I wrote the book on Minnesota probate.

How retiring adults can protect themselves and their heirs from debt

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2023 | Estate Planning |

Adults in Minnesota who are preparing for retirement need to consider not just what resources they currently have but also whether those assets might be vulnerable if they experience financial challenges later in life or if creditors engage in collection activity after they die.

Careful estate planning can actually provide older adults in Minnesota with protection from aggressive collection activities during their golden years while simultaneously helping to protect some of their most valuable resources for their children and other beneficiaries.

Carefully planning is key

Asset protection planning is a process that involves reviewing one’s financial liabilities and biggest assets to ensure that debts, lawsuits and other challenges in the future won’t consume someone’s most valuable property, like their primary residence. Asset protection planning helps people avoid creditor claims that could force the sale of their property or put a lien against their home.

Provided that the action occurs before a creditor attempts to take someone to court, moving an asset to a trust or otherwise changing how someone holds their most valuable property can reduce the likelihood of those resources being vulnerable during litigation or even divorce. Those same asset protection moves will continue to benefit an individual throughout their life and will protect their loved ones after their death.

Assets held in a trust or owned jointly with another person often won’t go through probate court, for example, and therefore will not be subject to creditor claims. Those worried about their stability later in life may want to consider asset protection planning so that they have less stress as they age.

Those who want to better ensure that they leave certain assets for their children or other loved ones when they die can benefit from asset protection planning. Learning more about how estate planning benefits not just the testator but the other people in their life can sometimes inspire people to create more thorough and protective estate plans. Seeking legal guidance is often a good place to start.