Lewisville, TX Asset Protection Lawyer
Serving Throughout Dallas-Fort Worth & Across Texas
Asset protection as part of your estate plan refers to shielding assets from collection attempts by creditors or predators. Unfortunately, without asset protection measures put into place, your estate can be wiped out by such actions as lawsuits, divorce, and bankruptcy or reduced by probate fees, estate taxes, and other liabilities with little you can do to stop it. The wealth that you have worked a lifetime to build can be easily lost unless you take appropriate steps to protect it with specific estate planning strategies uniquely designed for you and your estate.
At Stokes Law Office, we focus the majority of our practice on creating tailored estate plans for Texans across the state, based on your specific needs and goals. Asset protection is one aspect of estate planning that we provide, backed up by 22 years of experience in this field of law. We know how critical it is to ensure that your assets are protected against the potential for loss, often through unpredicted circumstances and events. Our firm is dedicated to helping you avoid such harm through the use of legal measures available to you under Texas law.
How Does Asset Protection Work in Texas?
Asset protection consists of planning before any creditor action has been taken against you with appropriate legal measures. Once a creditor has taken legal action against you and your estate, you cannot then create an asset protection plan to avoid liability. Many of these include the use of trusts.
Asset protection measures can include:
- Irrevocable asset protection trusts. These trusts are separate legal entities into which you transfer title to your assets to be managed by your named trustee. Taking these assets out of your ownership legally protects them from creditors with claims against you. However, irrevocable trusts cannot be changed or terminated once finalized.
- Texas legacy trusts. These protect against future creditors and also are irrevocable. However, you as the trust maker can become a beneficiary of the trust and thus receive distributions or use certain assets during your lifetime. They usually contact spendthrift clauses that protect beneficiaries from transferring assets to themselves; they can only receive assets through distribution. These are valuable for beneficiaries with poor money management skills who may become the target of creditors.
- Foreign asset protection trusts. These generally consist of offshore trusts outside of the U.S. and are governed by the jurisdiction in which they are set up. These trusts can protect your assets from judgments imposed by U.S. courts.
- Homestead protections under Texas law. Texas protects you from the forced sale of your homestead to pay many debts, up to a certain amount. Personal property up to a certain value is also protected as are life insurance proceeds, retirement accounts, 529 college savings accounts, and annuities. However, these are not protected against mortgage default.
- Umbrella insurance policies. These policies protect you from claims and lawsuits beyond what your other liability policies may provide.
As you can see, many options are available for protecting your assets. It is best to discuss your needs with our experienced attorney for a better understanding. We can inform you about the options that will best fit your needs and establish the right type of asset protection measures on your behalf.
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