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Weston Asset Protection Attorney

In today’s litigation flooded society, virtually anyone can be a target of a lawsuit – you do not need to be in a high risk profession such as a physician or dentist. Examples are many: your adult child is involved in a car accident that seriously injures another person; your dog bites your neighbor; a worker fixing your roof falls off and has permanent back injury.

In this risky legal environment, your lifetime of savings, your nest egg that you plan to have for retirement needs to be fully protected. It is important to consult with an experienced Weston asset protection attorney when the waters are quit - before any lawsuit is filed.

If you have a business, you need to protect yourself from personal liability because a good personal injury attorney will usually try to pierce your corporate veil and sue you directly.

Many Strong Laws To Help Protect You – If You Act Timely

The good news is Florida - and other states - have excellent laws to protect your hard earned savings and business. When we begin our asset protection analysis we first need to get a complete listing of all your major assets. These assets will generally fall into two categories: assets protected by Florida law and those that are not; these are the Exposed Assets.

Assets protected by Florida law include first and foremost your homestead, which is your Florida home. This house must be titled in your name (or your living trust) and be your primary residence. Florida has the strongest laws of virtually any state to protect your homestead. Other assets protected by Florida law include your IRA, 401k, life insurance, annuities, 529 plan, and Florida Prepaid College Fund.

Exposed assets – ones that creditors like to pursue - are real estate and non-qualified investments. The lowest of the low hanging fruit are rental properties because such assets can be liened and they will not disappear over the night. Here are some strategies.

Asset Protection Strategies
  1. Florida Limited Liability Company (LLC). Many LLC’s are not set up correctly: to have an effective LLC to protect your rental properties it is important that you have a robust Operating Agreement with good asset protection provisions. Further, it is important in Florida to make sure that there are at least two members or owners. For more information see Who Can Be That Second Member of Your Florida LLC?
  2. Florida Limited Liability Limited Partnership (LLLP). The LLLP is an effective asset protection entity, because like a multi-member LLC, the exclusive remedy for a creditor is a charging order. A charging order is not an attractive remedy for a creditor because they cannot foreclose – rather, the creditor must wait until a distribution is made from the LLLP. There are multiple strategies to avoid or minimize such distributions so the creditor could be forced to wait years until it receives any income. For more information see, Florida Asset Protection: 7 Key Strategies.
  3. Delaware LLC. A Delaware LLC may be an good option to consider if you wish to be the sole member (or owner) of your LLC. Delaware not only has strong laws to protect corporations, they have extensive case law and a sophisticated judiciary that is friendly to corporate owners.
  4. Domestic Asset Protection Trust (“DAPT”). Florida does not have laws permitting DAPT’s, but a top tier state for such trusts is Nevada. These trusts are highly technical, and require an experienced Weston trust and asset protection attorney. A Nevada DAPT can be effective in protecting liquid investments, such as stocks, bonds, and equities. For more information see, Five Reasons Nevada Is the Top State for Asset Protection Trusts.
  5. Nevis LLC. One of the highest qualities of asset protection is going off-shore to a jurisdiction such as Nevis – St. Kitts. Nevis has become a popular place for off-shore LLC’s because they recently modified their LLC laws to make it exceptionally difficult for any creditor to penetrate a Nevis LLC. For more information, see 12 Asset Protection Advantages of a Nevis LLC
Take-Away Point

Good asset protection can help turn assets that would otherwise be attractive to creditors into very unattractive assets. As Weston asset protection attorneys, we call this the Porcupine effect: If a creditor tries to attack your assets you want them to see a Porcupine, and hopefully force the creditor to abandon its attack or at least settle within policy limits of any insurance policy in place.