Michigan Asset Protection Lawyer
People accumulate various assets throughout their lives. Assets may include cash, property, stock, commodities, furniture, automobiles, jewelry, investments, boats, and other valuable items. Additionally, a profitable business may be viewed as an asset.
Generally speaking, it takes many years of hard work to accumulate property, wealth, and goods. Also, business owners spend countless hours establishing successful companies, or professional practices. Obviously, folks never want to lose wealth, resources, or a profitable business. Sadly, this may happen in a lawsuit, bankruptcy, or poorly written estate plan. However, an experienced asset protection attorney will help you establish legal protections for your estate.
How Can I Protect My Assets From Lawsuits or Bankruptcy?
Planning is key when finding ways to protect assets. An experienced attorney offers guidance for the best options to protect your estate. Some possible strategies include:
- Purchase Liability Insurance- Your attorney will advise you on which type of insurance to purchase and how much you need.
- Create a limited liability corporation (LLC) – Business owners must do this to protect their business and to protect their personal assets. Again, an attorney will help you set up the LLC.
- Contribute to retirement accounts- These accounts are safe from lawsuits and bankruptcy.
- Create a trust- There are several types of trusts that may protect your assets. One type is an Asset Protection Trust, or “Domestic Asset Protection Trust” (DAPT). This irrevocable trust protects assets during your lifetime. Another revocable trust may be set up to protect your estate after you pass away. This part of estate planning ensures heirs receive your estate proceeds without going through probate court. An experienced attorney can explain the different types of trusts.
- Purchase Property Insurance- All property should be properly covered and exceed basic limits.
Is My Home Protected From Bankruptcy?
Michigan bankruptcy laws are complicated and require assistance. First of all, there are two types of bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 considers the equity in your home before deciding if you must sell it. In Michigan, the Homestead Exemption is $35,300. In other words, that’s how much of your home’s value is exempt, or safe, from creditors. If you decide to file for Chapter 7 and you have more than $35,300 equity in your home, you may have to sell it. On the other hand, Chapter 13 allows you to remain in your home while debts are paid off. Basically, each bankruptcy type has different rules. For this reason, contact an attorney for guidance.
How Do I Preserve Some of My Assets With Such High Nursing Home Costs?
The average cost per day in a Michigan nursing home is $249. The annual cost is almost $91,000! Needless to say, this scares many people. We want the best care for our loved ones and aim to keep them home with us. Yet, sometimes folks need long term care. Whatever the reason, we must plan for this in case it happens to someone we love.
An experienced estate planning attorney understands the complexity of long term care situations and if necessary, Medicaid rules. For example, sometimes people think they should sell their home to pay for expensive care. This is never a good idea. Also, changing the deed on your home may disqualify you for Medicaid. Your attorney understands the rules. It’s so important to meet with a knowledgeable attorney before applying for Medicaid. The lawyer will explain “spend down” rules and which items are exempt from Medicaid qualifications. So, if your loved one may need long term care make an appointment immediately with an experienced attorney.