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Oswego African-American Lawyer: Estate Planning Strategies for African American-Empowerment

 Posted on January 30, 2023 in Estate Planning

yorkville estate planning lawyerAfrican-Americans need real estate asset protection planning in Oswego and Kendall counties to secure, transfer wealth, and empower future generations. 


African-Americans are one of the most critical racial minorities today in the United States. The life, wealth, prestige, and success that the American society enjoys today were built on the shoulders of slavery, a burden borne singlehandedly by the forebears of the African-American racial minority. So, it is grossly unfair that even in the 21st century, African Americans continue to be shortchanged and lag in accessing/maximizing the resources for wealth building. While much of the blame can be placed on the socioeconomic and political doorsteps of a highly racist system in the past, a cultural lack of estate planning initiatives among African-Americans is a significant barrier hindering socioeconomic empowerment across successive generations.

But I Don’t Have an Estate: The Meaning of Estate Planning

When estate planning is mentioned, one of the most rampant misconceptions among many people, mainly from the ethnic minority pool, is, "I don't have an estate; why should I plan?" This mindset typically stems from the belief that estates are only for the wealthy and not the average individual. But this is a misconception, not the reality.

Estate planning involves making preparations for the transfer and administration of your estate after your demise or when you can no longer manage the estate due to incapacitation. The administration or transfer of estate is done through several legal instruments that only an experienced estate planning lawyer in Oswego or Kendall County can help you define and prepare. Your estate includes all the property you possess before and after you die. This includes your real estate (land and buildings), life insurance policies, investment accounts, bank accounts, retirement accounts, and personal properties like vehicles, artwork, jewelry, etc.

You can see that these are commonly held properties by most American families; this means we all invariably tend to have assets. But in varying values. However, sadly, many African Americans need to take proactive steps to protect their estates through estate and asset protection planning in Oswego and Kendall County. This must change for the following reasons, among others:

Estate Planning Is Essential for Wealth Creation and Transfer

Wealth is vital when measuring economic health. Wealth enables families, including African-Americans, to transfer previously earned income to satisfy future spending demands. If you want future generations to benefit from wealth after your demise, you must endeavor to build up the wealth they can inherit. Inherited wealth contributes significantly to advancing the economic launch point of future generations. For example, out of the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest families in America, 30% inherited a minimum of $50 million. Transferred assets can help middle-and -working-class African Americans accelerate their emergency savings, pay for private college and high school tuition, make down payments for homes, and invest in new businesses and financial markets. Do African Americans have such wealth to plan for? Yes! They do!

Black Americans Are Too Rich to Be Lagging Behind

In 2021, statistics showed that African American families are generating vast amounts of wealth, with 2.3 million confirmed black-owned businesses. Moreover, the spending power of African Americans was $1.6 trillion in 2022, further emphasizing the massive wealth generation and building capability of black people. However, about 70% of African Americans do not have an estate plan or a will. Reports indicate that African-American families are two-to-five times less likely to transfer and inherit wealth, primarily associated with a lack of real estate protection plan. The absence of a real estate asset protection plan means African-Americans are missing out on a historic wealth transfer that has contributed to the substantial racial wealth gap between whites and blacks.

Therefore, African-Americans must create a plan to enable them to grow and transfer these businesses and wealth to upcoming generations. You need an estate and asset protection lawyer in Oswego or a real estate asset protection attorney in Kendall County. Your asset protection lawyer will recommend tailored and robust strategies to protect your business and family from economic predators while empowering future generations for greatness through successive wealth transfers.

Living Trust for Black Wealth Transfer in Oswego, Kendall County

Black wealth creation is critical for African Americans. A powerful estate planning tool is a living trust or a revocable living trust. The living trust differs from the last will because it avoids court processes, reducing wealth transfer obstacles. The living trust is revocable and may be altered, changed, or modified. The living trust also can create sub-trust, which helps protect young adults' inheritance from youth and other indiscretions. The living trust is a private document, which differs from the last will. A last will is a document that is public information. The last will is filed at the local Courthouse in the county where the person died. 

Real Estate Asset Protection Strategies for African American Empowerment

Real estate investment is a great way to build a property portfolio and grow personal wealth. But you also need to invest in real estate asset protection strategies to reduce the risk of losses and forfeitures arising from unforeseen circumstances. This is the only way you can continue to grow your real estate portfolio and have its assets intact and ready to pass down to the next generation. 

Below are three real estate asset protection strategies that Oswego real estate asset protection lawyers and estate planning attorneys in Kendall County have successfully used in helping African American clients navigate the real property sector.

Using a Land Trust to Establish Privacy of Ownership

The first Oswego estate planning strategy a real estate protection lawyer in Kendall County would recommend for you is ownership anonymity or privacy of ownership. To achieve this, your estate planning and asset protection attorney in Oswego and Kendall County would create a land trust for your real estate properties. You or the LLC that you administer can be the trust's beneficiary. So, you can rent, refinance, or sell the property however you wish. Therefore, you retain essentially the same level of control as when the property was registered in your real name.

The land trust retains the property's title. So, your real estate asset protection lawyer in Oswego will begin by drafting the land trust. After that, your land trust lawyer in Kendall County will draft the document you need to put the asset into the land trust. You retain the land trust; consequently, the beneficiary's name is filed away confidentially in your home cabinet. The deed is recorded in the county recorder's office where the property is situated. The deed acts as the legal instrument that passes the property from the present owner, such as yourself, to your trust.

Again, the primary benefit here is privacy. As a result, the property is titled in the name of a trust rather than your own. Why is this necessary? Before any law firm brings legal action against an individual, the firm will conduct an asset search to determine what is within its reach. This is as easy as searching public documents to determine your ownership. Therefore, with your name perfectly titled to land trusts, your name will not appear in a standard asset search.

Compartmentalizing Your Real Estate Assets via Separate LLCs

Compartmentalization entails separating your real estate asset from financial risks and liabilities. A limited liability company (LLC) would be created for each real estate asset. Series LLCs are often used when one desires to generate multiple LLCs for multiple properties. Series LLC provide a financial discount for creating multiple LLCs for each rental property. They are referred to as "Series LLCs." They establish "legal boundaries between properties" and prevent one or more LLCs from stealing from another through legal actions or court rulings.

Let us first take a closer look at the advantages of an LLC for protecting your real estate properties. Supposing you personally invested directly in a real estate investment, you and all your assets would be exposed to any court ruling. Your home, vehicle, bank accounts, and other valuables could all be lost. In contrast, when you invest in real estate through an LLC, only the assets held by the LLC will be susceptible to any legal verdicts. (Let's picture an LLC as a fence of barriers. The court considers anything outside the wall to be off-limits.) Furthermore, other benefits of creating an LLC to protect your real estate properties include less paperwork, fewer meetings, flexible administration, pass-through taxes, and profit distribution.

Investing in real estate is risky. There are tests to pass, maintenance to do, and rules to follow. So, to protect your assets from lawsuits, you purchase each property through its own Series LLC. Your Series LLC constructs a barrier around each investment, much like a fence around each home in a neighborhood. For example, suppose on Asset 1, owned by Series LLC 1, a tenant suffers a balcony accident. In that case, Series LLC ensures that your remaining Assets 2, 3, and 4 cannot be penetrated by any legal stone thrown at them by the tenants and their legal representatives. They can only return to Building one and determine the value of everything inside its borders. 

Limited liability is the magic slogan here. Since accidents are unavoidable, investing through an LLC reduces your overall liability. Creating Series LLCs to separate each property from the others protects your net worth even more. Why? Every LLC erects a barrier around its acquired assets. A Series LLC ensures that judges can only determine the value of that LLC when making a judgment in a situation where someone injures themselves on that property.

The rules guiding the formation of LLCs in Illinois and its environs are affordable and straightforward. Your real estate asset protection lawyer in Oswego and your LLC attorney in Kendall County know exactly what to do to empower your future generation for greatness.

Equity Diminishing

Establishing a separate LLC and mortgaging the investment property's equity is a potent barrier to creditors. This has to do with publicly documented equity lines of credit and types of deeds or mortgage trusts registered against each property at the county recorder's office. Using this strategy strips away your property's equity. 

Eventually, when the "unpleasant event" occurs, and legal trouble ensues, your real estate attorney in Kendall County and Oswego will move to Plan B. Have you ever received a bank letter stating, "We just purchased your mortgage, so please begin making monthly payments to us?" It is highly unusual for one bank to acquire a mortgage directly from another.

Contact the Peace of Mind Asset Protection, LLC in Oswego, and Kendall County to plan your estate and empower future generations of African Americans to succeed economically.

Using the right legal tools minimizes your liability for real estate assets. At Peace of Mind Asset Protection, LLC, we have robust legal expertise and years of experience serving the African American community in Oswego and Kendall County. We can help you erect several hurdles for any legal adversary seeking to seize your property. Our real estate lawyers in Kendall County and asset protection attorneys in Oswego can help you prepare a reliable real estate plan that will conceal, protect, and, if need be, devalue your real estate property on the surface. So, there will be no reward for the ravenous predator seeking you as its next meal. Additionally, you would have developed a solid real estate and asset plan, not just for yourself but also for your family, while empowering future generations to carry on successfully.

Please fill out our Contact Form or reach us at 630-882-2467 to commence formal consultation on creating the perfect real estate asset protection plan for you. The sooner you start, the better and stronger it will be for you and your real estate assets, which will be ready for the process server when they come. Call our Yorkville African-American Estate Planning Attorney today to discuss how your legacy and family wealth goals create future opportunities for your family members.

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