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Trust Planning & Asset Protection

North and South Carolina Estate Planning Attorneys Craft Trusts to Protect Your Assets

Securing your wealth from liability losses and taxation

Prudent estate planning includes numerous strategies to protect the wealth you’ve acquired from losses due to liability and excessive taxation. Successful individuals are frequently the target of specious lawsuits from plaintiffs looking for deep pockets. They are also subject to high levels of taxation at the state, federal and local level. Watts Law Group believes in your right to retain and pass on the property you’ve acquired through your hard work. We help our clients take advantage of legal strategies that protect wealth from unnecessary loss. Many of those strategies involve the creation of trusts to hold assets and pass them on to heirs. Trusts are very flexible instruments; we can tailor your trusts to meet your goals for asset protection and succession.

The benefits of trusts for asset protection and succession

Trusts are legal entities you create to hold your assets during your lifetime. After your passing, the trust can continue to hold the assets, or disburse them to your beneficiaries. A trust offers protection from lawsuits, creditors and taxes. As of 2017, neither North Carolina nor South Carolina has an estate tax, but estates valued at greater than $5.49 million per individual are subject to federal estate tax and gift tax.  Effective trusts instruments include:

  • Asset Protection Trust — Irrevocable trusts specifically designed to shelter real estate or savings from creditors. These entities make it difficult, if not impossible for creditors to seize assets, compelling a creditor to settle on favorable terms rather than resorting to expensive litigation.
  • Medicaid Eligibility Trust — Irrevocable trusts, such as income-only trusts, testamentary trusts, and supplemental needs trusts, shelter your home and other assets and provide funds for disabled persons who can then qualify for Medicaid, Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits.
  • Qualified Terminal Interest Property (QTIP) trust — A very useful trust for people of means in a second marriage, the QTIP protects the inheritance of the grantor’s children from a first marriage, who might be shut out if assets, such as a home, were passed with no strings attached to a second spouse. A grantor can also use a QTIP to maximize estate tax savings. If you have a spouse who may need long-term care, you can also use a QTIP trust to provide an income stream while qualifying the spouse for Medicaid assistance.
  • Life Insurance Trust — A will is rarely the best way to pass monetary assets to an heir. This irrevocable trust is another way to reduce or eliminate estate taxes.

We also help our clients augment their asset protection by reviewing existing insurance policies and recommending ways to reduce exposure to liability. For self-employed individuals or small business owners, we provide pertinent advice on the advantages of incorporation or organization for securing your assets from claimants and creditors.

Contact our North and South Carolina estate planning law firm to protect your hard-earned wealth

You’ve worked too hard for your property to suffer avoidable losses due to inadequate planning. Let Watts Law Group show you how to keep and pass on more of your wealth. To schedule a consultation, call 910-579-6508 or contact us online.

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  • Shallotte Office
    4617 Main Street
    Shallotte, North Carolina 28470
    Phone: 910-579-6508
    Fax: 910-579-6510
  • Myrtle Beach Office
    4226 Mayfair Street
    Suite 204
    Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 29577
    Phone: 800-639-7671
    Fax: 910-579-6510
  • Leland Office
    2002 South Baxter Drive
    Leland, North Carolina 28451
    Phone: 800-639-7671
    Fax: 910-579-6510