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Sacramento, CA 95834

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How to Develop an Asset Protection Plan

Levels of Asset Protection

Each person's situation is unique and an asset protection plan must be custom-tailed to address the particular risks, assets and family needs or other objectives or concerns. While a custom plan is needed, the following is a list of the general levels of protection that we should all consider:

Level One – Basic Estate: Basic estate planning for the professional or business owner, which includes a revocable living trust, wills, durable powers of attorney, and related estate planning documents. Note also that not all revocable living trusts are the same. When appropriate, The Goralka Law Firm utilizes trust provisions that provide substantial asset protection features that protect your children or other loved ones from divorce or other creditors, while still retaining the functional equivalent of ownership.

Level Two – Business Income Protection: The second level of estate planning establishes protection for the operating business for which the business owner or professional, which usually provides the primary source of income. This level may also include the formation of separate entities for the protection of real estate investments.

Level Three – Maximize Existing Legal Exemptions: Level three focuses on planning to maximize the available exemptions under federal and California or state law. Federal law includes exemptions for Individual Retirement Accounts and qualified retirement plan accounts. California and state law provide exemption for annuities, homesteads, and the treatment of creditor's claims against a non-working spouse.

Level Four – Limited Liability Entities: Level four provides for the use of limited liability entities to protect investment assets. Those entities may be formed to take advantage of the laws in other jurisdictions such as Nevada, Alaska, Delaware or Wyoming.

Level Five – Advanced Estate Planning Strategies: Level five utilizes advanced estate planning techniques. These strategies include, but are not limited to, Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILITs), Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRTs), Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs) and Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRTs).

Level Six – Domestic Asset Protection Trusts: Level six builds on the earlier levels and utilizes limited liability entities in conjunction with Domestic Asset Protection Trusts. Level six utilizes self-settled trusts with a situs in a jurisdiction with state laws protecting the estate from claims and lawsuits. Eleven states, including Alaska, Nevada, and Delaware have enacted legislation that provides these asset protection features.

Level Seven – Foreign Asset Protection: Level seven utilizes offshore or foreign entities to provide even stronger asset protection from creditors. The assets are taken outside the jurisdiction of the United States courts. The offshore entities may also enjoy more favorable laws in these jurisdictions to enhance the protection of assets.


I highly recommend your service. This has been an informative, reassuring, and pleasant experience. I have benefited greatly and I am pleased to have had the opportunity to avail myself of your services.

- Dr. Isadore Morrison, Jr

Mr. Goralka is an outstanding attorney who is very competent in various areas. We have received professional services from Mr. Goralka for many years. He is local to the Sacramento area where his roots lie, however, he doesn't stop there. Just recently, he prepared Living Trust Fund where he doesn't leave any rock unturned, and gives us real peace of mind. We are privileged to endorse Mr. Goralka in every way possible.

- Mr. & Mrs. Robert Ruffino

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Elder Counsel

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Goralka Law Firm serves clients throughout Sacramento, Roseville, Folsom and Elk Grove, California and the Surrounding Areas. Services provided include legal consultation and the preparation of: Revocable Living Trusts, Wills, Powers of Attorney, Living Wills, Healthcare Power of Attorney, Life Insurance Trusts, Family Limited Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies, Corporations, Charitable Trusts, Medi-Cal Planning, and Other Estate Planning and Tax Planning Strategies

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