Moorestown Asset Protection Lawyer
Moorestown Asset Protection Lawyer
With today’s economic climate, it has never been more important to protect your hard-earned assets. At Scott Counsel, P.C., we work with clients to help them understand the risks they face and how their home, investments, and other assets are vulnerable to seizure. At base, asset protection aims to keep assets in your control. With the right Moorestown asset protection attorney, our clients can protect their property for their own benefit and for the enjoyment of future generations.
You’ve worked hard for your assets. Now is the time to protect them.
How Are Assets Vulnerable?
Some people see no need to engage in asset protection. Unfortunately, they leave themselves vulnerable to losing almost everything that they own.
Asset protection is necessary for the following reasons:
- You could be sued. Someone could sue you for a variety of reasons—for a car accident, defamation, or negligence. Unless you have insurance that will cover the judgment, you’ll need to pay using cash or other assets. If you refuse to pay, the other side could come after your property and ask the sheriff to seize it and sell it to satisfy the court judgment.
- The government could deny you benefits. Some benefits like Medicaid are means tested, and you can be denied if you have too many assets. People are afraid of losing their homes in order to pay for care. Fortunately, asset protection can shield certain assets, allowing you to qualify for government programs.
- You could mingle business and personal assets. One way to protect assets is to title them in the name of a corporation or limited liability company (LLC). Unfortunately, careless people mingle their business assets with personal ones, which can ultimately result in making business assets vulnerable to a lawsuit.
- You could get divorced. Most property obtained while married in New Jersey is marital property and must be divided at divorce. Marital property typically includes homes, cars, and wages, regardless of whose name is on the title or who earned the money. However, anything you brought into the marriage is your separate property—provided you don’t start using it for marital purposes. Asset protection can clarify what property is non-marital and protect you in the event of divorce.
Meet with an attorney to review how asset protection can benefit you and your family.
How We Protect Assets
Asset protection describes a variety of tools that attorneys use to protect assets and reduce threats that our clients face. There is no one sized, fill-in-the-blank approach that we use for all clients. Instead, based on our experience, we carefully analyze what techniques will work best for you. Some common solutions include:
- Self-settled trust. New Jersey allows people to create a trust to receive certain property or income, thus reducing any income that counts against them for purposes of Medicaid and other government programs.
- Insurance. Assets are vulnerable when a person faces catastrophic medical bills or when they are sued. As your attorneys, we can help clients identify proper long-term care insurance or umbrella insurance policies to reduce our client’s risk of losing assets.
- LLCs. An LLC is legally separate from the person who owns it. This means that assets owned by the LLC are shielded if the owner is sued in court. We can help clients retitle assets into an LLC, such as rental properties.
- Bank accounts. We work with clients to prevent commingling of assets. Commingling can make assets vulnerable in a divorce, where your separate property might lose its character and become marital property, subject to division.
- Tax planning. Proper planning can reduce the amount of taxes a person pays. When a tax bill is too high, clients often need to sell assets. Consequently, reducing their bill as much as possible can preserve assets.
Anyone Can Benefit from Asset Protection
Up to now, you might think only the wealthy need to protect assets. But this isn’t true. Most of our clients are seeking to hang onto their family home and qualify for Medicaid. The reality is that long-term skilled nursing care is extremely expensive. A single room in a New Jersey nursing home can cost more than $120,000 a year. Few people have those kinds of resources. Instead, their home remains their largest single asset and they are afraid the government will come for it if they enter a nursing home.
Asset protection planning for Medicaid is complex and no one should do it themselves. Some people think they should just deed their home to their children and it will be protected. Unfortunately, taking this step could end up penalizing you in the long run and ultimately result in a family losing the house. Before making a rash decision, contact a Moorestown asset protection lawyer today to discuss your concerns and develop a game plan.
Why Asset Protection Planning is Hard to Get Right
Asset protection planning is full of landmines for those unfamiliar with the field. For example, many asset protection techniques are similar, and clients won’t know which is best for them. If you put assets in the wrong trust, for example, then they could disqualify yourself from government benefits like Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Asset protection is also a key part of business succession and estate planning. Many people want to protect assets for their loved ones to enjoy after they are gone. But to do this properly, we need to fully consider all your business or estate planning goals to craft a comprehensive asset protection plan.
The only benefit of a DIY approach is to save money on legal fees. But the risks of making a mistake are enormous. You could end up exposing more assets than you imagined to seizure by making one wrong step.
Contact a Moorestown Asset Protection Lawyer Today
At Scott Counsel, our legal team can meet to review your financial situation and develop a map for providing you with peace of mind. Please call our law firm today, (856) 281-3131 to schedule a time to meet and review your estate planning goals.
– When my son, who has Cystic Fibrosis and CF related diabetes, was suddenly and unexpectedly removed from his Medicaid program, we were devastated and frightened not knowing where we would get the resources to pay for his extremely high priced prescriptions. Justin was the attorney who handled our case. From the very beginning, he proved to be very thorough and experienced with navigating the process of reversing the Medicaid decision. However, it was his apparent kind, caring nature that made us feel the most at ease. Justin was successful in securing a continuation of benefits for my son, and we are extremely grateful for having his expertise during this most stressful ongoing process. Thank you, Justin!
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