Klenk Law

Asset Protection

Everything You Need to Know to Protect Your Assets With an Estate Plan

We will provide you with a well-crafted plan that shelters and protects your assets and avoids costly litigation. We don’t do this part-time, we are your Philadelphia Metro Area Estate Planning Attorneys, it’s what we do!

I started drafting Wills during Desert Shield and Desert Storm while serving in the US Navy JAGC. I expanded on that experience by obtaining a Masters in Taxation from the NYU Law School and then opening my practice focusing only on estate matters. Asset protection is an essential component in Estate Planning. As your Estate Planning Attorney, I will make the process as easy and as pain-free as possible. But, I will also craft a plan that best fits your needs at a reasonable price.

Our Estate Planning Process: We Make it Easy for You!

My goal is to be as efficient and time conscious as possible. After being an Asset Protection Attorney for over 25 years, I have developed a process. I strive for efficiency. If you would like to assemble an asset protection plan, I would begin the process as follows:

  • Phone Call or Meeting: We set up a time to either meet or speak on the phone. I know you are busy, so I will always try to complete the task on the phone if possible.
  • Preparation: Beforehand, either you or your financial professional can send me your information, or you can complete our online questionnaire.
  • Estate Planning/Asset Protection Questionnaire: Don’t worry; most people don’t get much past filling in their names. The more you give me, the more efficient I can make our time together. We have assembled asset protection questionnaires for single persons and married couples.
  • Our Initial Meeting or Phone Conference: This questionnaire allows me to prepare for our call or meeting. We will talk about your unique situation, get an understanding of your asset protection goals and start outlining options that might fit your needs. In many cases, we arrive at a decision on specific documents. I can then send you a summary and an exact quote for drafting documents. If you agree, you instruct me to move forward, and I start writing. Easy! We then find a time to review and sign the documents. Whatever and whenever is most convenient for you.

We Will Discuss the Following Topics When Developing Your Asset Protection Plan:

You will have your own, specific concerns, but here are common goals and issues that arise when assembling an asset protection plan.

Reducing or Avoiding State Income Taxes

In general, a trusts location determines where it pays income taxes. It is possible for you to create trusts whose “situs” is a state which has low or no state income tax. While the assets grow, they pay federal income tax but avoid or pay a reduced state income tax. As experienced Asset Protection Lawyers, we look at all the tax ramifications when assembling your asset protection plan.

Locating Trusts in Other Locations That Do Not Favor Creditors

In general, a trust is subject to the laws of its situs state. It is possible for you to create trusts whose “situs” is a state which whose laws favor the trust over creditors. Asset protection plans vary from state-to-state and country-to-country. After years of experience as an Asset Protection Attorney, I can help direct you towards the jurisdiction that best meets your asset protection goals.

Sheltering Your Qualified Plans (IRAs, 401ks, etc.) From Your Son-in-Law and Daughter-in-Law

We can help craft a plan that protects your qualified plans at your death from your child’s divorce and creditors, such as an IRA Trust.

Prenuptial Agreements

How to protect your assets in a divorce? Begin with a Prenuptial Agreement. A Prenuptial Agreement is a vital part of every estate and asset protection plan. A Prenuptial Agreement does not need to be confrontational. Communication about assets forms a solid foundation for all relationships. Our Asset Protection Lawyers can help assemble an asset protection plan that is right for you.

Postnuptial Agreements or Antenuptial Agreements

Life continually brings changes, which require the updating of a Prenuptial Agreement. If you didn’t sign a Prenup, marriage has likely taught you that having a clear financial plan with your spouse is a good idea, so negotiating and signing of a Postnuptial or Antenuptial Agreement can settle concerns that could simmer into disputes.

Cohabitation Agreements Agreements

Living with someone brings up many questions and breaking up can bring conflict and litigation. A Cohabitation Agreement can spell out obligations and settle concerns that could simmer into expensive disputes.

Reducing or Avoiding Death Taxes

It takes years to master all the taxes that effect Asset Protection strategies. Good asset protection plan takes into consideration Estate Tax, Inheritance Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Income Tax, and Real Estate Tax. We have many tools available, such as Asset Protection Trusts such as an Asset Protection Dynasty Trust for your descendants as well as Asset Protection AB Trusts, Asset Protection SLAT Trusts, and more! Talk to our Asset Protection Attorneys and see what Asset Protection plan fits your needs.

Protecting Your Surviving Spouse

If your spouse inherits all of your assets, then your assets are exposed. Your surviving spouse might lose your money by remarrying or by running up bills. We have techniques that allow your spouse to enjoy the inheritance, but shelter it from attacks, such as Asset Protection Disclaimer Trusts, Asset Protection Insurance Trusts, and Asset Protection Marital Trusts. Let our Asset Protection Lawyers help put asset protection law to work for you!

Protecting Your Heirs

We have techniques, such as Asset Protection Dynasty Trusts, Asset Protection Education Trusts, IOLTA accounts, and Asset Protection UniTrusts. These Asset Protection Trusts protect assets from your descendants’ divorces and creditors. Our Asset Protection Lawyers can draft the trust to allow your descendants to enjoy their inheritance but also shelter assets from daughter-in-laws and son-in-laws, as well as your children’s creditors and legal entanglements.

Planning for Illness or Disability

Our Asset Protection plans consider your needs should you ever become incapacitated or disabled. We will discuss a variety of plans, including Powers of Attorney, Living Wills, Revocable Living Trusts, Irrevocable Trusts and more.

Preserving Your Estate

We have plans, such as Asset Protection Plans that focus on keeping your estate in the family. While you may have avoided divorces and legal actions that reduce estates, your children may not be as lucky. Our Asset Protection Lawyers can craft an Asset Protection Dynasty Trust or Asset Protection Education Trust, to address your concerns for Asset Protection Security with the need for your descendants’ needs. There are several asset protection strategies that can keep assets in the family forever, free of your descendant’s creditors, spouses, and certain taxes.

Providing for Special Needs Heirs

If you have a Special Needs Person in your life, we will review how to address providing for their needs without affecting their benefits. There are several ways you can provide your special needs person asset protection security. We will examine options such as Asset Protection Special Needs Trusts as well as Asset Protection Special Needs IRA Trusts and protective Guardianships.

Family Complications, Such as Second Families and Ex-Spouses

Blended families raise specific problems (See our article on Estate Planning for Blended Families). We will talk about techniques such as Contracts to Will, Irrevocable Trusts, and Funeral Directives with the goal of avoiding conflict and litigation while providing for your loved one’s needs.

Concierge Service: One Task or the Entire Process; It’s What We Do!

We are flexible. If you have a small change to your existing Asset Protection Plan or you want a complete Asset Protection overhaul, at our firm an Asset Protection Attorney is ready to help. We have a whole department with attorneys that only practice estate planning and asset protection. Very few practices can provide you that depth of experience. Asset Protection and Estate Planning is what we do!

Asset Protection Frequently Asked Questions:

Can a creditor use an Inheritance to pay debts?

If you leave a child money outright, with a protective trust, then it becomes immediately available to creditors. Instead, your Estate Plan should include protective trusts such as a Dynasty Trust or Education Trust.

Can my child's ex-spouse take the inheritance from my child for child support?

Any inheritance you leave outright to your child, including an IRA, is subject to creditors. Unpaid child support is a creditor claim, so yes, your child’s outright inheritance is subject to his ex-spouse’s claim. If you wish to shelter the estate from claims, there are several eligible Irrevocable Trusts. Let one of our Asset Protection Lawyers work with you to determine which trust addresses your needs. Dynasty Trusts are a common tool, but specific terms must be crafted to protect your son.

Can my child's former spouse take the inheritance from my child for alimony?

If properly sheltered in a Dynasty Trust or some other Irrevocable Trust, your child’s inheritance is safe from his ex-spouse’s alimony claims. But, there is no protection if you give your child an outright gift.

How to protect assets from divorce?

The best Asset Protection Plan for divorce begins before your marriage, with a well drafted Prenuptial Agreement. This might be an update of your Cohabitation Agreement or a new arrangement. If you didn’t negotiate a Prenuptial Agreement, or if your life and assets have changed since your wedding, it is likely time for a Postnuptial Agreement. Depending on your goals, assets, relationship with your spouse and your jurisdiction, other options are available such as using a Revocable Living Trust and Irrevocable Trusts. Read more in my article about Estate Planning and Divorce.

How to protect personal assets?

Personal property assets include valuable jewelry, art as well as less valuable family heirlooms. Depending on the item and the long-term goals regarding the item’s use, an Irrevocable Trust can be an excellent tool to protect personal assets. Our Asset Protection Lawyers can help determine which trust best addresses your concerns. See my articles about Estate Planning for Divorce, Estate Planning for Marriage, and Estate Planning for the Second Marriage.

How to protect assets from creditors?

Asset protection is best done before creditors exist. The best offense is a good defense. By using a series of Asset Protection tools that might include an Irrevocable Trust such as a Spousal Limited Asset Trust, assets can be put out of future creditor’s reach. Once you have an existing creditor, the task becomes more complicated and will depend on the creditor and your particular assets. Let our Asset Protection Lawyers review your situation and help develop a sturdy Asset Protection Plan.

What is a Trust Fund?

We have all heard about trust fund babies, but how does one become a trust fund baby? A Trust Fund is the result of a well organized Asset Protection plan where one person, usually a parent, sets up an Irrevocable Trust for a beneficiary, often a child or grandchild. These trusts shelter the assets from the beneficiary’s creditors and spouses but allow the trustee the power to provide for the beneficiary. These trust funds vary and can be crafted to address your particular goals.

What is a Self-Settled Trust?

A self-settled trust is an Irrevocable Trust where the person who created the trust is the primary beneficiary. Typically, one person creates an Irrevocable Trust, the Grantor, for the benefit of a different person. In most states, a self-settled irrevocable trust provides no creditor protection. An exception is the Self-Settled Special Needs Trust.

Reasonable Prices | Years of Experience ǀ We Make Asset Protection and Estate Planning Easier

If you have any questions about protecting your assets or any other estate planning topics, please contact us to schedule a free consultation. For more than two decades Klenk Law has focused only on Estate Law. We’ve seen it all, and this experience allows us to explain complex estate planning techniques clearly and concisely. We make it easy for you to understand estate planning so you can make the best decisions for yourself and your family.

Let us put our expertise to work for you.

Free consultation within 24 hours.