Asset Protection Planning Strategies in Florida to Shield Your Assets from Future Creditors
Florida citizens are becoming increasingly curious and proactive about asset protection planning. Our St. Petersburg asset protection lawyers are often asked about how to protect assets from lawsuits and other creditors, and whether there is anything you can do to protect your assets in the event you are sued.
Who Can Benefit from Asset Protection Planning?
Because of our litigious society, everyone runs the risk of being sued. It is becoming increasingly common for asset protection to be part of the most basic estate plans.
In recent years, the amounts awarded in jury verdicts have skyrocketed across the country, which is why it is critical to plan for the worst. Moreover, the number of personal injury lawsuit filings have increased. Asset protection planning can help you take advantage of legal exemptions that may insulate your assets from potential future creditors and make it more difficult for those creditors to collect on your assets.
Thus, asset protection planning is the legal process of restructuring your financial holdings to prevent future creditors from taking your assets. Asset protection strategies allow you to deal with creditors from the position of strength.
Asset Protection Strategies in Florida
Like most other states, Florida has asset exemptions designed to protect real estate, bank accounts, personal property, businesses, and other assets by placing them beyond the reach of future creditors.
Luckily, Florida has some of the most generous asset exemptions. These are the most popular asset protection strategies – or, in other words, exemptions – to shield specific holdings from creditors.
- Homestead. Under Florida law, the homestead – your primary residence – is protected from most judgments filed against the owner. Unlike other states, Florida law does not limit the homestead exemption to any dollar amount.
- Tenants by the Entireties Ownership. A husband and wife in Florida are eligible for tenancy by the entirety ownership, which is a specific form of joint ownership available only to spouses. In other words, when spouses own property under the tenancy by the entirety doctrine, that property cannot be seized or reached by a party obtaining a judgment against either spouse. However, the property is not exempt from judgments obtained against both spouses. Also, entirety ownership does not protect against joint creditors and is valid only as long as the spouses are married.
- Wages. If you are the head of the household, your wages are generally exempt from garnishment or attachment under Florida law. Also, any disposable earnings deposited into a financial account of a head of household are exempt for six months as long as the funds can be traced and classified as wages.
- Retirement Plans. Specific types of retirement plans are also protected from creditors in asset protection planning. Money held by or payable to a participant in these particular retirement plans is exempt from lawsuits or claims of the participant’s creditors.
Other Asset Exemptions Available in Florida
There are a number of other asset exemptions available under Florida law, including:
- Annuity contracts
- Life insurance policies
- Cash value of life insurance policies
- Disability income
- 529 college savings plans
- Prenuptial Agreements
- Irrevocable trusts
Let our St. Petersburg asset protection lawyers review your particular case to identify all available exemptions to help shield your assets from creditors. Call at 727-471-5868 Legacy Protection Lawyers, LLP, to discuss your asset protection needs.