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Family Asset Protection Trusts

Experienced Estate Planning Attorneys Serving Nashville and Surrounding Areas

Estate planning requires individuals to identify how they want their assets distributed, determine the access that they need to those assets during their lifetimes, and then carefully consider the proper instruments to ensure that those wishes are met. Sometimes this means establishing multiple documents, such as living wills as well as different types of trusts. A family asset protection trust is one way to protect assets throughout an individual’s lifetime, while also ensuring that they pass to the desired beneficiaries upon their death. The Nashville estate planning lawyers at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC assist clients in executing plans to fit their goals and needs. Our firm provides experienced and knowledgeable legal assistance in all types of estate issues, assisting high-asset as well as lower-income individuals. We take the time to make sure that our clients know all of their options, as well as how each instrument may be beneficial to their interests. If you have questions about setting up a family asset protection trust, you should contact our office today to learn more about our services.

Family Asset Protection Trusts

The enactment of the Tennessee Investment Services Act of 2007 allowed for the establishment of family asset protection trusts in the state, also known as Tennessee Investment Services Trusts. These trusts allow for grantors to settle trusts with assets that benefit family members and are protected from creditors throughout their lifetimes and beyond. The protection given to assets contained in these types of trusts was further enhanced through amendments to the Tennessee Trust Code enacted in 2013.

Under this statute, family asset protection trust funds and property, including family homes, are protected from any creditors. However, grantors may still access the assets as well as direct where investments of the trust go. These trusts can be established for a period of up to 360 years in order to preserve family wealth for future generations.

Family asset protection trusts must meet certain criteria to be valid. The trust must reside in Tennessee, which means that the appointed trustee must also be a Tennessee resident if it is an individual, or a bank or trust company licensed to do business in the state if it is an entity acting as the trustee. At least some assets must also be within Tennessee, whether this is property located in the state or bank accounts established there. In creating the trust, a grantor must sign an affidavit that states that the trust is not being established in an effort to avoid a specific creditor or existing claim. Assets placed in a family asset protection trust are not protected until after a two-year period expires. These trusts also must be irrevocable, meaning that the grantor is not allowed to modify or dissolve the trust after it is established.

Asset protection trusts protect an individual’s assets from lawsuits and bankruptcy, as well as divorce proceedings. As a result, these types of trusts are especially useful for individuals with jobs containing high risks of liability, or for people who own small family businesses. Considering the nuances associated with executing a family asset protection trust, as well as the permanence of such an instrument, it is important to consult a knowledgeable estate planning attorney who can go over the available options for your family and you.

Contact a Diligent Nashville Attorney to Learn More About Trusts and Wills

Depending on the types of assets that you own, as well as where they are located and how much access and control you will need to them, varying methods of estate planning can be utilized. The trusts and estates lawyers at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC are dedicated to making sure that our clients’ interests are served throughout the estate planning process. Our firm represents people throughout Williamson and Davidson Counties, including in Nashville, Franklin, Sylvan Park, Hermitage, and Belle Meade. If you need legal guidance regarding an estate planning matter, contact our office today online or at 615-800-7096 to find out more about your options.