Only One Thing is Certain
The reality is that having LLC’s and different corporate entities for our business is all well intended and good proper asset protection in the event that you have to face a lawsuit, but more is needed to protect your family, your business and make sure that these assets are transferred in the event of your death.
Even though death is inevitable it is astonishing to me that most Americans die without a will and then their asses are tied up in probate court for years at great expense.
So how do you protect your personal and business assets for any eventuality and how can you make sure that your decisions are carried out after death?
The answer is to have a proper asset protection structure that includes having the following:
Have a will: A will ensures that your wishes are carried out after your death and that all your property avoids probate court, which can be time-consuming, expensive and very public. A will is also an act of love to your love ones since it allows ease of transition of your assets to their control.
Have a Living Trust: A trust allows you to provide instructions for the allocation of your assets in a certain will. It is also an act of love to your family since it allows ease of transition of your assets to their control.
The trustee, a person you select to manage your assets after your death based on your instructions, executes the trust.
An Advance Health Directive: Some time referred to as a Living Will, is a legal document that allows you to determine what health measures should be taken in the event that you become incapacitated and unable to make a decision for yourself.
The Double Power of Attorney: This legal document allows another person to make decisions and take specific actions in your behalf if you are incapacitated. With a power of attorney, this person will be able to write checks, make purchases, make decision, and even sell property in your behalf.
With these four documents and in conjunction with the LLC and a C-corporation you will be able to protect and control your personal and business assets even after your death.
Not only will this structure allow you to control whom the assets go to, but it will also allow you to protect your assets from estate and probate taxes.
Please allow me to clarify. This article is not meant to be the definitive word on estate and probate planning, but just a guide of some of the best ways we have learned on how to protect your assets. Major corporations have used these strategies to protect themselves for decades and they should be a part of your estate protection plan.