If you've invested a lot of time in building your assets, it's also important to think about the inherent legal challenges of protecting them. Fortunately, an asset protection attorney can point you toward some options for preserving your financial interests. An asset protection lawyer will usually favor these three options.
One of the simplest tools available is a trust. There are plenty of ways to protect a trust, and people have many reasons for using them. In the simplest form, a trust is a legal entity that uses money and assets to promote the interests of a beneficiary.
The main argument for establishing a trust is to insulate income streams from potential threats. Suppose your partner has significant medical issues, and these problems require costly support that isn't fully insured. If you're worried about what might happen to them if you pass, you can establish a trust and name them the beneficiary. This guarantees them a source of income even if someone sues you or your estate.
Notably, you can name yourself as a beneficiary of a trust. This means ceding some control to a trustee, and it also means you can only access the trust according to its terms. However, this can provide stability if legal or financial issues appear.
You might also want to talk to a business formation lawyer about using some sort of corporation to protect your assets. It does have to be a real business, but that's not that hard to do legally. Someone who owns several pieces of real estate, for example, could use those assets to start a company. A business formation attorney would then build the assets into the entity and position the founder as an officer of the organization. They could then draw a salary or distribution from the business.
Particularly if you do professional work, it's a good idea to use business formation to insulate your interests. A computer programmer, for example, might have professional liability exposure if their work leads to a data breach. By working within a company, any successful lawsuit could only take assets from the business as damages. The programmer's personal assets would be insulated.
There are times when you might need litigation. A trust litigation lawyer may be necessary if someone questions the legality of your asset protection structure. Similarly, a beneficiary might turn to a trust estate litigation lawyer if they want greater access or control. If you're going to work with an asset protection attorney, it's wise to hire a firm that's comfortable with these litigation processes.
Contact a local asset protection attorney to learn more.