Asset protection for Bernie (cont'd), and transfers to children and charity.

November 15, 2012, by

TE BLOG. students on campus. 11.2012.iStock_000014102676XSmall[1].jpg
Duncan's next main point is that certain lifetime transfers, to children and charities, can be asset protection. Bernie has already done some of this, for example in creating 529 education accounts for his grandchildren. This move actually has protection of two sorts, partly because it is a transfer (the current topic) and partly because the funds have gone into an asset specially treated (the subject just before this).

Bernie could also give liquid assets or real estate LLC interests to his children or grandchildren, or to trusts for them, so long as there were none of the fraudulent conveyances Duncan had described. In Bernie's case there would be estate tax savings as well as asset protection achieved, because the balance of 2012 is an unusually good time to make tax-saving gifts.

For those who are nervous about giving up assets altogether, there are several types of transfers with retained benefits. As examples, in a residence trust the gift is deferred for a period of years, with a charitable remainder trust the giver gets an income, and some people make installment sales of assets to children on favorable terms. Depending on the arrangement, the retained interest is either unavailable to the creditors of the giver, or at least much less attractive to a future creditor than the whole asset transferred.

There are only a couple more topics to cover today, but Lars asks for a rest room break. These are more frequent now that he's 55. He gets up slowly and heads off.