Protecting your assets against Fraud and Identity Theft: Part III

In this final installment on this topic we will discuss an estate planning tool you can use to protect yourself from fraud and identity theft.

Putting your trust in a trust

You can also use estate planning tools to help prevent fraud and identity theft. For example, many people use revocable living trusts to achieve a variety of estate planning objectives, including avoiding probate and managing assets in the event they become incapacitated.  But trusts can also be an effective tool for preventing fraud, or at least catching it before too much damage is done. How?  The trustee has direct responsibility for managing and protecting the trust assets, in essence adding an extra layer of protection between you and potential fraudsters or identity thieves.

By appointing an experienced professional trustee, you ensure that an extra set of eyes evaluates any contemplated investments or distributions of the trust’s assets.  In addition, a professional trustee will be in a position to monitor the assets closely and respond quickly to any suspicious activity.

Before you establish a living trust, be sure to consult your estate planning advisor to determine whether it’s appropriate for you and to help you tailor the trust to meet your specific needs.

Safeguarding yourself

You likely invest much time and money into developing strategies to provide for your family and achieve your other estate planning objectives while minimizing gift and estate taxes.  To be successful, you also must safeguard your wealth against fraud and identity theft.

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