When it comes to annuities asset protection, this is the truly complex part of annuities. Annuities are investment instruments designed to sustain an individual over a period of years and as a supplemental income and insurance against your outliving your accrued wealth. They are as such afforded at least limited asset protection under federal law. However, limited may not be adequate in all cases.
The complex part to annuities asset protection is that individual states can also affect how an annuity is protected and some protect this asset well, while others only protect what is necessary to sustain the beneficiary. This of course is subject to interpretation and litigation and judgments do not include the lifestyle a person has become accustomed to but instead are designed to avoid undue hardship or privation while allowing the creditor or complainant access to relief.
Careful planning is required to protect your annuity assets from unfair or unreasonable claims. The courts may not view what is necessary to avoid hardship or privation in the same way you do. Other states may protect the surrender value of your annuity asset as well as your annuity payments.
The first step to annuity asset protection is to know your state laws as regarding annuities. In some cases for the annuity to be a protected asset, the income stream must have begun.
As you can see annuity asset protection is not as simple as reading a contract and careful consideration, it requires knowledge of your own state laws and possibly professional advice may be required to appropriately protect your long-term income.
Any strategy initiated to protect assets including annuities must be initiated before there is litigation or bankruptcy or it can cause further financial problems and no result in any asset protection. However, asset protection may not always be related to litigation or insolvency but as part of estate planning.
It is to be hoped that a person never faces a situation where annuity asset protection is a necessity however, the idea behind financial planning and strategizing is to plan for the future and this is a necessary consideration. Sometimes the answer to annuity asset protection is as easy as starting the annuity income stream immediately and other times it requires measures that are more complex. This all depends on your state’s stance on asset protection and how many assets you have to protect overall.
If you are unsure about your state laws and how your annuity may be protected you should consult a professional to help plan for the unexpected. Due to certain federal laws, it is too late after a lawsuit begins or bankruptcy is imminent. Give the same attention and research to your state’s annuity protection laws and how they affect your long-term income stream as you do in choosing the type of annuity and payout.