As you look around and consider various estate planning options, you soon realize that there are indeed many, many different trusts and other estate planning tools available. One particular product that often gets overlooked or lumped in with other similar options is an asset protection trust. In most cases, choosing a wise estate planning strategy is most effective with the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney, but it is always wise to do your own homework before meeting with a legal professional.
Asset protection trusts offer some specifically tailored protections to individuals with property they hope to shelter from creditors. While many types of trusts are a version of this protection, different trusts' strength of protection may vary greatly depending on the trusts other features. In general, trusts that allow an estate owner to maintain a greater degree of control over the underlying assets have fewer protections.
While asset protection trusts work specifically to protect a person's assets from creditors, they offer fewer protections from other threats, such as taxation. Similarly, they may offer the estate owner less access to his or her assets after placing them inside the trust.
Before you go through the often lengthy process of creating and funding a trust, be sure that you consider all the options you have at your disposal. Don't hesitate to reach out to an experienced attorney who can guide you through the options and determine which strategies and tools best meet your needs. With individualized guidance, you can confidently plan for the future while protecting your own priorities and rights.
Source: Findlaw, "Types of Trusts," accessed Nov. 03, 2017