Asset Protection

Asset Protection in Missouri & Illinois

Asset protection involves structuring asset ownership in a manner that makes it difficult or impossible for creditors to seize. Missouri and Illinois state law, as well as the US Bankruptcy Code, allow individuals to exempt a very limited group of assets from seizure by creditors. For example, in both Missouri and Illinois, your home is exempt to a maximum of $15,000. Other limited exemptions are available by law. However, many people wish to extend protection to their assets beyond the very basic protections which are automatically afforded to every person by law. This is particularly advantageous for professionals, business owners and others who have worked and saved for decades in order to provide for themselves and for their families after they are no longer able to provide for them. Given the great increase in the number of divorces, bankruptcies and other lawsuits (94% of the world’s lawsuits are filed in the United States!) it may be prudent to consider lawful and convenient methods of removing assets from the reach of creditors and predators. Once the event has occurred giving rise to liability, it is generally too late to take action to protect assets. Prudent planning involves protecting the assets before lightning strikes.

Every plan which we design at the Hawk Estate Planning Center considers and implements asset protection techniques.

For additional information see the attached articles.

Exempting Assets in Missouri & Illinois

State and federal laws exempt some of your assets from the claims of creditors. Click to download a listing of the exempt assets in Missouri and Illinois; note that while some states allow you to choose either the state or federal exemptions, in Missouri & Illinois you must use the state exemptions and federal bankruptcy exemptions are not available.

Once you have identified the protected asset classes available to you under applicable law, it may be prudent to maximize your protection by converting non-exempt assets into exempt assets.



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