Articles Tagged with Miami asset protection lawyer

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

* 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.

By Phillip B. Rarick, Miami Asset Protection Attorney

Florida’s new LLC statute that became effective this past January 1, 2015 made fundamental changes in the state’s limited liability company laws.   These changes are so basic that we recommend that you should have a Miami asset protection attorney review all LLC’s created prior to 2015.  A key provision of the new law states that an LLC will be Member Managed unless the Operating Agreement or Articles of Organization expressly provide otherwise. F.S. § 605.0407(1).  The new law drives home four Take-Away Points:

  1. Every LLC should have an Operating Agreement. It may be tempting to use an on-line service to create an LLC.   This service will likely file a simple 1-3 page  Articles of Organization for you and send you a corporate book and seal.  Under the new law, the default provision will mean you have established a Member Managed LLC and it may be construed as a single member LLC unless you clearly provide otherwise in the Operating Agreement or Articles of Organization.  In Florida, we never recommend Member Managed LLC’s and you usually want to avoid a single member LLC.    The Operating Agreement is the true “control center” of your LLC:  it controls management, ownership, administration, and if properly drafted and structured, has strong provisions to make it difficult for creditors to attack.  An LLC without an Operating Agreement is most likely a weak entity providing little or no asset protection and possible control issues for the primary investor.

A big focus of our practice is helping our clients better protect their real estate investments.  However, some of our clients are surprised to learn that our legal services extend beyond real estate asset protection.  Here is a short list of our real estate services:

–           Purchase or Sale of Residential or Commercial real estate.   We will represent you on your sale or purchase.   It is often difficult to find reliable, cost efficient title companies.  We work in close collaboration with local, experienced attorneys who provide excellent title services.   We can help you close virtually any real estate transaction at a cost often below other title companies.

–           Commercial Leases.   A good commercial lease is essential to protecting the value of your property by insuring that good tenants stay, and bad tenants can be quickly and economically removed.   A strong, modern lease can help insure that you keep all your properties fully rented and tenants current in their payments.   My partner Jay Beskin is experienced with commercial leases and is available to help make sure that your new lease protects your interests.   An old lease may not be doing a good job of protecting you in 2015.   If you have an old lease, Jay is available to review it.

First, let’s hope you don’t need this.  But, if you do, here is a checklist of key estate planning items that should be considered prior to filing a petition for dissolution of marriage:

Note: This is a partial list of key items.  Invariably there are other considerations.  Consult your estate planning attorney.

1.         Revise living revocable trust or will:


Florida same-sex partners and same gender couples who were legally married in a state outside of Florida and have now moved to Florida should consider using a TBE (Tenants by Entireties) Delaware LLC to own Florida real estate or intangible property. Here is why.


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

A.  Domicile  vs. Residence

“Domicile” and Residence are two different legal terms, but often confused.  A person can have only one domicile, but any number of residences in different states. Domicile is your actual residence in the state joined with your intention to make that state your permanent home.  In order to establish a new domicile, you must first abandon your old “domicile”, but not necessarily your old “residence.”   The Florida test is both  a subjective and objective test.   The following checklist is a list of important objective criteria.

How fundamentally has the 2012 American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) changed estate planning?  It may have taken a year for this consensus to develop, but the simple answer that was apparent at the recent 48th Annual Heckling Institute on Estate Planning is this:  Profoundly; there is a new paradigm in estate planning.

Paul Lee, the National Managing Director of Bernstein Global Wealth Management, captured the essence of the new consensus in his presentation.  The new law increases the estate tax exemption to $5.34* million per person and $10.68* million for a married couple.  With the increased exemptions and permanence of portability of the deceased spouse unused exclusion (DSUE), Mr. Lee’s major Take-Away Points are:

  • Estate planning is now far more complicated for estates above the $5.34* million threshold

 By Phillip B. Rarick, Miami Asset Protection Attorney

The saddest and most tragic call I have ever received as a lawyer came when a parent called and said her teenage son, while operating a jet ski, had run over a young girl who happened to be about the age of my daughter.  I declined the case.   The young girl later died, and of course there was a large law suit.

These are the nightmare scenarios you never want to encounter.  Of course, the most obvious, common sense step to avoid such tragedies is to make sure that whoever is operating your boat or jet ski is well trained on operation of the vessel and in fact follows safe, recommended operating procedures. With the excellent and free Coast Guard training programs in south Florida there is no excuse not to take advantage of these programs.

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