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Personal Asset Trust-any experiences?
Old 10-30-2014, 04:09 PM   #1
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Personal Asset Trust-any experiences?

Does anyone have any personal experience with a Personal Asset Trust? Their angle is that you are able to create one to put your assets into, for estate planning/lawsuit/divorce protection for yourself and/or heirs.

Has anyone experienced any of the aforementioned boogeymen while having assets in a Personal Asset Trust? If so, how did it fare? Any lessons learned?

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Old 10-31-2014, 02:41 PM   #2
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I was hoping you would get more response from this since I am also interested in any experience or even recent research on the subject.

The last time I looked into it at all, the trust had to be irrevocable and not under your actual control to effectively protect against lawsuit/divorce/etc.

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Old 10-31-2014, 03:01 PM   #3
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Well your portfolio may have lot of protected assets already IE: 401ks, IRAs, In Florida Annuities, in some state Homestead (primary house IF registered as Homestead).

It would have to be irrevocable to be fully protected. My biggest worry with that is that if such trust wraps bunch of equity ETFs and lets say distributes all dividends to you as beneficiary (I Think) it would taxed at higher rate then qualified dividends.

Big benefit is if you have more then 5.34 million because you can use trust as vehicle to pass money to your kids without estate tax.

Those are kind of the things that pop to my mind....
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Old 10-31-2014, 03:36 PM   #4
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This has been discussed here before on earlier threads. You might take a look at this guys website []. I researched Asset Protection in the past and found him to offer (no obligation) free information on asset protection. You can download a free (PDF version) book there "Asset Protection for Physicians and High Risk Business Owners". I had contacted him, but haven't used his services (just never went through with it at the time). LLCs (Family Savings LLC) offer an avenue of protection for taxable assets that is a little more flexible than trusts. You maintain control (draw income, and can pass to heirs in it w/o losing control of your funds). Last I knew it's still provides solid protection and the best control of one's assets.
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Old 10-31-2014, 06:05 PM   #5
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Yes, my understanding is a trust must be irrevocable to be protective. Otherwise a revocable trust mainly serves to avoid probate upon your death.

We use an LLC, multimember. We have been told to avoid single member LLCs as it is much easier to pierce the corporate veil. Family LLCs are just a variation of it.

As eta 2020 indicated, there are certain assets depending on state that are protected.

I would not advise anyone to DIY on this big issue. If you have significant assets, pay the money to get good guidance.
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Old 10-31-2014, 06:41 PM   #6
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No experience having one, but I sure have lots of experience with lawyers trying to sell me one, or pushing me to "upgrade" to one when I update my will. I think they are quite expensive, rather tricky to not just get set up right but get all the assets retitled correctly so they are really in the trust, expensive to maintain, and I've had trouble getting lawyers to answer clearly what the advantages and disadvantages might be. I usually get a vague response about avoiding probate expenses, but not a clear description of what probate expenses might be or if there are any other complications like what happens to the step-up basis at death since a trust doesn't die. Maybe my estate just isn't big enough or my need for "protection" isn't great enough, but they didn't seem worth the thousands of dollars of legal fees I keep getting quoted.
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Old 10-31-2014, 07:42 PM   #7
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A living trust won't save estate taxes, won't protect the assets from your creditors but will protect your family from people who will know what you had at your death. The trust will avoid probate (costs will vary from small (1%) to expensive (5%) plus court costs), and will protect your privacy. I have worked in this area for 20+ years, and the privacy is what my clients value the most. Another benefit is the successor trustee takes over when you can't or won't serve without any publicity and without any legal interference. To operate with a living trust, you sign "your name, Trustee" . That is the difference. Changing the title on your accounts is not difficult, I have gone through this with DW who is very legally challenged! The banks and brokerages are well versed in making the change and do it without much fuss.

A living trust and a will isn't much more expensive than just a will.

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