Philidelphia Area Asset Protection Plannning for Physicians and Business Owners
Serving King of Prussia, Springfield and Bala Cynwyd Areas
A revocable trust provides no asset protection for the trust maker during his or her life. Upon the death of the trust maker, however, or upon the death of the first spouse to die if it is a joint trust, the trust becomes irrevocable as to the deceased trust maker’s property and can provide asset protection for the beneficiaries, with two important caveats. First, the assets must remain in the trust to provide ongoing asset protection. In other words, once the trustee distributes the assets to a beneficiary, those assets are no longer protected and can be attached by that beneficiary’s creditors. If the beneficiary is married, the distributed assets may also be subject to the spouse’s creditor(s), or they may be available to the former spouse upon divorce.
Trusts for the lifetime of the beneficiaries provide prolonged asset protection for the trust assets. Lifetime trusts also permit your financial advisor to continue to invest the trust assets as you instruct, which can help ensure that trust returns are sufficient to meet your planning objectives. The second caveat follows logically from the first: the more rights the beneficiary has with respect to compelling trust distributions, the less asset protection the trust provides. Generally, a creditor ‘steps into the shoes’ of the debtor and can exercise any rights of the debtor. Thus, if a beneficiary has the right to compel a distribution from a trust, so too can a creditor compel a distribution from that trust.
Philadelphia area Estate Planning and Elder Law attorney Dahlia Robinson-Ocken offers creative planning in the areas of estate planning, elder law planning, wills, revocable living trusts, long-term care asset protection planning, powers of attorney, medical powers of attorney, guardianships, irrevocable trusts, living wills, estate, probate and trust administration, probate avoidance, asset protection and planning for physicians, tax planning, lawsuit protection planning (including professional malpractice lawsuit protection planning), planning for minor children, faith-based planning, Medicaid planning, Veterans benefits planning and resources, charitable planning and gifting, special needs and disability planning, estate tax planning, business law and succession planning, and Medicaid applications and long-term care crisis planning. Dahlia serves the entire southeastern Pennsylvania and southern and central New Jersey region, including Philadelphia, Montgomery County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Chester County, King of Prussia, Springfield, and Conshohocken in Pennsylvania, as well as Camden County, Gloucester County, Burlington County, and Mercer County in New Jersey.