monthly cover
Senior Spectrum Newspaper
July 2018
Current Golden Pages Cover
Golden Pages
Current Generation Boomer cover
Generation Boomer

Senior Spectrum Publications

Advance Planning For Asset Protection
by Gerald M. Dorn, J.D., EPLS, AEP
top of page

Article Sub Title 

Gerald Dorn
Gerald Dorn

Basic estate planning focuses on efficiently managing your affairs during incapacity, avoiding probate, minimizing taxes and leaving an inheritance for your beneficiaries. But what if you have nothing to leave for your family because it was taken in a lawsuit? Through advanced estate planning, asset protection can help you keep your family’s inheritance intact. Let our Reno asset protection attorneys help.

What is asset protection?

One form of asset protection is the act of taking nonexempt property and making it exempt. When an asset is exempt it cannot be taken to settle a lawsuit, either for negligence or a debt. You can protect your assets now for your sake, and have that protection continue throughout the lives of your spouse, and children.

Let our Reno asset protection attorneys help you get started.

The first step of asset protection is realizing what needs to be protected. When you create an estate plan, you must calculate your net worth. This is done by assessing the value of your possessions and subtracting all debts. Once your net worth is calculated, determine what you will need to retire and what will be left over as an inheritance. This will show what needs to be protected

Next, evaluate which assets are exempt from creditor collection. Your Reno asset protection attorneys can help you determine the exemption status for each asset and advise the best form of protection. You must, by law, protect your assets before there is any possibility of a creditor’s claim or lawsuit. If you attempt to protect possessions after you are already legally entangled, a judge could reverse your protection status.

Common ways to protect assets.

There are many options for asset protection. For retirement funds, speak with your Reno asset protection attorneys about which accounts are already exempt and reposition funds to protect those that are not exempt. To safeguard inheritances, irrevocable trusts are a great form of asset protection. They offer protection from your creditors and the creditors of your beneficiaries.

Protect assets with lifetime trusts

Estate planning is something that should be taken seriously by adults of all ages, but when you start a family and your loved ones are depending on you an estate plan becomes an absolute must. This sense of responsibility is something that you feel all of your life, and it persists even after your children are grown. And when they are indeed grown and they start their own families, grandchildren will inevitably arrive and this adds another dimension to your sense of responsibility as an elder family member.

Selecting a competent trustee.

It is important to select a competent trustee who will administer the trust intelligently from a purely financial perspective while recognizing that the ultimate purpose of the trust is to provide for the beneficiary in accordance with your wishes. Since the trustee will be guided by the terms that you set forth, the vehicle must be carefully drawn up by experienced Reno asset protection attorneys who have a background successfully executing asset protection trusts on behalf of their clients.

Discuss asset protection with an expert.

People who have been able to acquire significant financial resources during their lives can enjoy their successes, and it can seem as though you have reached a long sought-after destination. However, there is a new set of circumstances to consider after you have been able to accumulate considerable wealth.

Asset protection should be part of the plan There are individuals who are in particular lines of work that are especially vulnerable to lawsuits. These would include certain types of physicians, people who invest in real estate, and many others. As a business owner, any time you open the door something could take place that leaves you potentially liable. Of course, even if you don't own your own business lawsuits are always possible. Outside of the realm of lawsuits, there is also the matter of protecting resources from former spouses.

Financial considerations.

The optimal way to proceed is going to vary depending on the unique nature of your work and your financial position, your long-term wishes, and your family dynamic. With the proper planning, you should be able to preserve your wealth regardless of what may befall you in the future. The logical first step is to sit down and discuss your situation with licensed and experienced Reno asset protection attorneys.


Gerald M. Don has been practicing estate planning law for 23 years and is the managing shareholder of the law firm. Mr. Dorn is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning Law and an Accredited Estate Planner by the National Association of Estate Planning Councils.

The law firm of Anderson, Dorn & Rader, Ltd. is devoted exclusively to estate planning and estate and trust administration. The attorneys at Anderson, Dorn & Rader, Ltd. offer guidance and advice to clients in every area of estate planning and estate and trust administration. For more information or to attend an upcoming seminar, please contact us at (775) 823-WILL (9455) or visit us online at