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Theus Law Offices is rated 5 out of 5.0 stars based on 5 review(s).

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Most people have many questions about estate planning but never make a move to go see an attorney. Before Theus' free seminar I did not even know their were attorneys that specialized in only estate planning. Thank goodness I attended...as I did not even know what asset protection was, even though I had assets. Most people think a written will is fine and pass away thinking that things will be as they wished/stated. Most times that is not the case. I urge you to go Theus Law Offices for consultation. They are friendly and down to earth with your wishes being #1. I cannot say enough good things about them. Now that I have gone to Theus I rest so much easier knowing that my wishes...are going to be held up...just as I wanted...no doubt about it....Thanks to the Theus family !

- Peyton Guillory

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The Theus Law Offices’ Family Estate Planning is a must from my perspective. I had recently lost my dad when I decide to attend the in-person Workshop at the time. My dad and I had attended a similar workshop some four (4) years prior but my dad didn’t elect at the time to move forward. I so wished that he (my dad) had done so because now I am helping my mom go through the Succession/Probate steps with a lawyer currently. If you or your loved ones haven’t made this decision with Estate Planning, I would strongly encourage you to attend this web-based workshop/webinar. Graves Theus is a great attorney to go with for this important step in you and your family’s planning for the future in many, many ways!!!

- Mark Johnson

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The Theus Law Offices’ Family Estate Planning is a must from my perspective. I had recently lost my dad when I decide to attend the in-person Workshop at the time. My dad and I had attended a similar workshop some four (4) years prior but my dad didn’t elect at the time to move forward. I so wished that he (my dad) had done so because now I am helping my mom go through the Succession/Probate steps with a lawyer currently. If you or your loved ones haven’t made this decision with Estate Planning, I would strongly encourage you to attend this web-based workshop/webinar. Graves Theus is a great attorney to go with for this important step in you and your family’s planning for the future in many, many ways!!!

- Mark Johnson

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They are a wonderful Team!

- Jessica Cole

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Estate planning is a complicated process, but my wife and I feel it is valuable and necessary. We started by attending an Estate Planning workshop offered by the Theus Law Offices and led by Jim Theus. That was about the wisest decision we have made in some time. We engaged the services of Theus Law Offices and have benefitted enormously from the direct working relationship with Jim Theus. They did not sign us up and then pass us off to a staff member. We worked with Jim Theus personally. When it was time to work with others of the staff, we found them friendly, knowledgeable, and professional. Jim Theus is exceptionally competent and patiently answers questions. His due diligence is admirable. We found their fees for estate planning reasonable and fair. You would be wise to consider using the services of Theus Law Offices if you are interested in estate planning. We are grateful for their help and recommend them to you without reservations. Our loved ones will also be the beneficiaries of a comprehensive plan, as are we. Doyle L Bailey

- Doyle Bailey

Blog

Preserve Wealth for Yourself and Your Heirs Using Asset Protection Strategies


04 January, 2018

Preserve Wealth for Yourself and Your Heirs Using Asset Protection Strategies
There are many techniques you can use to protect your assets, from giving them to loved ones to placing them in offshore trusts. It’s important to understand that asset protection isn’t about evading legitimate debts, hiding assets or defrauding creditors. Rather, it’s about preserving your hard-earned wealth in the face of unreasonable creditors’ claims, frivolous lawsuits or financial predators.
Assess Your Risk
The first step is to assess the risk that creditors, former spouses or opportunists will go after your assets or those of your beneficiaries. If your risk is relatively low, but you seek added peace of mind, you might consider simpler techniques, such as changing the way assets are titled or gifting them to your loved ones. However, if your risk is higher — for example, if you own a business, are in a profession with a high degree of malpractice risk or are involved in other activities that expose you to potential financial liability — you might consider more sophisticated approaches.

If you wish to protect assets while retaining some control over them and also shielding them from your loved ones’ creditors, consider utilizing an irrevocable trust (as revocable trusts provide zero asset protection). Not all trusts are created equal, but transferring assets to a properly designed trust places them beyond your creditors’ reach (provided it’s not a fraudulent transfer and you’re not a trust beneficiary as self-settled trusts are not protected in Louisiana). 

By including a “spendthrift” provision, you can protect the assets against claims by your beneficiaries’ creditors. A spendthrift provision prohibits your beneficiaries from selling or assigning their interests in the trust, either voluntarily or involuntarily. However, a spendthrift trust will not necessarily prevent a creditor from compelling a distribution to satisfy a claim, unless the trust is properly designed.  

To provide even greater protection for your beneficiaries, consider using an independent trustee and giving him or her full discretion over distributions from the trust. Suppose, for example, that you establish a trust for the benefit of your child and authorize (or require) the trustee to make scheduled distributions or to distribute funds for your child’s “health, education, maintenance and support.” Typically, a fully discretionary trust containing separate property of a child / beneficiary avoids inclusion in the marital estate in Louisiana, although in some states this trust type may be treated as part of the marital estate to be divided in divorce. Note that if the trustee can be compelled by a beneficiary to make distributions from a trust for "health, education, maintenance and support," then so can a creditor, so proper drafting is paramount if asset protection is a goal.
Start Planning Now
Asset protection is like a vaccine. It works best when administered in advance.  While there is no cookie-cutter approach and a proper plan must be tailored to your particular circumstances, whichever strategy you choose to implement, it’s critical to start planning now. The earlier you implement asset protection, the more effective it will be.   

Theus Law Offices specializes in a complete range of estate planning and elder law services, including wills, trusts, probate, successions, estate administration and probate litigation. If you need a Louisiana wills and trusts lawyer or succession attorney in Alexandria, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Shreveport, Monroe,  or elsewhere in Central Louisiana, let our certified estate planning specialist and probate lawyers help you.

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