11 East Main St. Ste D
Bozeman, MT 59715
(406) 586-8565
blf@bryanlawoffice.com
Estate Planning Probate Asset Protection Business Planning Tax Elder Law

Asset Protection

The Bryan Law Firm, P.C. has experience designing asset protection strategies for families and business owners.  Proper asset protection is highly individual specific, and a "one size fits all" approach does not work.  We have been providing asset protection services in Bozeman, Montana for over 30 years, and we are committed to providing highly customized and effective asset protection plans.  

Some things to think about are as follows:

A revocable trust provides no asset protection for the trust maker during his or her life. Upon the death of the trust maker, however, or upon the death of the first spouse to die if it is a joint trust, the trust becomes irrevocable as to the deceased trust maker's property and can provide asset protection for the beneficiaries, with two important caveats. First, the assets must remain in the trust to provide ongoing asset protection. In other words, once the trustee distributes the assets to a beneficiary, those assets are no longer protected and can be attached by that beneficiary's creditors. If the beneficiary is married, the distributed assets may also be subject to the spouse's creditor(s), or they may be available to the former spouse upon divorce.

Trusts for the lifetime of the beneficiaries provide prolonged asset protection for the trust assets. Lifetime trusts also permit your financial advisor to continue to invest the trust assets as you instruct, which can help ensure that trust returns are sufficient to meet your planning objectives. The second caveat follows logically from the first: the more rights the beneficiary has with respect to compelling trust distributions, the less asset protection the trust provides. Generally, a creditor 'steps into the shoes' of the debtor and can exercise any rights of the debtor. Thus, if a beneficiary has the right to compel a distribution from a trust, so too can a creditor compel a distribution from that trust.

Contact the asset protection attorneys at Bryan Law Firm, P.C. today in order to discuss asset protection options available to you and your family.