Most people don’t think about asset protection on a regular basis. While most everybody is busy trying to accumulate assets, they don’t often give considered thought to the importance of protecting what they have. A recent article on The Motley Fool investment website points out that there are a handful of things that can harm an investor more than a great return on an investment can help, and recommends that everyone take these four asset protection steps:
Get the right insurance coverage. One of the best ways to keep your money is to shift most of the risk of an accident or unplanned event to someone else – your insurance company. Life insurance, disability insurance, auto insurance, homeowners insurance, health insurance and long-term care insurance are all ways you can protect your financial security.
Delay Social Security benefits. One of the major benefits of Social Security is that it is one of the few revenue sources that can withstand inflation and stock market downturns. Delaying benefits until you are at full retirement age — and up to age 70 if you can manage it – will maximize your payout and that of a surviving spouse.
Have an estate plan. If you do it right, creating an estate plan can help you provide for your family in the most tax-advantaged way. Using tools like trusts can minimize taxes and avoid probate so your assets will pass automatically to your heirs without getting tied up in court. Trusts can also be structured to protect the assets you leave your family from creditors and ex-spouses. Another important aspect of estate planning is incapacity planning with powers of attorney and healthcare directives so your wishes are respected if you lose your decision making ability.
If you are a business owner, choose the right structure. If you own a business, choosing the right business structure for personal liability protection and taxation can dramatically affect your family’s financial circumstances.
If you would like some guidance on protecting your wealth, call our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk. We normally charge $750 for a Family Wealth Planning Session, but because this planning is so important, I’ve made space for the next two people who mention this article to have a complete planning session at no charge. Call today and mention this article.
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