An Experienced Michigan Asset Protection Attorney Answers the Most Frequently Asked Questions

Do you lose sleep at night worrying about your and your loved ones’ future security? Do you worry about your ability to pass on your legacy? Does the thought of the Michigan Department of Treasury or the IRS stealing everything you’ve worked for send a chill up and down your spine?

At Rutkowski Law Firm: Asset Protection & Estate Planning, we understand. For over 10 years, we have been helping clients protect everyone they love and everything they own through thoughtful planning.

What is asset protection, and how might it benefit your financial situation now and in the future? Read on as we share the answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive. Then call us at (248) 792-9193 to schedule a virtual consultation.

What is Asset Protection?

Asset protection is a legal method designed to shield your property and accounts from future creditors. Typically used by business owners and service providers such as physicians and contractors, individuals can also employ asset protection to protect their estate from liability.

Are Asset Protection and Estate Planning the Same Thing?

No. Asset protection involves guarding your property and accounts against creditors, especially if you have a business. It also can protect your assets from divorce, malpractice judgments, lawsuits, and expensive long-term care costs. A knowledgeable asset protection attorney can evaluate your situation and determine if asset protection is right for you.

Estate planning outlines your medical preferences should you become incapacitated; sets up guardianship for minor children and adults with special needs; directs how your property and accounts will be managed if you become incapacitated; and lists who will inherit your property after your death. An estate planning attorney can help you draft legal documents that will stand up in court and avoid probate.

What if I Sign Over My Assets to My Spouse or Children?

We don’t recommend this strategy for two main reasons. First, if you sign over your assets, you lose control. For example, if you and your spouse divorce in the future, the assets will belong to your spouse, who will be under no obligation to share them with you. Or, if your children decide to sell or spend the assets contrary to your wishes, you will have no legal basis to challenge their decision.

Second, if you sign over your assets to avoid creditors, the creditors can claim the transfer was fraudulent—and a judge may very well agree with them. Every state, including Michigan, has a Fraudulent Transfer Act, a law that doesn’t look kindly on people who try to avoid debt in this manner. You might be deemed to be defrauding creditors, which has serious legal and financial repercussions.

Won’t Insurance Protect My Assets?

Insurance is an important tool, and we recommend you purchase the best policies for your health, business, home and vehicles, and other properties. However, insurance policies are limited in what they will cover. The policies are also restricted on what they will pay out on claims.

An asset protection plan goes beyond insurance to legally protect you and your property from current and future creditors. It is vital to find an asset protection lawyer who is experienced in this field and knows Michigan’s laws intimately so that you will receive a plan designed specifically for your situation.

Is Asset Protection Only for Business Owners?

Asset protection strategies are not limited to business owners or those in high-risk occupations. High net-worth individuals like celebrities and professional athletes have asset protection plans.

“Regular” people use asset protection tactics, too. Perhaps the most common form is retirement accounts, such as IRAs and 401(k) plans. These plans are generally exempt during bankruptcy. Be sure to verify your account details for specifics on the dollar limit and type of protection the account affords.

Asset protection plans are essential to landlords, whether they own many properties or just one. For example, if you have a vacation home that you rent out or own a winter home in another state, you should consider setting up an asset protection plan.

Many of our clients have revocable trusts. You may have one, too. Did you know that creditors can access revocable trusts? However, if trusts are established as irrevocable trusts in an asset protection plan, you can still manage them, yet they are off-limits to creditors.

Essentially, anyone who owns property and investments should explore with an asset protection attorney whether an asset protection solution is right for them. Whenever possible, it is always better to plan for the unexpected.

How Do I Find an Asset Protection Lawyer Near Me?

Rutkowski Law Firm: Asset Protection & Estate Planning has an excellent record of crafting asset protection plans for people throughout Michigan. We invite you to read some of the testimonials from clients we have helped. We promise our clients a custom, comprehensive asset protection plan backed by a lifetime of education and support.

Because we conduct all of our meetings online, we can assist clients who live anywhere in the Wolverine State. Take the next step to protecting everyone you love and everything you own through thoughtful planning. Call us today at (248) 792-9193, or fill out our online form to schedule a virtual consultation.

Copyright © 2022. Rutkowski Law Firm: Asset Protection & Estate Planning. All rights reserved.

The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

Rutkowski Law Firm: Asset Protection & Estate Planning
40950 Woodward Ave #130
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
(248) 792-9193

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