An Ounce of Prevention . . .

 An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Taking steps now to avoid problems later can provide tremendous benefits for your family in terms of problems avoided.  When it comes to estate and asset protection planning, preventing or avoiding problems is usually the main objective. 

The problems good planning can AVOID are:

(1) AVOID lack of privacy in the probate process,

(2) AVOID extra court cost in the probate process,

(3) AVOID unnecessary federal estate taxes,

(4) AVOID losing maximum deferral on income taxes in retirement plans,

(5) AVOID loss to in laws in divorce or creditors.

The four above items are the main benefits of estate planning.  To protect your assets, we can create legal structures (trusts) that will own assets so as to ensure your wishes will be carried out and that your family’s beneficial interests will be secure and exempt from the clams of most of their creditors.  The funds in trust can also prevent loss to in laws in divorce.  We can basically use trust law to ensure assets will be kept in the blood family.  

A good plan should avoid the above problems and provide for a variety of contingencies.  It should also provide a flexible provisions allowing the trustee broad discretion to carry out the purposes of the trusts.  Just as in the field of medicine,

prevention is quite valuable, so too, in the legal realm, when it comes to your family and your property, a good plan can prevent many problems and give your family peace of mind.

Contributed by:

Mark F. Winn

Attorney at Law, PLLC