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Articles Tagged with Miami asset protection lawyer

You will miss this deadline if you do not read carefully – and you may need a magnifying glass to find it.  Within the past two weeks you should have received in the mail a “Notice of Proposed Property Taxes” or “TRIM Notice” from your county property tax appraiser.  Buried at the bottom of your  Notice in small print is an important deadline for appealing your tax assessment.

Clearly, the county does not want to encourage you to appeal your property taxes.

Note these deadlines:

By Phillip B. Rarick, Esq.,  Miami Lakes and Weston Estate Planning Attorney

Within the past week, the Florida Department of State began sending notices by email to all persons with interests in Florida corporate entities, such as LLC’s, corporations, and limited partnerships.  These reports are due May 1, 2019 and there is no waiver of the $400 late fee if you miss this deadline.

The official Florida web site  at www.sunbiz.org has “Consumer Notices”  to alert you to bogus web sites that try to scam persons who file these reports.

May the odds be with you –but frankly they’re not.    More than 60% of doctors over the age of 55 have been sued at least once, according to a new survey by the American Medical Association (AMA).  Doctors are not the only professionals at risk. Virtually all small business owners and professionals face multiple risks from the person injured at a party on  one of your properties, the “friend” who borrows your jet ski and hits a swimmer,  dissatisfied customers, disgruntled employees, and unhappy ex-partners.

It is a simple reality: We live in a hostile legal environment, and the chance you will not face costly litigation at some point in your career is not good. The good news is that you can fight back.  Here is a quick summary of our “Porcupine” Asset Protection Strategy with tested legal strategies that can help protect your investments and property.

  1. Make Your Assets As Unattractive as Possible to Attack with a Good Asset Protection Strategy

By Phillip B. Rarick, Esq., Miami Probate Attorney

Florida’s 30% elective share law was completely rewritten in 2001 because the old law could be easily circumvented by placing assets in a revocable trust or using non-probate transfers (e.g. life insurance, IRAs etc.)  In an effort to curtail such tactics, the legislature overhauled the statute and broadened the share.  The result is an expansive elective share that sweeps into the decedent’s “elective estate” many non-probate assets.  See F.S. §732.201 —§732.2155.

What Is Included?  Florida’s  elective share statute retains the 30% share under prior law, but introduces the concept of the “elective estate” (sometimes referred to as “augmented estate”)  that consists of the following property interests under F.S. §732.2035:

By Phillip B. Rarick, Miami Lakes and Weston Estate Planning Attorney

Note: This 10 Point Checklist is for those persons who have interests in one or more Florida entities, such as a corporation,  limited liability company (LLC),  or  limited Partnership (LP).

1.     Annual Fees.   In January the State of Florida will send notices via email reminding you that annual fees for each corporate entity are due no later than May 1.   Do not wait to get an email notice from the state, as your fees are due regardless of whether you get a notice.   Remember:   The deadline to pay these fees is May 1 without penalty.

By Phil Rarick, Weston Estate Planning Attorney

This report is a reminder that the FBAR or Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Account is due June 30.    The FBAR is required for U.S. persons having a financial interest or signature authority over one or more foreign financial accounts, including a bank account, brokerage account, mutual fund, trust, estate, pension, cash value life insurance, or other type of foreign financial account having an aggregate value over $10,000 at any time during 2015.

Note:  A U.S. person may have a reporting obligation even though the foreign financial account does not generate any taxable income.

By Phil Rarick, Weston Business Attorney

Here is a Big Red Flag:  bundling multiple investment properties in the same LLC. This is a mistake we are seeing more and more often:  a real estate investor has six condo rental homes; all rental homes are owned by the same LLC. This investor has essentially defeated the purpose of the LLC. A slip and fall claim on one of the properties would expose all six to the claim.

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Bundling multiple investment properties in one LLC

By Phil Rarick, Esq.

Here is a simple fact:  most small businesses cannot afford or even survive a major dispute between partners if the dispute ends up in court.   Such disputes can doom the small business due to interruption of the company business, distract the principal partners from focusing on growth, and soak up all capital needed to sustain the company.

The following are 5 Take Away Points for avoiding court intervention in your business:

By Phillip B. Rarick, Esq.,  Weston Asset Protection Attorney

The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande is a current, hot selling book written by a physician and advising how to get things right by implementing commonsense systems.

In today’s modern medicine, coupled with our information age, where virtually every procedure can be scrutinized by an “expert” easily found on Google, it should be standard procedure for every doctor to have a comprehensive asset protection plan –  one that is up-to-date to  meet the challenges of our fast-changing legal system.

By Phillip B. Rarick, Miami Asset Protection Attorney*

Action Item Done
Homestead is under ½ acre if in municipality; if not in municipality then under 160 acres Note: Consider leaving mortgage on property – even if not necessary – as excellent asset protection option.  The mortgage can be paid down to avoid creditor attack.
Trust systems in place for children and loved ones and integrated withcreditor protection structures
Vacation home is titled in LLC, Limited Partnership, or Tenancy by Entireties
Rental properties are titled in Florida LLC or Limited Partnership. If single, consider Delaware LLC
All Florida LLC’s have (1) Operating Agreement with charging order protection; (2) separate bank account; (3) multi-member
All corporate records have been annually reviewed by corporate attorney
Exposed equity investments protected by asset protection structure Note:  Exposed investments are those not protected by Florida law.  Protected investments are IRA’s, 401k’s, annuities, pension plans, life insurance, Florida pre-paid tuition plans, and 529 plans.
If married, checking/savings account owned as Tenancy By Entireties (TBE) Note:  Confirm by going to bank and checking the bank signature card.
Auto and motor vehicles : If married, title in name of person who drives vehicle the most; not in joint name
Boats or jet skies: Title in name of LLC
Adequate property and casualty insurance
Adequate auto, vehicle, and boat insurance
Umbrella liability insurance Note: Confirm with agent that there are no gaps
If professional:  adequate malpractice insurance and experienced malpractice agent who specializes in such coverage
Team of caring and qualified advisors, including CPA, attorney, investment advisor, and insurance agent

For more information, contact Phil Rarick, a Miami asset protection attorney, at (305) 556-5209 or info@raricklaw.com.

* With special thanks for ideas from Alan Gassman, Esq., estate & asset protection planning attorney and guru.

Special Note

The information on this blog is of a general nature and is not intended to answer any individual’s legal questions. Do not rely on information presented herein to address your individual legal concerns. If you have a legal question about your individual facts and circumstances, you should consult an experienced Miami asset protection attorney. Your receipt of information from this website or blog does not create an attorney-client relationship and the legal privileges inherent therein.

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