A valuable component of estate planning involves protecting client assets from potential creditor claims and lawsuits. The methods used to accomplish this goal will vary according to each client’s needs and the type of assets being protected. Our firm is well-versed in the different ways Florida law allows a client’s assets to be protected, and can assist you in crafting a plan that accomplishes your goal of keeping your assets safe. The key to effective asset protection is being proactive, so contact us today to get started.
Methods Used To Protect Assets
There are many different methods used for asset protection. Some of the most commonly seen include:
- Offshore Asset Protection Trusts: It may be that the best option to protect your assets is removing them from the United States and placing them in another legal system with better protection. An example of this is the Nevis Trust which is a trust that is established in the Caribbean island of Nevis. It provides significant barriers to any attempts to access its assets.
- Irrevocable Trusts: An irrevocable trust cannot be revoked, altered, or amended and it is able to provide significant protection to assets. A type of irrevocable trust that is often used for asset protection is the Nevada Hybrid Domestic Asset Protection Trust.
- Annuities: Assets placed specifically in an annuity are offered special protection and are a useful asset protection tool.
- Life Insurance: An often overlooked method of protecting assets is through the purchase of life insurance. Creditors are not able to attach to access life insurance funds.
- Homestead Protection: With the exception of bankruptcy, the state of Florida will provide protection to homestead property with no limits.
- IRAs & 401Ks: A significant amount of assets placed in IRAs and 401Ks can be protected from creditors pursuant to federal law.
- Family Limited Liability Company: This type of company is generally owned in its entirety by a portable offshore asset protection trust. Owners are then able to manage the protected assets.
- Land Trusts: Real estate can be placed in land trusts, which provides ownership privacy and discourages creditors from attempting to gain access to the real estate.
- Family Limited Partnership: These partnerships protect wealth while reducing taxes and still allow owners access to their assets.
- Tenants By Entireties: This is an asset protection tool available only to married persons and only when the debt is owed by one of the parties. It ceases to exist upon the death of either of the parties.
- Florida Statutory Protections: The state does offer some statutory protections, such as head of household wages as well as 529 college savings plans.
Contact Steven Silverman, P.A. Today
Contact Steven Silverman, P.A. today to speak with a skilled and knowledgeable Florida estate planning attorney about your asset protection options. You can contact us online or by calling (305) 666-6111 to schedule an initial consultation.