Wealth transfer and asset protection refers to the strategic attempts to protect a person’s assets and wealth from his or her creditors, particularly their business creditors and taxing agencies, in order to pass such wealth on to future generations or to empower charitable giving. These efforts involve relatively simple techniques such as business entity usage, establishment of trusts, and titling of assets, to more aggressive and complicated techniques such as holding properties in limited partnerships, establishment of complex corporate entity structures, and use of off-shore entities, trusts, and accounts to shield assets from creditors and taxing agencies.
Asset protection planning arises in many different contexts and, as such, has many different solutions depending on each person’s circumstances. Asset protection planning is designed to create a barrier around your family’s wealth and assets. A successful plan will involve varied techniques to insulate your assets. Dworken & Bernstein’s attorneys have experience in advising their clients on different situations in which asset protection planning can be beneficial and the solutions to the situations that the client wants to avoid. Advanced planning is critical as waiting until an issue arises will often be too late. Asset protection planning can come up in many contexts including: starting a new business, real estate ownership, prenuptial agreements, providing an inheritance for your descendants, business planning, and specific asset protection trusts. The wide variety, complexity, and cost of these various techniques require experienced advice to properly navigate how best to protect your assets. It is also important to remember that a perfect shield does not exist and that even with the best planning creditors and taxing agencies may still be able to bring claims that may affect a person’s assets. Governmental regulations, laws, and court opinions are ever changing and all can effect asset protection. Dworken & Bernstein’s attorneys stay abreast of the ever changing landscape to provide you the most up to date advice on asset protection. We also work closely with your other professionals to ensure that your asset protection plan includes various forms of liability and other insurance and includes investment and other accounts that are shielded from liabilities or protected in bankruptcy.
Related to asset protection is our wealth transfer practice which is focused on representing families and their closely held businesses who have successfully protected their assets and want to pass that wealth down to their heirs or set up charitable giving after death. This practice includes the structure of those family and business assets using asset protection techniques and managing business and personal debt. These techniques may also include sophisticated estate and philanthropic planning, providing for multigenerational business structure and transfers, and wealth-preservation planning.
Our experience with debtor and creditor issues bolsters our ability to help protect against creditors of both families and their businesses. Good wealth management and estate planning helps individuals and families with asset protection, multigenerational transfer of wealth, tax minimization strategies, protection from creditors, business continuity and succession, and wealth transfer.