Asset Protection Attorneys in Arizona and New Mexico
Many people think that setting up a living trust will automatically protect their assets from creditors. Unfortunately, this is not true while you are alive. While funding a revocable living trust will remove assets from your personal name, those assets are still subject to creditors while you are alive and to taxes and creditor claims upon your death. There are additional estate planning strategies used in connection with a living trust that will protect your assets.
The lawyers at Morris, Hall & Kinghorn, P.L.L.C. know that when it comes to protecting your assets, it is critical that you have the best information and professional resources to guide you. Law changes and personal changes make it necessary to review and evaluate your assets periodically for maximum asset protection.
Protecting Assets With AB Trusts and Beneficiary Trusts
One way to protect assets for a married couple is by creating an AB trust. Upon the death of one spouse, his or her assets will be funded to the decedent’s trust. This is commonly referred to as the B trust (or below ground assets). The survivor’s share of the assets is funded to the survivor’s A (or above ground) trust.
If the B trust is properly created, it will not be subject to estate taxes, creditor claims, spend-down for nursing home expenses or claims from new spouses or their children. In effect, the trust places the assets in Fort Knox and gives the surviving spouse the key.
At MHK, our lawyers go a step further than most estate planning law firms and include provisions for a beneficiary trust in all of the trusts we create. With a beneficiary trust, upon the death of both spouses (or upon your death if you are single), the assets your beneficiaries receive will be protected from creditors, ex-spouses, bankruptcy and spend-down for long-term care.
Additional Ways to Protect Assets
Some people need even more asset protection than an AB trust can provide.Our lawyers can offer advanced protection by setting up a series of trusts, partnerships and other entities to hold legal title to your assets, protecting them from creditors or others who may try to get control of your assets. These tools may include:
- Qualified personal residence trusts (QPRT)
- Special-needs trusts
- Qualified trusts for retirement savings
- Advanced planning entities
- Irrevocable life insurance trusts
- Charitable remainder trusts
- Limited liability companies
- Family limited partnerships
- Grandchildren trusts
Our attorneys have more than 40 years of experience in protecting assets for large estates and business owners. A future creditor who recognizes how difficult it would be to collect on any judgment it might win, could decide that it makes little sense to pursue a claim, or might be willing to settle for pennies on the dollar.
Beyond estate planning, MHK offers you the expertise of in-house financial planners and tax accountants to help you take advantage of every basic and advanced planning opportunity available. If you have assets that you need to protect, it makes sense to work with a law firm that can build a comprehensive plan that includes investment planning, tax accounting and long-term care planning.
Contact us to discuss asset protection with an experienced lawyer today. Our offices are located in Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque and communities throughout Arizona and New Mexico.