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Debtor/Creditor law provides that whatever you can get, your creditors and predators can get. Many people wish to protect their personal, business and/or professional assets from unknown potential creditors, unforeseen lawsuits and nursing home costs. Asset protection techniques, such as irrevocable trusts, are designed to safeguard your assets from such potential creditors. While a Revocable Living Trust permits you to maintain full control and access, an irrevocable trust may prohibit your right to control the trust or have access to your assets, but you decide to what extent. It is a common misconception that irrevocable trusts cannot be changed. While that is true of many irrevocable trusts created to avoid or reduce estate taxes, it is not true of all irrevocable trusts. A typical "income only" irrevocable trust permits you to receive income from your assets, but you must give up your right to principal. In some irrevocable trusts, which we call asset protection trusts, you can retain the right to change your beneficiaries and maintain total control of your assets until your mental incapacity or death. These are the trusts we use for Medicaid or long-term care planning.

Although most people should try to protect their assets, some people are at higher risk of lawsuits and judgments. These people include professionals (doctors, lawyers, accountants), business and property owners, the very wealthy, people facing imminent legal, financial or medical problems and people with high risk jobs. Although insurance may cover some losses, proper asset protection planning can ensure that all of your personal and business assets are protected in the event of a large unforeseen lawsuit and judgment.

We can assist you with the formation and structure of an asset protection plan that will be both affordable and effective. Setting up an asset protection plan is a complex and challenging task in today’s environment. The plan not only needs to be properly designed, but it needs to be properly implemented. Our asset protection attorneys can assist you in structuring your plan for maximum benefit.

Why everyone needs estate planning.

The attorneys of McClelland, Jones, Lyons, Lacey & Williams, LLC's Estate Planning practice help clients recognize their objectives in light of individual circumstances and values. The objectives can be boiled down to our definition of estate planning, which is:

  • I want to control my property while I'm alive and well.
  • I want to plan for my loved ones and myself if I become disabled.
  • When I die, I want to give what I have to whom I want, when I want, the way that I want.
  • And I'd like to do all of that knowing what it's going to cost me now and later.

Estate planning is not just about what happens to your assets after you pass away. Effective estate planning looks at all of the issues, from death and disability to Medicaid and nursing home care. McClelland, Jones, Lyons, Lacey & Williams, LLC provides comprehensive options for ensuring the financial security of your loved ones through:

  • Proper asset ownership – protecting your assets through the use of trusts and other legal instruments.
  • Control of process – creating a legal "rule book" that permits your family to carry out your wishes and promote your values when you are no longer able to, without unnecessary legal process or courts.

We work with families to chart a financial and legal course so they can effectively direct and secure the future for themselves, their families and beneficiaries. We counsel individuals and families of all levels of wealth and at nearly every stage of life. Our clients include entrepreneurs, executives, owners of established, multinational businesses, retirees, and their family members.

We understand that clients' lives are constantly evolving. Circumstances change simply due to the passage of time — the maturation of a child, a retirement, or the death of a spouse. Other events, such as marriage, the birth of a child or grandchild, the sale of a business or the receipt of an inheritance may also occur. These circumstances and life events influence how a client's estate should be distributed and present opportunities to maximize the transfer of wealth and reassess objectives.

Want to know more about McClelland, Jones, Lyons, Lacey & Williams, LLC estate planning options? Contact us today at 321.984.2700. You can also sign up for one of our FREE Estate Planning Essentials Workshops – ask us how!

McClelland, Jones, Lyons, Lacey & Williams | One Harbor Place, 1901 South Harbor City Blvd., Suite 500, Melbourne, FL 32901-4770 | 321.984.2700