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Asset Protection

Why consider asset protection?

There are many reasons why family or business assets could be at risk.

If you think your personal or business assets or the assets of a relative could be taken or used in a way you or they would not choose, then asset protection is an essential consideration.

If you’re concerned a family member could be vulnerable to being exploited or they’re just not very good at managing money, you may want to look at ways of safeguarding their financial future.

When to consider asset protection

Every situation is different and problems can arise when least expected, which is why delaying getting advice can lead to further difficulties. Ask for help as early as possible, preferably before you’ve made any changes.

Clients ask for our help with asset protection planning for many reasons. Here are examples of some of their concerns:

  • Worries about care fees
  • Future financial difficulties
  • Inheritance Tax
  • Avoiding Court of Protection control
  • Preventing post-death family disputes
  • Divorce or relationship problems
  • Protecting vulnerable relatives

For more information on when to consider asset protection read our articles or look at our case studies

What does asset protection involve?

There are many different asset protection solutions.

  • Using trusts to shelter assets can be very effective and are widely-used  but there are other methods too and we always suggest that a thorough asset protection review is undertaken first to find the right combination of measures.
  • If you’re concerned about protecting assets after your death or avoiding family disputes Will trusts can be very useful.
  • If you’re worried about the impact of long-term care on your finances or want to avoid the Court of Protection being involved in controlling your assets, an asset protection trust  or disabled person’s trust should be considered.
  • Ring-fencing your share of a property can be achieved through a property trust if it is suitable for your particular circumstances.
  • Discretionary trusts are very useful if you are looking for flexibility in the arrangement and are helpful in a wide range of asset protection situations. To find out more about Discretionary trusts look at our Trusts section
  • Making some lifetime gifts can also be helpful in ensuring that assets reach the people you want to benefit before any difficulties arise, provided that the gifts are properly documented and do not create further problems with deliberate deprivation of assets rules or inheritance Tax anti-avoidance rules.

How can we help?

We can

  • help you assess the levels of risk you face
  • explain the options and their effect on your assets now and in the future
  • help you decide which solution suits your circumstances
  • advise on any disadvantages or potential drawbacks
  • prepare all the documents and deal with Land Registry and HMRC
  • offer you fixed fees

What should you do now?

Call us on 0115 77 22 129 or use our contact form to get in touch.

What are the points to remember?

There are always pros and cons to every kind of asset protection arrangement and any disadvantages must be throughly understood before a decision is made to enter into asset protection.

No arrangement can provide a cast-iron guarantee of protection (no matter what some other companies might suggest) and all arrangements must be kept under regular review especially with regard to means testing for state care funding and taxation because the rules are complex and change frequently.

If you enter into an asset protection arrangement with the deliberate intention of depriving yourself of assets so that you will be eligible for state funding for your care, you are likely to fail in your aim, unless you can show you have some other valid reason for arranging your affairs in that particular way. You risk having the arrangement challenged through the courts and/or the persons who receive the benefit of your assets could find they have to take on responsibility for the cost of your care.