Longwood Florida Asset Protection Attorneys
Legal Strategies to Protect Your Estate’s Assets
You’ve spent a lifetime working hard to acquire property, financial stability, and other assets. As such, it’s important that you put legal protections in place to ensure you can pass on the maximum assets possible to your loved ones at your passing.
Asset protection is a legal strategy that works to protect your assets from creditors, legal claims, and to minimize taxes. At the Law Offices of Brett D. Bevis our Longwood asset protection lawyers help clients create estate plans geared for their unique protection needs. We can work with you to determine what type of asset protection planning is right for you.
Contact the Law Offices of Brett D. Bevis today at (321) 972-2445 to make your Florida asset protection appointment. We work with clients throughout Seminole County and Central Florida.
Why Is Asset Protection Important?
Advanced planning for protecting your assets is an important investment. Without a thorough plan, your hard-earned assets taken away by creditors or taxes after your death, instead of going to your loved ones or where your final wishes dictate. It is vital to work with a lawyer to put the proper protections in place.
Failing to establish a comprehensive estate plan can create major problems for your beneficiaries. After your death, creditors may take legal action against your estate, seeking a portion of the assets you’ve left behind. Other vulnerabilities that your assets may be at risk of include personal injury lawsuits and forms of liability.
An effective, well-drafted asset protection plan can make a difference in the success of a legal action taken against your estate. Although it may seem complex, asset protection does not have to be confusing or expensive, but it must be done properly and thoroughly. Contact us today at (321) 972-2445 to make your Florida asset protection appointment.
Florida Asset Protection Strategies
There are several asset protection strategies available under Florida state law. No matter your circumstances, asset protection plans are best if they are implemented early on. Our Longwood asset protection attorneys can work with you to ensure all of your financial interests are covered.
Below are six common asset protection strategies available in Florida.
Domestic and Offshore Trusts
Trusts are an effective method to ensure your wishes for your assets will be carried out while providing protection from creditors and lawsuits. A Domestic Asset Protection Trust (DAPT) is a type of irrevocable trust that can be used to shield assets from creditor actions. Offshore trusts allows you to hold assets in a foreign financial institution, taking advantage of stronger asset protection laws in that country.
Florida offers a number of “debtor-friendly” laws to protect their property against creditor claims. One way to do this is to declare your primary residence as a homestead. According to the Florida’s Constitution, a person’s “homestead” is protected from most forced sales by a judgement.
To establish your primary residence as a homestead, you must meet the following requirements:
- The property must be established as a permanent residence
- The property must be less than half an acre of land if located in a municipality, or less than 160 acres of land if outside a municipality
- You must own the property
- The property must be in Florida
- You must establish residency and occupancy requirements
IRAs, Pensions, and Qualified Retirement Plans
The Employment Retirement Income and Security Act (ERISA) of 1974 provided creditor protection for retirement pensions from creditors of both employers and employees. The state of Florida also enacted statutes to ensure debtors can still receive certain retirement benefits. An estate attorney can help you take full advantage of these statutes and maximize your retirement plan contributions.
Prepaid College Savings Plans
The state of Florida provides a statute that protects money paid into or out of a Florida Prepaid College Plan from most creditor actions. These plans allow you to protect money for the benefit of your children or grandchildren.
Life Insurance Policies and Annuities
Insurance is vitally important to asset protection and preservation. The state of Florida protects the cash surrender value in qualifying life insurance policies from creditors. Additionally, proceeds from life insurance are not subject to the probate process as long as there is named beneficiary.
Pre- and Post-Nuptial Marital Agreements
Divorce can be financially devastating, and can sometimes cause complications in estate and probate proceedings. If you own significant assets, it’s important to enter into a marital agreement with the assistance of an attorney. A Florida asset protection lawyer can help you create a pre- or post- nuptial agreement that is legally enforceable.
What is the Best Way to Protect Your Assets?
While there isn’t a single “best” way, definitely one of the best ways to protect and preserve your assets is by forming a trust during the estate planning process.
Generally, irrevocable trusts are the best types of trusts for asset preservation, as they remove your assets from your estate entirely. However, there are protection options available through many types of trusts, both revocable and irrevocable. Our attorneys can help you determine which type of trust can best protect your personal assets.
Trusts that can shield assets include:
- Asset protection trusts
- Life insurance trusts
- Bypass trusts
- Totten trusts
- Charitable trusts
Reach out to Our Asset Protection Strategists in Seminole County Today
You may believe asset protection is only needed for wealthy, high-value estates. You may believe your assets are already secured, or that there is no need to otherwise ensure the security of your assets. However, everyone can benefit from proactive asset protection to ensure your current and future assets will go to your designated beneficiaries.
Call Attorney Brett Bevis today.
Need help with your Florida asset protection? Reach out to Bevis Law today at (321) 972-2445 or by contacting us online to schedule a case consultation.