Everyone needs a solid financial plan, especially as they get older, but not everyone knows how to approach the legal aspects of protecting what they’ve earned. When beginning to prepare for the future, many of our clients start to wonder about the difference between asset planning and estate planning.
Understanding Asset Protection and Estate Planning Basics
In broad terms, these are the basics you need to know about these two important legal concepts:
- Asset protection usually covers your property and income while you are alive.
- Estate planning is preparing for what will happen to everything you own after you are gone or become incapable of making decisions due to illness or disability.
Estate planning involves assistance from an experienced estate planning attorney in setting up a will, creating trusts to ensure your money goes where you want it to go after you die, and choosing someone to properly oversee your estate.
There are times when the two overlap, however, as estate planning can also include strategies for protecting your assets from going to the government, former spouses, irresponsible adult children, and so on.
Do I Need an Asset or Estate Plan?
Both estate planning and asset protection are closely connected to elder law, but they aren’t just for seniors or the elderly. These are necessary legal steps for everyone to take, regardless of income or age.
In fact, asset and estate planning can be more important for those with few assets or lower incomes, especially as you plan for how to provide for your loved ones if you ever need to stay in a nursing home.
It’s crucial to set up asset protection and estate plans before they are necessary. Getting ahead of sudden life changes can help avoid serious legal and monetary hurdles like dealing with probate or scrambling to understand Medicaid’s five-year lookback period before covering the costs of a nursing home stay.
Don't Hesitate To Contact Our Experienced Wilmington Estate Planning Attorneys Today!
Don’t wait until a problem occurs to start planning! Contact a Wilmington estate planning attorney today with a wealth of knowledge and a deep level of experience in both asset protection and estate planning. Legacy Lawyers is ready to come up with the best plan that fits your situation so your family is protected and cared for when life throws you unexpected curveballs.