Asset Protection

Is Your Trust Safe in a Divorce? The Implications of Jones v. Jones for Estate Planning in Massachusetts

An important recent case in Massachusetts has planning implications for married couples, especially when there is inherited property. The divorce of Jones v. Jones was filed in 2019. Inherited property and gifted property was a significant issue in the divorce. The wife’s mother had set up an irrevocable trust for the benefit of her daughter and had supported the couple financially throughout the marriage. The judge in the case deemed that the trust should be treated as marital property. The wife disagreed on the grounds that the interest in the trust was too speculative to be defined as such. In September 2023, the Massachusetts Appeals Court decided that the trust could be considered marital property. The wife argued that she had not received any distributions from the trust and she would not receive the trust assets in full until her mother’s death. Yet the appeals court found that the existence

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Protect Your Clients from Lawsuits with a Domestic Asset Protection Trust

Posted by Robert L. Arone Conversations with family, friends, and colleagues can sometimes wander into the topic of lawsuits, divorces, bankruptcies, and other threats that put one’s property at risk of loss to a creditor. Such conversations often leave people shaking their heads, asking what the world is coming to, and feeling vulnerable and frustrated. However, an important tool has become increasingly available to even those of modest means to protect their property from such threats at a reasonable cost and with relatively few hoops to jump through. The Domestic Asset Protection Trust A domestic asset protection trust (DAPT) is a legal structure into which a client (as the grantor or trustmaker) can transfer accounts and property such as a home, cash, stocks or other investments. Once transferred into the DAPT, the property is legally protected from future lawsuits, divorcing spouses, bankruptcies, and similar threats. Although the client has transferred

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5 Hidden Client Risks That Demand Your Immediate Attention

How to Steer Your Clients in the Right Direction Estate planning provides your clients with a wealth of opportunities to strategically grow their net worth while also planning for their families’ future comfort and security. Opportunity brings risk, but also the potential reward of deeper, longer-lasting client relationships. Educational Topics for Your Clients That Can Help Your Business What you don’t know can end up hurting your clients, and in turn, limit your ability to secure future business opportunities and retain assets under management. That’s why it’s important to learn about and discuss the potential estate planning risks faced by your clients. When you discuss the value of estate planning and these hidden risks with your clients, you strengthen your professional relationships, build long-lasting trust, and help clients maximize their financial well-being.   Risk 1: Sub-Optimal Insurance Products Problem: Busy clients can put insurance product comparison efforts on the back burner

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How Remodeling a Client Trust Can Retain Assets Under Management while Saving Clients Money

It’s a common misconception that clients can take a set-it-and-leave-it approach to trusts.  Much as houses or office buildings, even those that were originally well-built, must be remodeled or updated from time to time, a trust-centered estate plan can often benefit from a remodel or refresh. Although the principle of trust-centered estate planning has stood the test of time, there are many reasons, such as the recent tax reform, a change in family wealth or circumstances, or just a change in estate planning goals, that may necessitate a remodel for an old trust. Clients gain peace of mind while you get an opportunity to provide value. Why updating old trusts serves both you and your clients Your clients may be missing out on lucrative new opportunities, such as income tax planning opportunities to reduce the impact of the new SALT deduction limitation, or necessary protections against overly aggressive creditors unless

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The Lifetime QTIP Trust or How to Maintain Control of Your Estate and Keep Spouse No. 2 Happy

Posted by Robert L. Arone – Estate Planning for couples in a second or later marriage can be tricky, particularly when one spouse is significantly wealthier than the other.  One solution for allowing the well-to-do spouse to maintain control of his or her assets but keep the other spouse happy is the Lifetime QTIP Trust.  In this issue, you will learn what a Lifetime QTIP is, the multiple benefits this special type of trust can provide to married clients with lopsided estates, and how you might alter a client’s investment strategy when using it. The Basics of Creating a Lifetime QTIP Trust In the estate planning world a “QTIP Trust” has nothing to do with those handy cotton swabs used for cleaning ears, applying cosmetics, or making children’s crafts.  Instead, QTIP refers to “Qualified Terminable Interest Property Trust,” which is a fancy term for a type of trust that allows

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