Princeton Asset Protection Lawyer
Princeton Asset Protection Lawyer
Asset protection might sound like something only the very wealthy would ever need. However, anyone with assets could potentially benefit by understanding how best to shield them from creditors and the government.
The legal team at Scott Counsel, P.C. meets with clients with many different financial backgrounds and provides expert legal advice regarding asset protection and other services. Please contact us today.
Asset Protection & Medicaid
Most of us understand that nursing home care is expensive. According to one survey, a semi-private room in New Jerseys costs over $120,000 a year—and the price only continues to rise. With Medicare Part A covering up to 100 days, many people will quickly exhaust all their savings if they end up in a home for a substantial amount of time. And this possibility is not theoretical—about 15% of seniors will need more than two years in a skilled nursing facility. Thus the need for Medicaid, a government insurance program that will cover the cost of nursing home care.
To protect assets, some people wrongly transfer their homes to their children. But taking this action can delay any Medicaid help. New Jersey has a five-year look-back period, and any gifts during this period could count against you.
Instead, meet with an asset protection lawyer in New Jersey. It is possible to protect your savings and still qualify for Medicaid, but you will need an attorney’s assistance. Many of our clients create a self-settled trust to deposit Social Security checks into, thus allowing them to meet Medicaid’s income requirements. Contact us today.
How Asset Protection Can Help Anyone
Even outside the Medicaid context, asset protection could prove valuable. Consider the following ways your assets are vulnerable:
- Lawsuits. Anyone who successfully sues you can get a court judgment against you. If you don’t pay the judgment, they can then try to garnish wages or seize and sell assets. For example, someone might sue you for a defamatory comment you made on social media and then try to get control of bank accounts and real estate. Asset protection can in some cases hide assets or otherwise shield them.
- Divorce. In a divorce, each spouse can typically exit the marriage with their separate property, which includes anything they owned before walking down the aisle and certain gifts or inheritances. They must divide their marital property, however, which is everything else. Sometimes, people commingle their separate property with their marital property. When it comes time to divorce, they can’t separate the two, thus rendering all of it marital. Asset protection can keep the identity of your assets very clear.
- Business ownership. Corporations and limited liability companies are legal entities separate from their owners. If they are sued, your assets should be beyond the reach of a litigant. However, if you are commingling personal and business assets, a judge might allow the litigant to reach your assets—“piercing the corporate veil” is the legal term.
Asset Protection Techniques
When done right, asset protection puts assets beyond the reach of some other party, whether the government, a spouse, or a litigant suing you. As mentioned above, some steps taken to protect assets—like giving them away to children—are often terrible choices with potentially disastrous consequences.
Meet with an attorney to discuss your options. There are many different techniques we can use depending on the risks you face:
- Worried about being disqualified from government benefits? We can use different trusts, like a self-settled trust or special needs trust to shield them from the government.
- Worried about being sued? We can hide assets by transferring ownership to a trust or LLC. We can also help you purchase an appropriate insurance policy to pay out compensation in the event of a lawsuit, which will preserve your assets.
- Worried about divorce? We can set up different bank accounts so that your separate and marital property (including cash) does not commingle.
- Worried about taxes? Proper estate tax planning can protect the full value of an estate from Uncle Sam.
Every asset protection plan is unique since no two people face the same risks. Contact us today so we can begin working immediately on putting a plan in place.
When is the Best Time to Create an Asset Protection Plan?
Anyone can benefit from asset protection, regardless of how many assets they own. If you have children and a mortgage, for example, then buying life insurance could be a solid first step to creating a plan. This plan could keep your loved ones in the home after an untimely death and provide them with income, thus protecting the home from foreclosure.
Clients with more substantial assets might want to take advantage of trusts, LLCs, or bank accounts to protect their assets. Someone with a small business should also seek the services of an asset protection attorney since business liability can quickly become a personal liability.
There is no “right” time to start an asset protection plan. Even if you create a plan now, you can revise it moving forward. Asset protection plans are not set in stone but can shift as circumstances change. For example, someone with a substantial business or online presence must protect assets in the event of a lawsuit, which might be less of a problem as you enter your 30s.
As we age, Medicaid rises in importance, especially nursing home care. The earlier you get started on an asset protection plan, the better off you will be. Although we can meet with people at any time, we might have fewer options if you are moving into a nursing home as we speak. Contacting a lawyer sooner gives us more options for helping you.
Speak with Our Princeton Asset Protection Lawyer Today
Whether you have questions or are committed to creating an estate plan, please contact Scott Counsel, P.C. We can review your options and begin drafting legal documents to provide you with peace of mind going forward. Call us today, at (856) 281-3131 or submit an online message to schedule a time to meet. All consultations are confidential.
– 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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