Asset protection is a large portion of estate planning. Most of us have worked long and hard to acquire our assets and we want the peace of mind that results from knowing they will be distributed according to our instructions after death. J.S. Burton is experience and skilled in all forms of asset protection and can assist in sheltering assets regardless of their character.
A number of things that can threaten estate assets, before and after the testator (person whom the estate belongs) dies. One major threat to assets is the possibility long-term medical and nursing home care will be needed in the future. Long-term care is exceptionally expensive and, with the elderly population growing as people live longer, it becomes more and more likely that a person will need this type of care at some point in his or her life. The costs of care can easily diminish a nest egg in a matter of months or years, making it impossible for a person to leave these assets to loved ones.
There are, however, ways to plan for long-term care that will enable a person to preserve assets for the beneficiaries of his or her estate. Medicaid is means-tested government provided health coverage and will cover long-term care costs for those who qualify. J.S. Burton will work with a client's current assets and income in order to make him or her eligible for this program. We regularly assist clients in preserving their assets from long-term care costs either if the need for long-term care is anticipated beforehand or is needed immediately. The best part is that the client is usually able to maintain control over his or her assets until he or she becomes incapacitated or dies.
When developing a comprehensive estate plan, we usually include a durable power of attorney and advanced medical directive. By appointing an agent up front to make a person’s decisions once they are unable to do so preserves the testator’s assets by freeing them from a guardianship or conservatorship hearings and the resulting costs.
We regularly represent lawyers, doctors and other professionals and business owners who have increased liability as a result of their occupation. Liability can result from malpractice, the breach of fiduciary duties and negligence claims of all kinds. While a lawsuit can have devastating financial effects on anyone, being found liable can have a catastrophic effect on a professional or business owner. Therefore, we work with clients to separate personal and business assets so that personal assets are untouchable by creditors. We also incorporate the necessary items into the estate plan to limit a person’s liability before and after death. Whether your assets or business interests or entity is domestic or offshore, J.S. Burton can help.
If you are a professional or business owner in or around Williamsburg or Virginia Beach, and are concerned about asset protection, you should contact estate planning attorney John Burton at (757) 301-9500 for a consultation today.