Proposed changes in US immigration laws and policies raise questions for many about their legal status in the country. Various federal laws and policies address immigrant status, such as the Dream Act, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and Temporary Protected Status (TPS). The uncertainty regarding potential changes in the law leads to uncertainty for non-citizens living and working in the US.
Immigrants in West Virginia (WV) have created meaningful lives rooted in their residency, but the shifts in US immigration policy and laws create an imminent need for deportation estate planning to care for their local family. The estate planning tools available to them include the creation of deportation trusts in West Virginia (WV). An immigrant questioning his or her status in the US would benefit from learning how a deportation trust can help establish a solid plan to protect assets and provide for family should he or she be detained or deported.
Deportation Estate Planning Can Ease Your Mind
Planning for the possibility of deportation may seem like conceding that it will happen. However, developing a deportation trust is not an admission that you need one. Rather, it is merely a plan to follow should a worst-case scenario occur. It is like having an insurance policy to make sure that your loved ones are protected and cared for while a parent, spouse, or family member is unavailable due to immigration uncertainties.
What is a Deportation Trust?
A deportation trust is a type of asset protection strategy for preserving your assets against creditors and other claimants. Placing your assets-financial accounts, title to real property-in a trust moves ownership of those assets to the trust. The trust terms designate the trust beneficiaries who may have the use of those assets according to the terms in the trust document.
Protecting the US Citizen Children of Immigrants in WV
Children are perhaps the most negatively impacted when a parent faces the threat of deportation. A child who is a US citizen but whose parent has questionable immigration status may experience undue stress. And if the parent is detained or deported, these children could then be without a caretaker. The detention or deportation of a parent may cause a child to suffer psychological trauma, material hardship, residential instability, academic withdrawal, and family dissolution.
Deportation trusts in WV can help those at risk of deportation by providing plans for the care of their children should immigration issues arise. For example, the trust can name a guardian, someone to take over the legal responsibility for the care and supervision of the children following a parent's detention or deportation.
The guardian named in a deportation trust would have authority to tend to the children's needs and ensure they are enrolled in school, have proper health care, and are well taken care of following a parent's detention or deportation. By choosing and naming a guardian, immigrant parents can choose someone they know and trust to take care of their children, keep the children out of the foster care system, and provide them with as much stability as possible.
The naming of a guardian in a deportation trust or the guardian's assumption of duties under the terms of the trust document does not terminate parental rights. When done correctly, estate planning for deportation may help protect parental rights, merely providing temporary guardianship protection for the children. Once the parent's legal immigration status changes and the parent is reunited with the family, either in the US or in another country, the temporary guardianship can be terminated.
Providing Financial Security in Case of Deportation
Deportation estate planning is also a tool to protect any financial assets in the event of a detention or deportation. Placing assets in a deportation trust may help ensure that that the assets are protected from creditors and available for the family when needed.
Setting up a deportation trust involves financial planning to ensure that assets are preserved and available to the family when needed. This type of estate planning provides another opportunity to give your family peace of mind, knowing that financial matters and family assets are protected.
Deportation Estate Planning
Everyone needs an estate plan, and this is no less true for documented and undocumented people living in the US. Immigrants in WV who worry about their immigration status can gain peace of mind-for themselves and their families-by developing a comprehensive estate plan that may include a deportation trusts in WV.
Anna M. Price at Jenkins Fenstermaker, PLLC can help immigrants in WV develop estate plans and set up deportation trusts in West Virginia to provide security for their families. If you have questions about deportation estate planning or other estate planning matters in WV, KY, or OH, contact Anna at the Huntington office at (304) 523-2100 or (866) 617-4736 toll-free or use her online contact form to schedule a consultation.