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Blog Posts in 2015

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How do I plan for a disaster where all of my intended beneficiaries pass away?

As unfortunate as this circumstance is, disasters (whether natural or man-made) happen daily. You should always plan for worst-case scenario, no matter how remote the possibility. In the case of this ...
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How should I proceed to better protect my IRA and Keogh plans?

To begin, add spendthrift provisions to your plan. Not every plan has this. Secondly, don’t be the plan’s sole trustee. Add another trustee. It can be your spouse. Thirdly, don’t ...
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Do people with exposed IRAs ever liquidate their exposed IRAs and invest the proceeds in fully homestead protected homes - such as in Texas and Florida?

For some people who do have sizeable claims and equally sizeable unprotected retirement accounts, an alternative may be to relocate and invest the proceeds in a homestead. When you’re at risk of ...
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When is it sensible to liquidate my IRA rather than lose it to a creditor?

If your IRA can be imminently seized and bankruptcy isn’t a good alternative, your most practical solution may be to terminate your IRA, and pay the tax and early withdrawal penalty. You can ...
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What are the downfalls to waiting until children are fully grown to execute an Estate Plan?

The clear downfall will occur if you and your spouse pass away or become incapacitated unexpectedly. If you don’t plan for the guardianship of your minor children, you essentially are allowing ...
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What property is exempt in bankruptcy?

In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the trustee liquidates the debtor’s assets for the benefit of the debtor’s creditors. However, an individual can keep certain property for the debtor to gain a ...
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If IRAs are not as fully protected in my state as annuities are, should my IRA buy an annuity?

Many states fully exempt annuities against lawsuits but don’t similarly protect IRAs. If that’s your state law, then you might consider investing your IRA in annuities. You wouldn't ...
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Would an international LLC better protect my IRA than a domestic LLC?

Yes. For stronger protection you should invest your retirement funds into an international LLC. Your IRA will be better protected than if you invest in a domestic LLC. Your retirement plan (IRA) would ...
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For added protection can I title my IRA to a limited liability company?

You can invest unprotected IRAs, SEP-IRAs or deferred compensation plan funds into a domestic single -member limited liability company (LLC). This gives your retirement funds ‘charging order ...
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How can I use life insurance with my Estate Planning?

Life insurance can be used with an estate that knows it’s going to have to pay taxes. Life insurance proceeds do not get taxed, therefore at your death – your estate may use the proceeds ...
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Are Roth IRAs as well-protected as IRAs?

SEP-IRAs and Roth IRAs don’t necessarily have the same state statutory protection as do regular IRAs. Here’s why. The newer Roth plans came about after the states enacted legislation to ...
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Isn't a pension safer in a 401K plan rather than a rollover IRA if my state only shields IRAs, say up to $50,000?

From a protection viewpoint, that’s true. But it’s not necessarily true from an investment viewpoint. If you question the safety of your IRA under your state law, then it’s safer not ...
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For lawsuit protection, can I roll back my IRA into a 401K?

It can sometimes be wise to roll back your IRA into a qualified plan. And you can do this if your IRA was originally a rollover from an ERISA-qualified plan. Or you can set up your own qualified plan. ...
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If I move to a new state, do I have to change my Estate Plan?

That question depends on the state you move from. Estate planning law originates from state law. That means each state has its own set of guidelines for how estate plans can be set-up and executed. ...
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Does bankruptcy change my retirement plan's protection?

Recent bankruptcy law changes have expanded the lawsuit protection for IRAs. The new rules protect IRA rollovers from tax-qualified plans, regardless of where the IRA owner resides. The new bankruptcy ...
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How can I protect my retirement accounts?

At one time much of America’s net worth was in retirement accounts – particularly ERISA plans. But to answer your question, we plan in context to a client’s state laws because the ...
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Are there other protective options besides the Limited Partnership, International Trust or LLC?

As with any type asset, there are multiple protective options. For instance, a few states with tenancy-by-the-entirety laws protect spousal co-owned investments from creditor claims against one ...
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What are a few good Business Succession Planning strategies?

Successful Business Succession Planning includes common strategies to ensure that successor key executives are ready and able to continue your businesses’ existence following your departure. One ...
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Are international annuities more protected?

Yes – if you buy them from insurers in the right jurisdiction. Some international annuities are self-protected. For example, you cannot lose to creditors a Swiss annuity if it has a proper one ...
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Is life insurance and/or annuities creditor protected?

Some states fully protect the cash value and death benefits from life insurance and annuities, provided you buy them before you incur the liability. A common protective strategy is to convert exposed ...
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If you title your investments to a limited partnership, can you also encumber the investments to add protection?

Yes, and in some instances you should encumber investments titled to a limited partnership or LLC. Most frequently, we equity-strip real estate and other tangibles. But oftentimes, we encumber ...
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If you're sued, can you simply hide your international cash in an international bank account?

International banking records are normally privacy protected against U.S. court orders and subpoenas, and international financial centers banks are jurisdictionally immune to service of process. ...
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How can you use Life Insurance and Annuities as Will Substitutes?

In some states, such as Florida, it is desirable to pass assets outside of the surrogate’s court. There are many tools that you can use to achieve this objective. One such tool is life insurance ...
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Are international trusts really as protective as you think they are?

The real question is – what is more protective? It’s true that your international trust won’t be effective for protection unless your trust is structured and administered properly. ...
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If I put my money internationally, do I lose access to it?

As the grantor of an International Asset Protection Trust (IAPT) you cannot revoke the trust, but if you’re not under court duress, you can access the trust funds. For example, as a trust ...
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