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Another State Sees the Value in Asset Protection Trusts

Hawaii recently embraced Asset Protection Trusts, which can help professionals in high-risk jobs protect assets from lawsuits and predatory creditors. Asset Protection Trusts can also be used to help elderly individuals qualify for Medicaid to cover the enormous costs of long-term care. Hawaiian lawmakers introduced this Trust last year. Initially, the cost of designing such a Trust discouraged many people. But after going back to the drawing board, a revised (and far less expensive) version of the Trust debuted after the legislature heard complaints by estate advisers.

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Drunk Driver Adopts Girlfriend to Shield Assets from Victim’s Family

As advisors, we are often asked to recommend a variety of asset protection strategies to insulate clients from losing wealth to predatory lawsuits. But how would you handle a wealthy business owner who, while highly intoxicated, ran a stop sign, fatally struck someone, and later legally adopted his adult girlfriend in an effort to keep the victim’s family from collecting damages? While this maneuver might challenge your personal ethics, such a strategy appears entirely legal — at least for now.

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Passing on a Family Vacation Home Requires Thoughtful Planning

Do you have family vacation homes? Perhaps you celebrate every Christmas at a mountain lodge built by Grandpa, take the kids on spring break to a beachside condo, or spend summer weekends at the old farmhouse so the little ones can catch fireflies. How do you pass on a family vacation home to the next generation so that everybody still enjoys spending time together there?

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Court-Appointed Guardianship

It happens in even the most privileged of families. An aging parent is suffering from failing health. Unfortunately, no planning for incapacitation was ever put in place by the parent to name someone to look after his or her best interests. A French judge recently ruled that L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, 88, be placed under the guardianship of her daughter and two grandsons (tinyurl.com/6cr3f3d). A medical report declared that Bettencourt suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.

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