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.
Tom Tuohy is the founder and CEO of Comprehensive Benefits of America, LLC, and Tuohy Law Offices.
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.
Is a Gun Trust Necessary?
What is a Gun Trust?
A Gun Trust is a type of Trust similar to a Living Trust that takes ownership of your firearms and ensures an orderly and legal transfer of the guns at your death.
You can name one or multiple Trustees responsible for transferring your firearms when you die and can name Successor Trustees if a single Trustee is unavailable or not qualified to serve as Trustee. You also name the beneficiaries who will receive the firearms at your death.
The Gun Trust is revocable, meaning you can change it anytime if you wish to change the Trustee or the beneficiary.
Title I and Title II
The National Firearms Act (NFA) defines Title II firearms as:
- Machine guns (including machine pistols such as a Glock pistol with a conversions switch),
- Short-barreled shotguns ( less than 18 inches in length),
- Short-barreled rifles ( a barrel less than 16 inches),
- Destructive devices ( any explosive such as grenades and missiles),
- AOWs ( such as wallet and pen guns).
The NFA excludes antique firearms manufactured before 1898 from regulations unless ammunition becomes readily available.
Title I is the classification of all other firearms, such as ordinary rifles, pistols, revolvers & shotguns, and they are only subject to individual state licensing requirements. However, the ATF requires registration of all Title II Firearms.
Do You Need a Gun Trust?
If you own any Title II firearms, you need a Gun Trust.
Any violation of a federal firearm law, intentionally or unintentionally, can result in the loss of the firearms, fines of up to $10,000, and sentences of up to 10 years.
A Gun Trust allows for any Trustee of the Trust to possess a Title II firearm legally. While all Trustees must comply with the same background and identification checks, the Trust can avoid potentially disastrous consequences.
A felony charge is at risk if someone borrows your vehicle with a Title II firearm in it. Suppose you let a friend fire off a few rounds with your Title II firearm. Your friend is subject to the same felony charge, as only the registered Title II gun owner can use the firearm.
When a Gun Trust owns the Title II firearm, you can solve many of these issues by having multiple Trustees.
Without a Gun Trust that names qualified beneficiaries, the issue becomes compounded at your death, with your legal representative and your family members at risk of felony charges.
In addition to these serious risks, the years-long Probate process will control your firearms ownership.
How is a Gun Trust different than a Living Trust?
Your Gun Trust controls your firearms, and your Living Trust controls all your other assets. Both are private and avoid Probate. Remember, if you only have a couple of Title I firearms, your legal representatives and beneficiaries are at risk depending on your state laws.
A few Title I firearms can be transferred efficiently by your Living Trust. However, you should also consider the protections of a Gun Trust if you own multiple Title I firearms.
At the end of your life or incapacitation, they risk Probate if you have property, investments, or bank accounts in your name.
- A Will = Probate. The rule is no one can legally sign your name. Therefore, at your death or incapacity, all assets in your name are subject to the complete Probate process, which averages 18 months and is costly.
- Living Trust completely avoids Probate.
- A Living Trust estate plan includes 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.
- Your life insurance policies and deferred compensation accounts can name your Living Trust as beneficiary, subject to essential tax considerations.
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.
Tom Tuohy is the founder of Comprehensive Benefits of America and Tuohy Law Offices.
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