You’ve worked hard to accumulate your wealth and assets, so it’s natural to want to keep as much of what you’ve earned as possible. If you’re faced with a sudden change in your financial situation, like trouble with your creditors or divorce, you need to know what you can do to protect those assets. If you’re estate planning, you’ll want to pass down as much of what you have to your heirs as possible.
Which assets can you protect in Texas, and how? If you’re asking this question, you need help from a Texas asset protection lawyer. For more than two decades, the attorneys at Hargrave Law have been helping Texans in Bedford, Grapevine, and the Dallas-Fort Worth region understand how best to protect their assets. Get a confidential consultation with one of our lawyers by calling us, talking to one of our online chat agents, or visiting our contact page.
Assets That Are Protected from Creditors
Texas law protects certain assets from seizure by creditors in most cases. Some of these protected assets include:
- Your home
- Up to ten acres of an urban family home (and improvements) and up to 200 acres in rural areas (100 acres for single individuals) are protected from your creditors. However, your home can be seized if you owe money to a mortgage lender and some homeowners associations or taxes to the IRS, the state, or local government.
- Up to $60,000 in household items for a family, or $30,000 for individuals
- You can use this exemption to save things like home furnishings, clothes, family heirlooms, jewelry up to 25 percent of the value of the exemption, and other miscellaneous items from seizure.
- One vehicle for each licensed driver in a household
- Up to two firearms
- Certain livestock
- Retirement accounts
- Proceeds from life insurance
- Certain college savings accounts
Asset Protection through Estate Planning
One key tactic of asset protection is proper estate planning. This can allow you to pass on as much of your estate as possible to your heirs. One strategy is to create a trust into which your assets can be placed upon your death. By transferring your assets into a trust, your beneficiaries can potentially avoid the probate process as well as taxes on the value of your estate, which lets your heirs get your assets quickly and keep more of them.
But you don’t have to wait to set up a trust to protect your assets. With proper planning, you can protect your assets in a trust while you’re still alive and shield them from creditors or other parties. These asset protection trusts must be designed carefully to avoid violating the Texas Fraudulent Transfer Act. Luckily, our experienced asset protection attorneys can help with that.
Asset Protection in Divorce
There are two key ways to protect your assets in the event of a divorce: a prenuptial agreement signed before your wedding or a postnuptial agreement signed after your marriage. Postnuptial agreements should be signed well before even the remote possibility of divorce. Otherwise, the agreement might be considered invalid. The other requirements for a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement are:
- It must be in writing.
- It must be signed by both parties voluntarily after full disclosure of all assets and debts.
- It must not be extremely unfair to one spouse.
- It must comply with all other relevant laws and requirements.
Contact a Bedford Asset Protection Lawyer
If you’re looking to protect your assets, the Bedford asset protection attorneys at Hargrave Law can help you find the best solution for your needs. Get a consultation with one of our DFW trust lawyers by calling us, speaking with our online chat agents, or filling out our contact form.