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Articles Tagged with Miami asset protection lawyer

By: Jacqueline R. Bowden Gold, Esq. and Phil Rarick, Esq.

The Coronavirus has left the US economy in a stand still. It has forced businesses to shut down and events to be cancelled or postponed across the nation – creating significant anxiety for small business owners. During these times, many businesses are unable to or fear they will become unable to fulfill their contractual obligations.

Here is a term you’ve probably heard before but never paid much attention to: Force Majeure. If you are unable to fulfill your contractual obligations or are worried that the obligor (the person who has a duty to perform) under an existing contract will not perform, Force Majeure is an important provision to look for in your contract.

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

On any other year the Florida Corporate Annual Reports would be due May 1. However, the Governor has signed an order extending the deadline to June 30, 2020.

If you have an interest in a Florida LLC, corporation, professional association, or partnership and have not filed your 2020 annual report be sure to do so prior to June 30. Otherwise the state will charge you a $400 late fee if you miss this deadline.

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

If you have never checked Florida’s web site for lost accounts and abandoned property you should do so – immediately. You may be pleasantly surprised!

You may think that it is not possible that you have any “unclaimed” property held by the State of Florida – and you could be wrong.

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:

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:

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