Asset Protection Planning Attorney Advises Clients on Safeguarding Wealth

Trustworthy counsel with offices in Sarasota and Osprey, Florida

You’ve worked hard to get where you are. You’ve managed to acquire some property and put money away for the future. But how safe are those assets? At Teresa K. Bowman, P.A., I am a Florida asset protection planning attorney and have the knowledge and experience to help clients implement proven strategies to secure their wealth for a comfortable retirement and a meaningful legacy for their children.

Avoiding risks to your assets

Whether you have amassed a modest estate or fabulous wealth, losing any of it needlessly is extremely detrimental. Some risks that exist include:

  • Liability for an accident
  • Business downturn leading to trouble with creditors
  • Severe injury or illness requiring expensive long-term care
  • Inevitable frailty due to old age

Besides your concern for your own future, you might be responsible for supporting others. If, for example, you are responsible for a family member with special needs, you will want to hold tight to your wealth for their sake. That’s where asset protection planning comes in. 

Strategies for asset protection and management

There are a wide range of proven strategies and useful tools for protecting and managing assets, such as:

  • Trusts — With a trust, you no longer technically own the asset and a successor trustee that you name can manage the assets for you if you cannot. 
  • IRAs, 401(k) accounts and retirement funds — Under Florida law, these accounts are generally protected from a liability lawsuit. 
  • Gifting — You can give away assets rather than putting them in your will, as a way of lowering your estate value or to qualify for Medicaid if you need long-term nursing care, as long as you are aware of the 5 year look back on gifting
  • Incorporating a business — If you operate a business as a sole proprietor, there is no difference between your business assets and your personal assets. Incorporating protects your personal funds from company creditors.
  • Insurance — Keeping insurance coverage at maximum levels protects you from liability for accidents. You can also purchase life insurance as a tax-free legacy for your children. 

As an elder law attorney, I emphasize the importance of planning for incapacity and care during retirement. Without proper planning, a sick spouse can deplete the estate, leaving the healthy spouse with insufficient funds to live on. Prudent planning can help avoid this problem.

Asset protection planning for Florida seniors 

Seniors have a greater need for asset protection, because retirement is on the horizon. With no time to start over, taking a financial hit could be devastating. Plus, you have to consider the following:

  • The potential need for long term care as you grow older
  • The devaluation of assets due to inflation
  • The possibility of outliving your money
  • The legacy you want to leave to loved ones

For these reasons and more, you need a comprehensive asset protection plan.

Asset protection planning for special needs

Planning for the future and protecting your assets if you have disabled family members raises special concerns. In addition to the usual considerations involved with protecting all that you’ve earned, you must also take into account the needs of your loved one, including:

  • Their potential need for long-term care
  • Their education
  • Any necessary medical treatment
  • Financial support
  • Companionship
  • Personal care and lifestyle needs

I provide pertinent legal advice on all aspects of special needs care, such as providing support while maintaining eligibility for government assistance programs.

Qualifying for Medicaid and government programs 

As a Florida trust attorney, I often help clients establish trusts to ensure Medicaid eligibility, either for themselves or for a special needs relative. Because of Medicaid’s five-year look-back provision, you must plan in advance.

Contact a knowledgeable Florida estates lawyer for thoughtful asset protection planning 

Florida estate attorney Teresa K. Bowman, P.A. advises clients in Sarasota and Osprey on effective strategies for protecting their wealth. Please call 941-735-0811 or contact my office online to schedule an appointment.