Asset Protection Lawyers

You will not be able to take your possessions with you when you pass. Without a well-developed asset protection plan, you may not be able to give these valuable assets to your loved ones, either. Our Shelbyville estate planning attorneys with Berkley Oliver are equipped to help you protect and pass on what you have spent your lifetime building. 

Whether you are a high earner with diverse investment accounts or own multiple businesses and properties, the team at Berkley Oliver can create and effectuate ways to preserve the value of these assets and ensure they are used to benefit you and the people you love. Contact us and schedule a consultation to get started.

Dangers That Threaten Your Assets

The world is an uncertain place, and there is no shortage of circumstances that threaten to undo all the hard work you put into accumulating your wealth. A lifetime of effort can be undone in a surprisingly brief time. Some of the ways this might happen include the following:

Misappropriation and Mismanagement

If someone were to gain physical or legal control of your property, they might easily steal the property and convert it for their own purposes. 

An unqualified individual who has the authority to use, invest, or transfer your assets may wreak similar havoc. This person might transfer your property or take other actions that cause your assets to lose value.

You might also lose control over your property in whole or in part. If this were to occur, you might not be able to transfer the asset as you would like or take steps to protect it once you no longer have control over it.

Taxes and the Legal System

Assets like income, dividends, and profits from sales can all be affected by federal and state taxes. Failure to pay these taxes when they are due can lead to a host of additional complications, such as late fees, interest, and penalties, that only increase the amount you owe. 

Failure to pay these taxes and fees when due can lead to criminal charges and other penalties.

Creditors, too, may try to use the legal system to obtain your high-value assets to satisfy any debts and obligations you owe. If your assets are not properly protected, these efforts may be successful. Your property and other high-value assets could be taken from you and used to satisfy debts for which you are partially or wholly responsible.


If you have no will or other estate plan, your estate’s property will pass through the probate system after your passing. Not only is this process lengthy and cumbersome, but it can also be costly. Without proper estate planning, your assets could end up being divided and passed on against your wishes.

Tools in the Asset Protection Toolbox

Asset protection is vital, and there are many methods of shielding various types of assets against threats to their value and control. A knowledgeable and resourceful Kentucky asset protection lawyer will listen to your goals and concerns. Then, they will recommend strategies to achieve your desired outcomes.

Business Formation

In some cases, forming a limited liability company or other business entity may be an advantageous solution to reduce your tax burden. It may also help you protect certain business-related assets from personal creditors or keep creditors who are seeking to collect business debts away from your personal property.

Powers of Attorney

If you have not designated a power of attorney to handle your financial and other affairs in the event that you become incapacitated and unable to do so yourself, your attorney may help you create one. 

Designating a power of attorney ensures that the person you choose will handle your affairs when you are unable to. You can also specify what powers this person does and does not have.


A trust can hold assets in its own name and can accomplish several purposes. The trust will be managed by one or more individuals designated by you. These trustees have a fiduciary duty to manage the trust’s assets responsibly and for the purposes you direct. 

When you pass, a trust ensures that any property owned by the trust will not get caught up in the probate process. Trusts do not have to be complicated or involve a mountain of paperwork.

Common Asset Protection Questions

What Assets Cannot Be Placed In A Trust?

While trusts can be effective tools for asset protection, not all assets can or should be placed into a trust. Some examples of assets that may not be suitable for a trust include:

  • Real estate owned as joint tenants with right of survivorship – This type of co-owned property already avoids probate, so a trust may provide limited additional benefit.
  • Term life insurance – Term life insurance proceeds go directly to named beneficiaries, so there is no need for a trust.
  • Retirement accounts with named beneficiaries – These assets also bypass probate if beneficiaries are designated.
  • Annuities and some types of stocks/bonds – Some financial instruments have restrictions on being transferred or assigned to a trust.
  • Digital assets and social media accounts – Online accounts don’t have monetary value for a trust to protect.
  • Shared property still titled in both spouses’ names – Property owned jointly by spouses isn’t a good trust asset.
  • Anything you don’t legally own – Only assets you legally own can be put into a trust. Jointly owned or inherited assets may not be suitable.

It’s important to evaluate each asset individually to determine if a trust aligns with your goals or if another strategy may be more appropriate. An estate planning attorney can provide guidance.

What Is The Best Asset Protection?

There is no single “best” asset protection strategy. The most effective approach depends on your specific situation, goals, and the types of assets you want to protect. Some top asset protection options include:

  • Living trusts – Avoid probate and maintain control of assets if incapacitated.
  • Limited liability companies (LLCs) – Limit exposure if your business is sued.
  • Retirement accounts – Federal bankruptcy protection for 401(k)s and IRAs.
  • Exempt assets – Protect certain assets like primary homestead up to set values.
  • Umbrella insurance – Extra liability coverage in case you are sued.
  • Offshore accounts – Can make assets harder to access, but complicated.
  • Prenuptial agreements – Protect separate property if you marry.

A diversified asset protection plan using various complementary strategies tailored to your situation is ideal. An experienced asset protection attorney can help develop the optimal plan.

Contact Berkley Oliver, Your Shelbyville Asset Protection Law Firm

Now is the best time to take advantage of a Shelbyville lawyer’s estate planning services and learn how to shield your assets from loss or conversion. Berkley Oliver’s experienced attorneys have assisted numerous residents in Kentucky and throughout Shelby County with their legal needs. 

The advice and representation you will receive from Berkley Oliver will always be personalized to your needs and goals. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how you can better protect what is valuable to you.