At its simplest, protecting your personal assets begins with umbrella liability insurance, married couples’ ownership of their homes in tenancy by the entirety (as opposed to joint tenancy), and basic exemption planning by the preferential holding of assets in forms that are exempt from judgment execution.
At a greater level of complexity, this planning includes the cost-effective use of limited liability entities. At its most complex, this planning also involves the use of irrevocable offshore and domestic asset protection trusts with trust protector provisions. However, even an ordinary revocable grantor trust, if fully funded, confers a measure of asset protection after the grantor’s death.
Asset protection in the larger sense, like estate planning, extends to the judicious selection and diversification of investments in accordance with an overall financial plan. Hedtke Law Group is pleased to work closely with certified professional financial planners and other highly qualified insurance, investment and accounting professionals, when and as indicated by our clients’ interests, as part of an overall professional team working together to further our clients’ interests.
All the members of Hedtke Law Group seek to protect their clients’ assets in the most cost-effective way possible. Mr. Hedtke’s experience in bankruptcy law and creditors’ rights enables us to provide this assistance to clients at a reasonable cost.
We also assist clients in evaluating matters related to finances and health care, including living wills and durable power of attorney. Through experienced estate planning, we aim to help clients avoid probate and the burdens the probate process can create.
What Type of Estate Planning Tools Are Right for You?
A durable power of attorney is designed to make it possible for someone to manage your financial affairs. If you are uneasy about giving someone else immediate power to manage your finances, durable powers of attorney can be drafted to become effective only upon your incapacity. This way you can designate someone to buy and sell real estate, write checks on your behalf, and sign your tax returns.
These are just a few of the powers a durable power of attorney can grant. Designation of a health care surrogate would also allow you to name someone to make health care decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. When it comes to medical treatment and making decisions about life-sustaining treatment, the person you designate would be able to consent, refuse consent, or withdraw consent.
However, if you do not want to put someone in the difficult position of making the decision to withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment, a living will can take that decision out of their hands and predetermine if you do not want your life to be prolonged in specific circumstances. It is also wise to include HIPAA release language, which will allow a person of your choosing to obtain medical information about you.