Unhappy Valley: Paterno’s Estate Plan Called Into Question

5:56 pm Estate Planning

paterno 150x150 Unhappy Valley: Paterno’s Estate Plan Called Into QuestionProbably one angle we did not expect the media to cover regarding the sexual abuse scandal surrounding Penn State’s football program and its iconic coach Joe Paterno was estate planning.  But it appears that Paterno’s estate plan is under some scrutiny, judging from an article in yesterday’s New York Times.

It seems that this past July, Paterno transferred full ownership of his home to his wife for $1.  The couple had previously held joint ownership of the home, which is currently valued at almost $600,000, since they purchased it in 1969.

According to the Times, legal experts have begun to theorize that Paterno could be the subject of future civil lawsuits brought by the victims of coaching assistant Jerry Sandusky, who has been charged with 40 counts of sexual abuse of eight boys over 15 years.  The Times article suggests that the ownership transfer may have been made to shield the Paterno family assets from future legal judgments.

That, of course, is known as fraudulent conveyance, and if found to be the case, would not be allowed to stand.

The Times asked two legal experts to examine the available documents.  One said it “appeared to be an explicit effort to financially shield Joe Paterno.”  The other regarded the transaction as “benign.”

Paterno’s attorney told the Times that the transfer was made as part of a “multiyear estate planning program” and had nothing to do with the child sex scandal currently engulfing the coach.

Deciding to protect your assets at the eleventh hour is generally not as effective as being prepared before you experience a life change that could affect your assets. Speak to your California estate planning attorney about protecting what is rightfully yours before a divorce, before going into a new business, or before entering into any agreement that will mean you owe money to a creditor.

If you have any questions or any uncertainties regarding when you should use asset protection, contact your Newport Beach asset protection lawyer today.

Your California legal and financial planning experts are at your service; Contact us today.

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