Questions and Answers
What Is Asset Protection?
Asset protection is the process of securing your assets from future lawsuits and creditors. Did you know that Florida is one of the most debtor-friendly states? Florida’s asset protection laws are quite liberal and allow many individuals to keep their property regardless of the status of their debt.
Types of Asset Protection
There are a variety of ways to safeguard your estate from creditors in the State of Florida. Although they may seem simple, each method of protection contains a wide variety of exceptions that may expose your property to creditors. Experienced probate attorney in Florida Jon L Martin can review your unique legal situation and explain what asset protection tools are the best for your specific needs.
One of the most notable debtor-friendly laws is Article X, Section 4 of the Florida Constitution which prohibits the forced sale of a homestead to pay debts. A homestead can be half an acre if it is located in a municipality and up to 160 continuous acres in any county if it is a permanent homestead for a Florida resident. You can technically invest in a large, expensive house or use non-exempt assets to pay for a house, even if the transfer’s purpose was to protect assets from creditors.
Jointly Owned Property
Tenants by the entirety will provide asset protection in Florida for any real or personal property if only one spouse owes money. Available only to married couples, tenants by the entirety is a form of joint tenancy that gives both spouses joint ownership, control and interest in the property. Additionally, the spouses must have been married at the time and have purchased the property together. There are certain downfalls to this type of asset protection, however, including divorce and death of the spouse who does not owe the creditor that our law firm can discuss with you.