Estate Planning and Asset Protection is Vital to Your Financial Fitness
Estate planning is how your protect your estate both while you are living and after your die? Your estate includes all of the property or “assets” you own. This means not only your tangible personal property such as your home and your car, but it also includes intangible property such as bank accounts, stocks and bonds. Protecting your assets and estate planning involves not only controlling your property now, but also involves how you hold property to get the best tax advantages and the most personal protection.
Don’t shy away from asset protection and estate planning thinking that it is for older people or that you are preparing for your death. A good asset protection and estate plan protects you and your family right now. It shields your assets from lawsuits and saves you tax money every year. Interested? You should be. Why would anyone pay more taxes than they need to, or leave themselves open to a lawsuit? You should do your planning today to get the maximum lifetime benefit from your plan.
To defend ourselves in today’s sophisticated society, we don’t whip out a revolver. We whip out our lawyers and sue each other. You’re going to have to learn to defend yourselves against the modern type of attack. You don’t need an old fashion suit of armor. You need a new kind of armor. Attorneys, fight their battles with paper, so you will need to learn to defend yourself with paper. You remember the old saying, “The pen is mightier than the sword”? It’s absolutely true. Using the proper estate planning and asset protection tools gives you great financial power. In fact, putting a plan in place doesn’t cost you; it saves you taxes and most importantly, gives you peace of mind.
A Proper Estate Planning Foundation Empowers You
In my book Protecting Your Financial Future I make the following analogy about estate planning. “Remember the rich kid in your high school class? Everybody had a rich kid at their school. This kid left high school and showed up three or four years later successfully operating Dad’s big business. He lives the good life with everything anyone could want. You find yourself thinking, “Man, how can he do that? I’m smarter than he is.” As a matter of fact, you probably are smarter than he is. The catch is, he’s born into a family that already has a legal asset protection structure, a legal foundation already in place. It is amazing the success this legal structure brings. Why? When this kid makes a mistake, he falls back down onto the legal structure. He is protected. His mistake doesn’t cause his fortune to domino into a total disaster where all of his assets are wiped out. Oh the mistake hurts, but it hurts only in one little corner of his empire. Each corner of his empire is legally protected from every other corner. Everything isn’t all held together like most people hold their assets. You probably “own” all of your property so that one mistake could wipe out everything. It doesn’t have to be that way.”
Estate Planning–You Can’t Afford to Wait–Start Today
If you identify with the above analogy, you really need to read Protecting Your Financial Future. I have heard many people say, I don’t have enough wealth to protect. I don’t need to do estate planning. As a practicing attorney, I can tell you that people who feel this way will never have enough wealth to worry about. Why? Because they have not taken time to build a foundation, and to build their wealth right. They are confused. They don’t have the confidence to try new things because all of their assets are at risk.
Think back to the rich kid. Building the proper foundation of asset protection and estate planning legally shields the kid’s property. That means he doesn’t have to fear failure. It gives him the confidence he needs to try and succeed at new business ventures. He can buy more real estate. It is common knowledge that most wealthy people have tried several different ventures before they actually succeed. Ask yourself, “Why do I fear failure?” You have the brains to succeed at a new business, yet you lack the confidence because you fear losing everything you own. But you can change that.
You can legally protect yourself and your assets, before you chase your dreams, before you go out and start a new job, or open a home business, buy real estate, or whatever it is you’re doing. Make sure you have done your estate planning and your assets are protected. Once everything isn’t at risk, you will have the confidence to succeed. Decide today to put a proper asset protection and estate plan in place, change the way you own assets, and what you do with them. Get Protecting Your Financial Future and read it. It will be an invaluable asset to helping you plan your estate planning and asset protection structure.
By Lee R. Phillips, JD
US Supreme Court Counselor
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