Asset protection is a vital part of every estate plan and a well-prepared plan will protect you from exposure to judgments arising out of lawsuits. It is the process of structuring your estate in a way that effectively protects your assets from potential creditors. For anyone who owns assets worth protecting, the implementation of right asset protection strategies can keep you and your loved ones from out of the court system.
When it comes to protecting your real estate from costly trust litigation, there’s a number of estate, probate, and trust litigation planning strategies that you can employ if you plan in advance.
However, prevention is one of the best ways to avoid lawsuits and disagreements between family members concerning property distribution. We can start from the basic and most common ways to protect your estate from lawsuits:
- Treat all children equally. Experience and actual events show that most wills are questioned when they feel that they have been treated unfairly. If you have several children, it’s better to split your estate equally to avoid the threat of a fight.
- Make specific bequests. Instead of using general terms that leave it up to your heirs to divide your personal possessions, make specific bequeathal.
- Detail on how you want loans to be settled. Nowadays, it is common for parents to loan children money against their inheritance. If you want that debt forgiven at death or taken out of their share, you’d need to specify that in your will.
- Consider another way to pass the business on. It’s not exactly a good idea to leave a business outright to your children via your will. If you can execute a contract while you’re living, consider this option.
- Make sure that you are the sole owner of the property you bequeath. If you have a joint ownership on a property with someone else, that property will go to the joint owner upon your death. You can’t leave it to someone else.
- Have your own estate planning lawyer. If you have heirs from multiple marriages, you should have your own estate planning lawyer to reduce the potential claims of influence by a current spouse.
- Include a no-contest clause in your will. When you add a no-contest clause in your will – this means that whoever raises an argument against your wishes will be automatically disinherited – is an effective tool to avoid legal battles.
Estate planning is for you and your loved ones as you retire and eventually pass. While many people know how to make money, not all knows how to protect it. Also, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have an estate, you don’t need an estate plan.
It’s time that you start protecting yourself and your family. Take that step with estate planning.
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