As you reach the latter stages of your life the practical implications of your estate plan become all the more apparent to you. Earlier on you may have perceived of your estate plan as being a precaution to have in place to protect your family should the unthinkable take place. But as you get into your twilight years you generally come to peace with your own mortality and recognize just how important it is to transfer your assets to your loved ones in the appropriate manner so that they are provided for throughout their lives if possible.
Though you can’t be there for them forever, what you can do is arrange for assets to be transferred to your loved ones in a safe manner. Asset protection is an important thing to think about when you are planning your estate, and one way that this can be achieved is through the creation of lifetime trusts.
You can never predict how your heirs will handle their inheritances even if they have done a good job managing their own affairs throughout their lives. So it is possible that bad decisions could result in a loss of assets that leaves a loved one or loved ones in a precarious financial situation. Short of this there is the issue of creditors, claimants, or former spouses targeting the resources that you have left to your family members, and keeping them safe from these sources of erosion is also a part of what successful, prudent planning is all about.
When you decide to create a lifetime trust you must select a competent trustee who can manage the assets effectively while maintaining a good working relationship with the beneficiary. Since the terms of the trust will provide the legal foundation that is necessary to protect the assets and elucidate your wishes precisely, it is important to work with an experienced estate planning attorney from the outset. Once the asset protection strategy is in place you can go forward, secure in the knowledge that your loved ones will be provided for come what may throughout their lives.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.
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