Over the course of the last ten years, the increased use of asset protection planning is one of the biggest changes in estate planning. Leaving an inheritance to someone else in a form that is protected from their creditors or from a divorcing spouse is a relatively easy thing for you to set up for them as part of your estate plan. It is a difficult (or even impossible, in some circumstances) thing for them to set up for themselves after your death. For this reason, at least the consideration of the use of asset protection trusts for those who inherit from you is a key part of estate planning.
There are also opportunities for you to create asset protection for yourself during your life. You don’t want to lose your hard-earned wealth and be left facing financial uncertainty as you get older and you don’t want your loved ones to have to worry about their own futures if you have the money to protect and provide for them. Asset protection planning can also arise in the context of planning for qualification for government related benefits.
We help clients in all of these areas. It is up to you to protect all you have built, and Clarity Legal Group® is here to help you.
Today, more families than ever are blended families. There are many benefits to being part of a blended family, including having a wide circle of loving relatives who share their lives. But it also presents certain challenges associated with the estate planning process, as you need to make sure that children from other relationships are provided for appropriately in the event that a parent becomes sick or passes away.
Business Succession Planning
Business succession planning is of vital importance to everyone who owns an interest in a business, whether you operate a sole proprietorship, corporation, or Limited Liability Company (LLC). The process of business succession planning can ensure your company is able to survive and serve as a lasting legacy to be handed down through the generations and to continue providing important value to your community.
Considerations such as the role of children and key employees, the continuity of operations, liquidity for buy outs, fairness to children not participating in a family owned business, and of course, asset protection and facility financial stability all play into business succession planning. Often, getting started with some of the challenging conversations needed is the hardest part. We’ve helped others before and would be happy to help you. Clarity Legal Group® can provide assistance with the business succession planning process.
When your family is committed to establishing your legacy and making a difference through philanthropy, the creation of a family foundation is often one of the best ways to accomplish your goals. A family foundation can provide you with much more control over your charitable contributions than donating to other organizations, as well as providing important tax benefits. Clarity Legal Group® can provide assistance in determining if creating a family foundation is both viable and advisable and can assist with the process of creating your foundation, applying for tax exempt status, and understanding and fulfilling operating requirements.
Family Limited Partnership
A family limited partnership is a powerful way to transfer assets while reducing or avoiding gift and estate taxes. Family Limited Partnerships (or Family Limited Liability Companies) can be a beneficial way not only for business owners to transfer control of their companies to their loved ones, but also for those who have substantial wealth of any type to pass on to loved ones. Clarity Legal Group® can work with you to evaluate your family and financial situation and to understand all of the options available to you for the transfer of your wealth, including the creation of a family limited partnership.
Grantor Retained Annuity Trust
A grantor retained annuity trust, or GRAT, is an estate planning technique aimed at minimizing tax liability. A GRAT can provide yearly annuity payments and can facilitate the tax- intergenerational transfer of estate assets. Clarity Legal Group® can provide you with help in understanding how a grantor-retained annuity trust can be used to protect assets from estate taxes and can work with you to create this type of trust if it is the right option for you and your family.
Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust
An irrevocable life insurance trust makes it possible for you to leave the proceeds of a life insurance policy to someone who is underage or to someone who you are not confident is ready to manage a large sum of money. Protecting a child, young adult, or even a spendthrift heir is just one of many benefits associated with the creation of an irrevocable life insurance trust – there are many other reasons to create this trust type as well. Clarity Legal Group® can help you to understand the purpose of creating an irrevocable life insurance trust and can assist you in determining whether creating this type of trust should be a part of your estate plan.