Asset Protection Attorney Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Many people are under the assumption that only wealthy people need to worry about asset protection. But the truth is that anyone in Florida who has worked hard and has any amount of assets needs to take the steps to safeguard those assets from circumstances that can arise and significantly impact your financial security. Issues with government agencies, creditors, and you or a family member’s health can suddenly wipe out everything you have saved over the years. To find out how you can protect yourself and your family from financial disaster, contact an asset protection attorney Ft. Lauderdale, FL families trust.
It is never too early to begin planning for the day when you may need to depend on Medicare for your medical needs, including nursing homes or assisted living costs. Failure to take the steps for Medicaid planning means your assets are vulnerable and could likely be taken to pay for expenses for long-term health care and nursing home residency. This could effectively wipe out the majority of your assets, leaving nothing for your children and beneficiaries.
While there are tools in place that can be used to protect your assets, there are also stringent laws in place that severely restrict Medicaid planning. There are different rules for the transfer of assets to spouses and to other members of the family. This is why it is critical to work with a Ft. Lauderdale, FL asset protection attorney.
One of the biggest assets families have is their home. But with all of the potential issues that could arise and threaten ownership of your home, it is important to take the steps now to protect it before disaster strikes. All it takes is one major health crisis and you could be wiped out financially, with liens placed against your home – even with health insurance. Some of the options you may have included the following:
- Transferring the home: One option to protecting your home is transferring it to your spouse, child, or another person by signing the deed over to them. By doing this, creditors will not be able to place a lien on the property. Neither will Medicaid.
- Irrevocable trust: Another asset protection tool that can be used to protect the family home is putting it into an irrevocable trust. This means you no longer own the home, however, you can still maintain complete control over it. The other benefit to placing your home in a trust is that there is no need to address it in your will and the home will not be part of any probate process. Whoever you leave the home to will become the owner upon your death.
- Life estate: A third option for protecting your home is a life estate. This still gives you control over the property and you can still live in the home. When you die, the property will go to whomever you designated as a beneficiary, again, without the need for a will and probate.
Another option you may have is gifting assets. The United States government allows individuals to give a certain amount each year tax-free. The amount does fluctuate. The current amount for 2021 is $15,000. If you and your spouse make the gift together, then the amount is doubled, so the current maximum gift amount you can give away in 2021 is $30,000.
To learn more about asset protection and how you can ensure your family will be taken care of when you are no longer here, contact Ft. Lauderdale, FL asset protection attorney Wayne Patton JD, LLC today to schedule a consultation.