Are Your Assets Protected?
Asset protection is more important than ever before. Today, you have risks at every turn. Lawsuits, high cost of long-term care, auto and home accidents, or years of Probate. We often settle and fail to consider the importance of comprehensive protection. In other cases, we only need the best legal document to protect what we own. It is not worth rolling the dice and sacrificing your savings or your hard-earned assets. And it is next to impossible to keep up with what you need for protection. Many changes you need come without warning.
Homestead Real Estate
Suppose you are married and currently working as the police. In that case, your principal place of residence should be titled in Tenants by Entirety. This form of legal title protects your marital property from the creditors of one spouse.
With the growing availability of concealed carry laws, more citizens are choosing to carry firearms and to keep them accessible for defense in their homes.
However, even for justifiable acts of self-defense, a claim for monetary damages can be made against you by your assailant or innocent bystanders. You can also be held liable for gun-related incidents while hunting, in gun clubs, or while shooting at commercial or private ranges.
Check out the Benefits Plan website for more information.
Asset Protection with Automobile Insurance
The most common auto policy written today is the same as it was 25 years ago – $100,000/$300,000. It means you have $100,000 in individual protection for damages caused by you or a covered driver on your policy. Similarly, you have $300,000 total coverage for all injured parties.
Consequently, you are personally responsible for damages that exceed these amounts. Even a minor accident can result in hospitalization, extended medical care, or death. However, Umbrella Insurance only costs an average of $250 per year. The policy provides an additional $1 million in liability protection for each covered vehicle and your residence.
Investment Real Estate
If you own commercial property, your renters can sue you for various reasons. For example, claims were made for injuries resulting from property defects inside and outside the residence. First, be sure you have the right coverage and are not overpaying. Secondly, eliminate any personal liability concern for excess claims by holding title to any investment property in either a Corporation or an LLC. Moreover, a Series LLC allows you to separate liabilities from each property if you own more than one investment property.
Long-Term Health Care
Will you need it? Of those who live longer than age 65, 70% will need some long-term health care. To clarify, only 40% of people will require inpatient nursing care. However, all long-term health care is expensive. Fortunately, a hybrid insurance policy is offered exclusively to Benefits Plan members. This policy provides long-term care insurance; if not accessed, it can be converted to life insurance at your death.
Living Trusts and Asset Protection
At the end of your life, or if you become incapacitated, property or bank accounts in your name are at risk of Probate.
- A Will must be probated. The rule is no one can legally sign your name. Therefore, all assets in your name are subject to the complete probate process at your death or incapacity. This court process averages 18 months and is costly.
- A Living Trust completely avoids Probate.
- A Living Trust estate plan includes both Health Care and Financial Power of Attorney documents and a Last Will and Testament for guardianship of minor children and to “pour over” any assets still in your name at your death, out of Probate.
A Revocable Living Trust is a written, legal document that allows you to privately pass your assets to your family, friends, or charities after your death. Assets in a properly funded Trust are not subject to Probate. These include real estate, bank accounts, stocks, and minor beneficiary policies and accounts. Your life insurance policies and deferred compensation accounts can name your Living Trust as beneficiary, subject to essential tax considerations. However, it is often recommended that adult beneficiaries be named as beneficiaries without legal or other restrictions.
Comprehensive Benefits of America
For an expanded presentation of asset protection and financial wellness strategies and to receive regular updates on strategies to protect what you have earned, visit and register with CBAPlan at the link below. Registration is free.
Visit www.cbaplan.com or call 1-312-559-8444 for assistance with registering.
The information being provided is strictly as a courtesy. When you link to any of these websites provided herein, Comprehensive Benefits of America, LLC/does not represent the completeness or accuracy of information provided at these sites. CBA does not provide professional financial, investment, tax, or legal advice. You should seek certified financial planners, CPAs, and attorneys for advice relative to your personal needs. See complete Disclosures and the CBA Security and Privacy policies.
Your Summer Checklist
A checklist helps to ensure no gaps in your health care, financial, insurance, or estate plan documents.
Power of Attorney Checklist
- Are your agents outdated because of age, disability, or residence?
- Is a minor now old enough to be your agent?
- Update your Health Care Power of Attorney to include authority for your agent to access health care workers remotely and to visit you via Zoom or Facetime.
Whether a trip to the hospital is sudden or planned, you will need a current Health Care Power of Attorney document. You will be asked for this legal document, and if you do not have one, you must sign something you do not understand while in the hospital, under stress, and with plenty of other things on your mind.
A Health Care POA appoints a person to make all health care decisions for you if you cannot do so. This person can access your medical records to accept or withdraw treatment, admit or discharge you from the hospital, and make decisions on life support. If you have arrived at the hospital unconscious, it is chaos with your family and medical personnel. This isn’t a situation you want to be in or one you want for your family.
Take a minute to review your existing Health Care POA and ensure your agent is correct and that the document is current. If you do not have one, now is the time to get one.
The law holds that no one, not even a spouse, can legally sign your name unless you have a valid Financial Power of Attorney that designates an agent.
Your Financial POA agent has the legal authority to manage your financial affairs if you can no longer make these decisions yourself. A Financial POA is an important document to ensure that your financial matters are handled efficiently in an unfortunate occurrence.
Now is the time to review or obtain a Financial Power of Attorney document.
Beneficiary Designations Checklist
- Were any children born after you opened your insurance policies or tax-deferred accounts?
- Have any beneficiaries died?
- Has your marriage ended, or are you separated from your spouse?
- Do any beneficiaries have a legal disability? Name your Living Trust to avoid government reimbursement from your estate.
- Are any beneficiaries minors under the age of 18? Name your Living Trust to avoid Probate.
Living Trust or other Estate Plan Checklist
- What has changed in your family? Have you moved?
- If something happens to you, does your estate plan reflect your current wishes?
- Are your beneficiaries the same? Do you need to remove a beneficiary or add a new one?
- Are any changes needed on the timing of transferring your assets to your beneficiaries?
- Do your beneficiaries require asset protection because of disability, legal trouble, or a failing marriage?
- Is your Trustee or Executor still appropriate?
- Are all your assets titled in the name of your Living Trusts?
Real Estate Deeds Checklist
- Did you remember to retitle your property deed into the name of your Living Trust after the refinance closing?
- Have you moved your residence? Did you take the title of your new property in the name of your Living Trust?
- Are you still working? If so, as the active police and married, the title to the deed of your principal place of residence should be in Tenants by Entirety for maximum asset protection.
- Have you gotten married?
Living Trusts, if Not Now, When?
We all know that we need an estate plan, and we should take care of it sooner rather than later. However, almost everyone procrastinates when it comes to this essential task.
At the end of your life or incapacitation, they risk Probate if you have property, investments, or bank accounts in your name.
Advantages of a Living Trust
- A Will is Probate. The rule is no one can legally sign your name. Therefore, all assets in your name are subject to the Probate process, which averages 18 months and is costly.
- A Living Trust completely avoids Probate.
- Your financial accounts, life insurance policies, and deferred compensation accounts can name your Living Trust as the beneficiary. This is subject to essential tax considerations.
- A Living Trust estate plan includes Health Care and Financial Power of Attorney documents. It also consists of a Last Will and Testament. A Will is necessary for guardianship of minor children. It also transfers assets in your name out of Probate.
- A Living Trust contains a No Contest provision and beneficiary Asset Protection clauses.
Comprehensive Benefits of America
For an expanded presentation of asset protection and financial wellness strategies and regular updates on strategies to protect what you have earned, visit and register with CBA on the link below. Registration is free.
17W220 22nd Street
Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, 60181
The information being provided is strictly as a courtesy. When you link to any of these websites, Comprehensive Benefits of America, LLC/does not represent the completeness or accuracy of information provided at these sites. CBA does not provide professional financial, investment, tax, or legal advice. You should seek certified financial planners, CPAs, and attorneys for advice relative to your personal needs. See complete Disclosures and the CBA Security and Privacy policies.
17W220 22nd St.
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181