages to utilizing these tools during an individual’s lifetime. A trust can be especially helpful in keeping a person’s assets out of harm’s way, which is why working with a St. George estate planning lawyers is such an important part of a solid asset protection strategy.
Using a trust for asset protection doesn’t come without its limitations, though.
- In order to shield the assets from creditors, an estate planning lawyer will likely include a “spendthrift provision” in your documents. However, a Revocable Living Trust cannot have a spendthrift provision added.
- The trust must be for the benefit of the beneficiaries, rather than the person setting it up.
- Beneficiaries cannot be involved in the management of the trust and cannot make any changes to its terms.
There are other advantages and limitations to using a trust for asset protection during life, and a good St. George Estate Planning lawyer will work with clients to determine a useful strategy based on individual needs.