Wealth Preservation is the process of protecting your assets during your lifetime and preserving them for future generations. During your lifetime, the primary focus is on protecting your assets from unforeseen creditors such as a malpractice lawsuit or a lawsuit resulting from a car accident. For people who own businesses or rental property, it is especially important to minimize the risk that a liability resulting from the business or the rental property could lead to the seizure of other non-business assets. When you meet with an attorney at Ossi, Withers & Harrison regarding estate planning or business planning, we will be happy to discuss strategies for wealth preservation and asset protection with you. During your lifetime, this may include strategies such as the following:
- Business Entities: Proper use of a Limited Liability Company or Corporation in order to minimize business risks.
- Homestead Exemption: Making sure that you take advantage of Florida’s constitutional protection of homes.
- Tenancy by the Entireties: Married couples owning joint property can protect assets from individual creditors if the accounts are titled properly.
- Life Insurance, Annuities, Etc.: Many types of investments, such as annuities, are statutorily protected from creditors. We can help you analyze what assets are protected and which ones may be at risk.
Wealth preservation planning is also an important factor to consider as part of your estate plan, to make sure that your assets are not depleted after your death. With the right planning, you can make sure to leave wealth to future generations in a manner that minimizes taxes and protects the legacy you leave to children or grandchildren from the risks of a lawsuit or divorce. It is also important to make sure that beneficiaries who may be young or irresponsible with money are not given control over their share of your wealth until or unless they can manage it responsibly and properly preserve it. After you pass away, trusts created by your will or trust, which we call testamentary trusts, can be used to accomplish these goals in the following way:
- Trusts for Minors: A responsible adult can manage money for a minor and use the money for the minor’s benefit until the minor is old enough to do so for themselves.
- Spendthrift Trusts: Can be used to make sure that money left to a child or grandchild will be protected from their creditors or an ex-spouse in divorce.
- Protective Trusts: Can be used when a beneficiary, even as an adult, is irresponsible or has problems with substance abuse so that a responsible third party can manage the money you leave them for their benefit.
- Dynasty Trusts: Generational trusts that protect assets from creditors and estate taxes for potentially hundreds of years into the future.
Contact our office at 352.692.4888 to schedule a time to speak to one of our attorneys.