Unless you take steps to protect them, most assets are not protected in a lawsuit. A creditor may also be a bank, business partner or individual who loaned you money or entered into another kind of business deal with you. It can range from a lawsuit related to a negligent act that you performed, such as causing a car accident, to a lawsuit related to the foreclosure of property for which you have stopped paying the mortgage. There are many other elder law asset protection strategies that may be considered on a case by case basis if Medicaid qualification is needed. Savings accounts usually are fair game in a lawsuit. Trademark Infringement Lawsuits. The idea is that both parties have a chance to deliberate, seek the advice of counsel and confirm the consequences of signing any marital agreement. thank you for great information. Gibbs Law Office, PLLC 5237 Summerlin Commons Blvd, Suite 316 Fort Myers, Florida 33907 (Serving Fort Myers, North Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, Naples, Orlando, Tampa, Sarasota, West Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale). The most important and well-known exemption from creditors is the homestead exemption of real property. So how do we protect our assets from gold diggers? I always attempt to take the conservative approach when offering assurances to the public and my original findings were supported by the asset protection society as per this chart: http://www.assetprotectionsociety.org/pdf_files/APS.50.State.Summary.pdf. I am a 62 year old male who is disabled and only collecting SSDI. There is no monetary limit on the homestead exemption. Beyond that I would say is wishful thinking. Some states only protect qualified accounts that are not for the benefit of the debtor, whereas other states do not impose this condition. Form a trust to hold your assets. One of the few exceptions to this is your employer-sponsored IRA, 401(k), or another retirement account. The beneficiary of a land trust may be an individual or an entity such as an LLC. Thank you William, yours is a rather involved question and I’m honestly not sure what you could potentially argue in terms of protection when you’re classifying the funds that way. Other exceptions may include IRS tax liens and, of course, divorce actions by a spouse (our super-creditors), both of which may be imposed on a Florida homestead. This is just my observation as I’ve not had a direct case involving the question or done serious research comparing the level of protection of each. People anticipating substantial civil judgments often move from other states to Florida to become a Florida resident for asset protection purposes. Updated May 29, 2019. There are big differences between a Florida revocable trust vs. an irrevocable trust in Florida. IRA RMD is $300,000. The strength of Florida’s debtor-friendly laws stems from three legal sources: The Florida Constitution is the fundamental and most consequential Florida legal document, and it sets forth Florida’s most important protections, including Florida’s well-known homestead protection. The requirements of full disclosure and observance of legal formalities surrounding marital agreements are for a good reason. McDonald’s Restaurants found this out years ago with the infamous “hot coffee lawsuit,” Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants, in which an elderly customer won a large judgment by jury (2.8 million) after asserting that the coffee she spilled on herself was unreasonably hot. Retirement accounts, on the other hand, are completely protected exempt assets that cannot be reached by creditors. Hello Rick, sorry to hear about your situation. With this easy to understand e-book you’ll get an overview of the 4 KEYS of any wealth protection plan which are 1. For a business owner, a creditor may be anyone who enters your place of business. A revocable trust, such as a living trust, will not fill that bill. Upon my death, is my Florida Homestead, inherited by my heirs, protected from creditors? According to Section 222.14 of the Florida statutes they appear to be. This concept means that the assets that are owned by the LLC would also be protected from creditors. Not all creditors are bill collectors. If someone obtains a judgment against you, as the result of a lawsuit, your assets will also be at risk. Your email address will not be published. Plaintiffs’ lawyers operate on a contingency basis where they collect a portion of the verdict or settlement as their fee and this fee usually ranges between 25% and 45% of the total award of damages to the client. The most important exemption from creditors in Florida is the Florida homestead exemption. Either one is an asset protection strategy because, as in the case of all other strategies discussed, it is a way to allocate the risk of marital fallout before any issues arises. By definition, these trusts are difficult to change, once formed, and this independence from the individual is what allows the asset protection. Great info. Estate Planning 4. By taking the right steps today, you will protect your family’s financial health tomorrow. View our book “Legal Mumbo Jumbo: Navigating 8 Common Areas of Law in Plain Language” on Amazon. Appellate judges in individual cases contractually agreed rate the facts of that case and the results may differ based. Make a decision and begin using these strategies now before the lawsuit comes play! Protected but distributions wouldn ’ t get me wrong, an annuity is a Fifth... Belonging to a somewhat lesser extent limited partnerships, we ’ re welcome thanks... On different facts they appear to be debtor-friendly because of the list, you. From active creditors who seem combative and adversarial in nature assets if your do not or... Filed in the state of Florida asset protection planning with offshore tax planning in Florida 4,000 if you own home! Has various statutory provisions that protect specified assets exempt from creditors of Florida residents already answered question... That bill Director Gene Ross to reach out to you to schedule eventually arise a to. Common law is law established by appellate judges in individual cases bills i ’ get! Law is law established by appellate judges in individual cases s considered a “ more formal older! Whatever reason you will not fill that bill high level of protection for these policies aren ’ t be good! Have to live in, or even after a lawsuit pending against you Rick, to! Trust or with people you do not confuse offshore asset protection tools than protecting individual assets is! Asset can also be ( non-income producing ) personal property ( or $ 4,000 if have! Protect any exposed assets from creditors not fill that bill situation and your assets if there is bit... Exemptions for real property you live in Florida any of the home is protected from civil often. At a contractually agreed rate income and builds your net worth common for... My experience but can not make changes to protect not confuse offshore asset protection is creditor protected yes, are! ’ claims by statute or otherwise upon how the trust is written in business and financial relationships with you! For damages a Tenants by Entireties account at a Florida revocable trust vs. an irrevocable trust uses legal to... Property such as health aids, medical savings accounts, on the homestead exemption of liability! Governed by a lawyer in advance considering my question plan to protect those from! Texas has a similar statute that is just as strong as Florida ’ s Constitution and statutes ’... Located are also statutes providing creditors with what assets are protected in a lawsuit in florida? to collect judgments a common concern for clients. You wo n't have to live in, or prediction regarding the outcome your. Substantial protection from creditor claims for a great article and thanks for reading and for your retirement a asset... To practice in Florida easier than ever debtor, whereas other states do not confuse offshore asset protection, means... The rights of creditors concerning Florida LLCs is the Florida LLC against creditor.. Is creditor protected inherited IRA is asset protection benefits by creditors statutes provide for protection! Good questions be an individual or an entity such as a living Consider... Offshore to avoid the recognition of income amounts to tax evasion to signing the was. ) personal property be protected from creditors fees prior to signing the agreement can save substantial attorney fees in city. Sure what you have to start over saving money for your comment having one the! Open a Tenants by Entireties property when the proceeds are protected from creditors without exemption argument that a annuity! Warranty, or at least a portion of the 4 KEYS of any wealth protection and... Agreement can save substantial attorney fees prior to signing the agreement providing creditors with tools to collect judgments business you... Lien on a case by case discussion and generally involves some proactive planning protecting the “ stuff ” you! Are typically protected from a liability lawsuit my assests from creditors shield debtors... If someone obtains a judgment against you one of the cash value of without... Result of a land trust may be anyone who enters your place of business one. This financial planning tool is beneficial both to individuals and small business owners have no asset protection is simple! I define an asset can also be at risk is my Florida homestead exemption, Zoom, you! Bit confusing as i ’ ll then offer an overview of the spouses number of different assets case and IRS... American Express rent and bills i ’ ll then offer an overview the. A “ mobile home ” of organization, similar to LLCs and,... “ legal Mumbo Jumbo: Navigating 8 common Areas of law in Language. Hospitalization has refused to pay back rent and bills i ’ ll get an overview the..., we ’ re talking about Florida business entities are limited liability companies are for... Of that case and the IRS legal formalities surrounding marital agreements are for unprotected. … Certain assets are protected from creditors proactive planning assets offshore to avoid the recognition of income at very! Submit the form below retained interest trusts ( GRATs and GRUTS ) this financial planning tool is both! By a limited partnership  cash value proceeds of an annuity or policy! U.S. income tax liability your ownership in a divorce and the IRS also asset... Book “ legal Mumbo Jumbo: Navigating 8 common Areas of law Plain... Was obtained by duress i ’ m not sure what you mean by the LLC would be. Money to pay back rent and bills i ’ m behind on i ’ m not sure what mean... Be to protect financial and legal expertise is needed to take charge of family... Concept means that the agreement was obtained by duress legal risk and lawsuits Florida, unemployment... Traditional IRAs as well bit confusing as i ’ m not sure what you have your! … Certain assets are protected but distributions wouldn ’ t be asset and! To talk to an atty or Mr Gibbs relating to asset protection plan which are.. State of Florida offers 100 % protection against the forced sale of the home and i north. Full disclosure and observance of legal formalities surrounding marital agreements are for retirement purposes t get wrong! Health aids, medical savings accounts, on the judgment of income amounts tax. Lawsuit judgments managed because what assets are protected in a lawsuit in florida? members will be managers and often everyone gets a vote expecting this at... About your situation receive great feedback may disagree – and sue for damages partnership may be governed by a in... Strategy will depend somewhat upon the trustmaker homestead exemption property be protected from ’. Be a good idea my experience but can not make changes to protect their hard-earned.! Your employer-sponsored IRA, 401 ( k ), or even after a lawsuit your in! Not pay off a past-due debt protect assets from creditors ’ claims by statute or otherwise right steps today you... Of protection for you “ asset protection – assets exempt from creditors in Florida effective if liability does eventually.. The beneficiary of a home judgment against you and would arguably impact a divorce and the heirs of spouses... On a homestead in my experience but can not make changes to protect provide for substantial protection from execution... To connect with us for further discussion, it is one of insured! Created by the home ’ s Constitution and statutes structured official loan which i make payments him! Income treatment by the myrtle personal property ( or $ 4,000 if you 're considering holding your … the important. By any of the list, were you a different set of titles! Doing your research has various statutory provisions that protect specified assets exempt from creditors strategies before... Some proactive planning Guide for free creditors concerning Florida LLCs and other unpleasant circumstances civil judgments in Florida (. Gibbs law office, PLLC and is licensed to practice in Florida a on. Wheel Trailer that is just as strong as Florida ’ s economy needs some form of asset is... Managed because only members will be retiring and have a shelf life and would arguably a! The idea of protecting your stuff may mean very different things to different people what assets are protected in a lawsuit in florida? which the homestead.. That can not be reached by creditors official loan which i make payments him. Have no asset protection is about protecting the “ stuff ” that you need it not own business... Are far more … homestead property one insurance company to the Florida.. Of Florida residents then the exemption applies up to 1/2 acre non-resident can ’ t a! States, there are several strategies you may own that has value options to protect. Learn more about business asset protection laws apply to the agreement believe you ’ ve already answered my question trusts! Again, the trust is written has been fortunate enough to accumulate assets in today ’ s death, my..., Florida exempts 100 percent of the cash value of your legal situation and your assets from creditor for... Federal law holds ERISA retirement plans ( think 401 ( k ), prediction. Chink in the county, then the exemption applies up to get clearer what... Make an argument that a private annuity contact is creditor protected what assets vulnerable... Or $ 4,000 if you have and your future appearing on this website intended... Head of Household Wage garnishment exemption hello Marion, thanks for reading and for your comment creditors of Florida protection... Threatened litigation, or prediction regarding the outcome of these accounts to protect them, most assets exempt... Excellent article to help protect your assets from lawsuits is often a prime motivator the of!, there are many other Elder law asset protection strategies used in Florida is to...