Any individual or family who has accumulated assets during their lifetime, including their life savings, home, real estate, and business investments, can benefit from asset protection. Any legal claim has the potential to threaten everything you have worked for. A personal injury claim, other civil judgments, creditor claims, probate court, actions by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and bankruptcy could affect your assets and estate. Although these claims may impact your finances, the goal of asset protection is to safeguard certain assets and the majority of your estate behind one or multiple levels of protection so that much of your estate is untouched.
Asset protection combines several aspects of law, including estate planning, tax law, business planning, and inheritance law. There are several options for asset protection under Florida law, and they can help you safeguard the wealth that you’ve earned while retaining control over it. You need an asset protection plan that fits the unique needs of your assets and your family. An asset protection attorney is an essential asset when creating a plan to protect your estate and limit your liability.
Asset protection planning is a growing field in legal services, meaning that finding an attorney with the necessary experience to handle your case may be difficult. Fortunately, at the Law Office of Douglas A. Oberdorfer, P.A., we have been proudly serving our community in Jacksonville for 20 years, working in estate planning, estate administration, and asset protection. We know how these aspects of law intersect and how Florida, local, and federal laws impact your estate. We have the knowledge and experience you need to help protect your assets in a way that meets your goals.
Asset protection keeps your assets safeguarded from legal and creditor liabilities. These assets may include your home, business, bank accounts, investments, real estate properties, and any other high-value assets and property. Asset protection does not prevent a creditor from knowing about an asset, but it provides additional legal protections that make it very difficult for a creditor to interfere with the assets.
Asset protection is incredibly useful to begin prior to a claim being filed against you, but it can still protect your estate even after a claim has been filed. The most effective steps for proactive asset protection are:
Florida law has a significant number of options for asset protection as well as many creditor exemptions, making it one of the most effective states to protect your assets in.
Florida’s extensive legal protections for assets can be found in:
Florida is well-known for its homestead protections, which are among the most effective ways to protect your assets. Under these laws, an individual’s primary residence cannot be collected by creditors. Because of this, relocation to a more expensive homestead to protect assets is a common tactic to avoid creditor collections.
For your property to be considered a protected homestead under state laws, the following must be true:
There are no value limitations for the homestead, but there are physical size limitations. These are:
Separate properties within this size limit that share a border are also considered protected homesteads. However, the homestead protection doesn’t extend to property or finances obtained by fraud.
There are several types of assets that are exempt from creditors in Florida. These include:
Another protection is known as tenants by the entireties. This is provided to those who are married and applies when one spouse is facing a creditor claim. Assets cannot just be jointly owned to qualify for this protection.
Social security is protected from creditors by federal law rather than state law. An attorney is essential to determine which of these asset protections can be applied to your unique estate and goals.
State and federal laws for asset protection are constantly changing. The experienced attorney at the Law Office of Douglas A. Oberdorfer, P.A., can review your assets and help you create a customized asset protection plan. Contact us today to begin addressing your asset protection concerns.
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