Choosing Probate Lawyers in Las Vegas for Asset Protection

When searching for a lawyer, you want to choose one who specializes in a particular area of law. Just as you wouldn’t necessarily want an optometrist to perform open heart surgery, most people would hire probate lawyers in Las Vegas for estate planning rather than a criminal law practitioner.

Where asset protection is concerned, probate or estate planning lawyers in Las Vegas are most likely to know the best course of action to take.

What’s Asset Protection Law From Probate Attorneys in Las Vegas?

In legal terms, asset protection involves enacting a series of measures to shield certain assets from taxation, seizure, and other legal actions. It allows individuals and businesses to insulate wealth in a legal manner rather than attempting to hide it through title transfers and other risky maneuvers.

Common types of asset protection include:

• Creating an LLC

• Establishing a trust

• Pre/post-nuptial agreements

• Funding a retirement account

• Purchasing insurance

The Importance of Legal Asset Protection

Just as guardianship in Las Vegas helps ensure the future of minor children or incapacitated adults, an estate plan that includes asset protection will help secure the financial future for yourself, your business, and your heirs.

For example, a lawsuit could mean the loss of a home and the contents of your bank accounts. The trouble with your business could lead to forfeiture of personal assets if they aren’t protected by incorporating or forming an LLC.

Taking care of assets now by drafting a will or establishing a trust could prevent problems should the estate wind up in probate.

Pros and Cons of Asset Protection Tools

Before determining the type of asset protection, you need, it’s important to determine the type and value of the assets you own. Personal asset protection and business protection might have the same goal but require a different approaches and degree of protection.

For example, forming a corporation or an LLC might shield personal assets from claims against your company. But, what about your partners and other stakeholders who stand to lose income and other assets?

In such cases, the law attempts to determine the percentage of stake each partner has against potential losses due to legal claims against one or more partners.

Under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), retirement income is protected from legal liability. However, there could be some tax consequences or penalties regarding limits on when you can access the funds and how much you can access at a time.

Since Nevada is a community property state, and spouses cannot be disinherited, the best way to protect separate property is by drawing up a prenup or post-nuptial agreement.

In the case of bankruptcy in Nevada, the law exempts:

• Up to $605,000 in home equity

• $15,000 worth of value in your vehicle

• Up to $1 million in retirement savings

As you can see, there is a range of options for asset protection, so it’s important to work with seasoned estate planning lawyers to devise the best solution for your situation.

It’s also important to note that asset protection services should begin before you need them rather than as an attempt at mitigation once you’re already facing a problem. However, your lawyer can go over your options should you encounter legal problems down the line. They can also provide proactive legal services like drafting contracts, wills, and prenups.

What to Look for in an Asset Protection Lawyer

Keep in mind that while a lawyer can protect your rights and limit your legal exposure in many situations, they can’t perform miracles. What they can do is devise a plan to limit your liabilities within the bounds of the law.

They’re also unable to protect you from criminal charges or fraudulent activities. However, they can strongly advise you against undertaking any sort of action that could lead to legal entanglements.

So, your first line of defense is to choose a lawyer who is ethical and legally licensed to practice in the state of Nevada. Select at least three from your research into different law firms or practitioners and then arrange a separate consultation with each.

You can find lawyers to consider by asking for referrals from friends, business associates, and family members or by searching on the Internet. Come prepared for the consultation with the details of your unique circumstances and a list of questions.

One consideration is the atmosphere of the office.

• Is it well-maintained and fully staffed?

• Are you able to meet face-to-face at the time scheduled for your appointment or do you have to wait once you arrive at the office?

• Are the lawyer and their staff personable and welcoming?

Choose a lawyer who makes you feel comfortable with their demeanor and approach. They should be willing to listen to your questions and concerns and then answer in a clear, concise manner. You want someone who’s available to take a phone call or answer a text when you need guidance, too.

Pay attention to the questions they pose as well. Are they insightful and relevant? It won’t help your situation to choose a lawyer who seems distracted or dismissive of your case.

You should also gain clarity about their availability and fees. Will they handle your case personally or hand it off to an associate? Find out upfront about how much they charge and how services are billed. Is there a flat fee for some basic services and extra billing for things like phone calls? How much will be required for filing and other administrative fees?

In some cases, a retainer might be more cost-effective. For example, a complex, time-consuming estate matter might rack up a ton of billable hours in relation to ongoing service. Retainer fees reserve a predetermined set of legal services for a set period and can be flat, hourly, or some combination.

Estate planning is rarely a one-time service since life circumstances and financial situations can change over time. Retaining a lawyer for ongoing service is important if you own a business, have multiple business interests, expect your personal circumstances to change drastically, or you own a large and complex estate.

Lastly, you’ll want an expert in applicable legal areas and applications. Asset protection planning requires knowledge of several areas of estate and probate law, including:

• State and federal tax law

• State probate law

• Bankruptcy law

• Business and corporate law

In some cases, experience with divorce or family law is also helpful.

Getting Professional Help With Estate Planning

The right attorney can help plan your estate, provide personalized advice, and protect your rights in legal matters. Before hiring probate lawyers in Las Vegas, make sure to conduct due diligence regarding their experience, success rates, and fees.

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