Planning for your own death can be challenging for people, but the reality is that it is absolutely necessary. There are a number of parties who might try to claim some of your assets after your death, and the only way to ensure your assets are distributed to your loved ones according to your wishes is to plan ahead.
If you have creditors during your lifetime, they won’t simply disappear after your death, and if you don’t plan for them with an estate planning attorney, they will doggedly pursue your assets from your loved ones.
Protect Your Assets
When you partner with an estate planning lawyer, he or she will take an inventory of your assets and determine the best ways to protect them from creditors. Depending on your circumstances and the types of assets, an estate planning lawyer can protect your assets in a number of ways. Some of these include:
- You can give assets outright during your lifetime. These outright gifts can avoid creditors and certain taxes; however, the giver does lose complete control over the asset once it is given.
- Create a Family Limited Partnership or FLP. With an FLP, each partner in a family pays their own taxes separately. This means when a partner dies, the assets are transferred to the remaining partner, but are much more difficult for creditors to get.
- Set up an Inter Vivos Qualified Terminable Interest Property or QTIP. A QTIP is a type of trust created for your spouse. Once your spouse passes away, the trust will be part of his or her estate. Many complicated tax implications come with this type of trust, so it is important to work with an experienced attorney to determine if this is the right type of trust for your assets.
- Use Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts. Insurance proceeds that are part of an irrevocable life insurance trust are not subject to federal estate taxes because they are not considered part of your estate. This can protect life insurance proceeds from creditors.
There are numerous other types of trusts, like Qualified Personal Residence Trusts, Charitable Remainder Trusts, and Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts, among others, that could be applicable based on your situation. By working with an experienced Texas estate planning attorney, you can be sure your assets remain safe from creditors.
Houston Trust Lawyers
To best protect your assets and the people you love, call the Houston estate planning lawyers at Hensley Krueger PLLC today. We can give you peace of mind, knowing your loved ones will be taken care of after you’re gone. Contact us today to schedule a visit.