Business owners and people with property and assets need to understand the risks that their wealth or their company creates for them. While your business and your assets are an important legacy to leave behind for the people you care about, you could also lose what you have worked for if you do not make a plan to protect it.
Sinclair Prosser Gasior is ready to help you make that plan if you live in Annapolis, Bowie, Millersville, Waldorf and surrounding areas in Maryland. Give us a call at 410-573-4818 or 301-970-8080 for personalized advice on business planning and asset protection. Our experienced legal team can also provide you with answers to questions you need to be informed about including:
- What is involved with asset protection and why does it matter?
- What are some of the unique issues faced by business owners in Maryland?
- How can an Maryland asset protection and business planning lawyer help you?
What is Involved in Asset Protection and Why Does it Matter?
Any time you own assets, there is the risk that those assets could potentially be lost or could diminish in value. Some of the circumstances most likely to result in substantial loss include divorce; bankruptcy; creditor claims; incapacity; the need for nursing home care; or death.
Your assets are at risk if you need to go into a nursing home because most private insurance won’t pay. You can get Medicaid to pay the bills for essential care, but only after spending down your assets to come within Medicaid resource limits. Your entire life savings could be gone in a matter of months because of the need for nursing care, which can cost upwards of $100,000 per year.
If you have made an asset protection plan, you can make sure your assets do not count for Medicaid qualification and will not be factored into determining eligibility- which means assets are kept safe and Medicaid pays for nursing home care without you spending down your estate.
Your assets could also be at risk because of estate taxes, irresponsible heirs, or because it is mismanaged or left unmanaged if you have not chosen someone to act for you if you become incapacitated. Asset protection involves using legal tools like trusts and like power of attorney so your money and property is never in danger of being lost since ownership is structured strategically and a trusted person is given the authority to manage assets when you can’t.
What are Some of the Unique Issues Faced by Business Owners in Maryland?
Business owners face all of the same risks as anyone with a valuable asset, as the business could be considered taxable upon your death and business assets could be considered resources that prevent Medicaid from providing coverage. Appropriately structuring ownership of your business can protect you from being forced to sell assets or losing the value of your company when there is no one to manage it due to your incapacity.
Business owners also face another unique risk: personal assets could be lost if the company is sued. This can be avoided through incorporation or through the formation of a Limited Liability Company (LLC). You want to make sure you limit the potential liability for business debts and in case of a business lawsuit so your company problems do not affect your personal wealth.
Finally, business owners need to address what will happen to the company if any of the owners have to step away from it. If you or your co-owners become disabled, if you or any of the co-owners divorce, or if any co-owners pass away, there could be problems regarding who the business transfers to and whether you are able to continue working together effectively.
With smart advanced planning for your organization, including the creation of a buy/sell agreement at the start of operations or when your company is growing, you can make certain that fighting or financial issues of any of the co-owners will not undermine operations of the entire organization.
How Can a Maryland Asset Protection & Business Planning Lawyer Help You?
Business owners and those with assets they wish to protect in Annapolis, Bowie, Millersville, Waldorf and surrounding areas in Maryland should reach out to Sinclair Prosser Gasior today for help. The sooner you take action to make plans to protect what you have built, the sooner you can be confident that your life’s work won’t be lost or diminished because of incapacity, illness, or death. Give us a call at 410-573-4818, 301-970-8080 or contact us online to learn more about the ways in which we can assist you.