Estate Planning Law Office of Attorney Joseph F. Pippen, Jr. & Associates
 
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FLORIDA ASSET PROTECTION

 

 

Q.  WHAT IS “FLORIDA ASSET PROTECTION”?

The often-misunderstood phrase “Asset Protection” means planning choices for the assets you own with the goal of minimizing loss of assets/wealth due to lawsuits or misfortune.

“Asset Protection” need not be complicated, but does require mindful consideration as to choices and planning.

Asset Protection is not only for the rich or wealthy.  Do you own rental properties?  Do you own real estate?  Do you own a business?  Are you considering a partner? DO YOU EXPECT YOUR WEALTH TO GROW IN THE FUTURE?  Then Asset Protection considerations should be part of your planning.

The crucial first two questions in Asset Protection are:

1.  HOW DO YOU HOLD TITLE TO OR CONTROL YOUR ASSETS?

2.  TO WHAT EXTENT MAY CREDITORS TAKE THESE ASSETS? 

Could you arrange assets to make yourself a less appealing target for lawsuits?  YES!

Could you arrange assets to encourage quicker/easier settlement of lawsuits?  YES!

Are some assets “exempt” from creditor claims in Florida?  YES!

Should you wait until you are sued to begin Asset Protection?  NO!  For a number of reasons Asset Protection Planning should begin well before any threat of lawsuit.  The sooner one begins Asset Protection Planning, the easier and more effective these Plans can be.

Some considerations and concepts used in Asset Protection Panning include:

  1. Types of Creditors – Judgment Creditor, Bankruptcy Creditor, IRS.

  2. Owners of Real Estate

  3. Landlord Liabilities

  4. High Risk Jobs and Professions 

  5. Business Owners

  6. Business Entity Choices

  7. Divorce

  8. Florida Exempt Properties

  9. Joint Ownership

  10. Trusts

  11. Intra Family Transfers

  12. Uses and limits of Insurance

  13. How to title common assets – car, bank accounts, insurance benefits.

 

 

 

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