Your financial empire – no matter how vast or how modest – is your legacy. You’ve worked hard to amass assets to utilize in retirement or pass onto your loved ones (in the manner you see fit) when the time comes. But divorce can be a serious glitch in that plan. If you don’t put some effort into estate planning and asset protection during the settlement negotiations, you’re unlikely to maximize your overall estate or to ensure that your assets flow to your loved ones according to your wishes. If you have questions or concerns about protecting the assets that make up your estate in a divorce action, consult with an experienced asset protection attorney in Chicago today.
Trusts, which allow the assets within them to flow to the beneficiaries specified, are an important component of asset protection. The assets you transfer to an irrevocable trust become the property of that trust and can only be distributed to its beneficiaries via the trustee (the person whom you’ve entrusted to take on this responsibility in accordance with your wishes). Any creditors who purport to have a claim to your assets can only go after those properties that are in your name, and because the assets that are held in your irrevocable trust are the property of the trust (not your own), they are well protected.
Jointly held assets, such as real estate property, can be difficult to protect without a business succession plan or a legal restructuring of the business relationship. This level of planning is designed to help ensure that your percentage of partnership is both well-defined and well-protected from anyone – or any entity – who could potentially become entitled to any part of it due to any of the following:
Taking care of these matters upfront can go a long way toward protecting your assets into the future.
Gifting specific assets over the course of your lifetime is another powerful asset protection tool. The federal government allows an annual gift tax exclusion that is set at $15,000 for 2021 (and becomes $16,000 in 2022. This amount can be gifted in one lump sum or in a series of transactions to each specific recipient, but there is no limit to the number of people you can gift, and there is no aggregate limit. These gifts do not affect your lifetime estate and gift tax exclusions, and the person or people whom you gift are not required to pay any federal taxes on their gifts (as long as they don’t exceed the set yearly maximum).
You pour your heart and soul into amassing your financial legacy, which makes protecting it into the future paramount, especially during a divorce. The savvy asset protection attorneys at WARD FAMILY LAW in Chicago recognize how important having a careful asset-protection strategy is to you and your loved ones, and we have the experience, keen legal insight, and drive to help. For more information about what we can do for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.
I'm so thankful that I found Jennifer and her awesome team to help me with my divorce! It was incredibly stressful and scary to go through this process, especially with two little ones, but she has given me the support and confidence that I need. She is extremely intelligent, level-headed, supportive, and reasonable! I was anxious in the beginning thinking that I would have to go to court, but she gave me the peace of mind that I needed to get thru it and not be anxious. I would highly recommend her to anyone going through this difficult process. I…
She is a nice lawyer. She helped me to fix my passport issue among other things, including family problems.
Initially, I'd thought to navigate through troubled waters on my own in the divorce process due to the cost. I hadn't before needed representation in any court case, and, not being familiar with the costs involved in having a lawyer, I was worried about moving forward with one. My fear was the expense. I felt comfortable with Jennifer Ward from the moment I first spoke with her - contacting her to set up a consultation costs you nothing. In the end, the retainer and fees spent to end my case on a high note were worth every penny. They sent…
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