Protect Your Business with the Help of an Asset Protection Attorney Florida
An asset protection attorney can help if your business is facing litigation or bankruptcy that puts its assets at stake.
Do You Need an Asset Protection Attorney in Florida?
At The Turning Group, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive bankruptcy prevention solutions for struggling business owners and those who want to want to protect their business down the line. Our primary legal services include business windup, liquidation, mergers, assets maximization, and liquidating trustee, but asset protection is another major bankruptcy solution that we utilize.
Asset protection is a financial planning method that can help a person protect their assets from creditors. Businesses, like individuals, can use asset protection techniques to ensure creditors’ access to assets is limited while still operating within debtor-creditor laws.
Further, Florida asset protection involves strategies to guard assets like wealth from loss, seizure, and taxation. It helps legally insulate assets without engaging in concealing assets, fraud, contempt, bankruptcy, or tax evasion. If property is held jointly, it can still be subject to asset protection.
When to Consult a Florida Asset Protection Attorney
Asset protection should begin before a claim occurs since after is usually too late to get protection. When you meet with an asset protection attorney in Florida from The Turning Group, we will evaluate your situation and determine which asset protection method, if any, is best to pursue. If it’s too late to pursue asset protection, we can advise you on the best course of action moving forward.
Understanding Florida Asset Protection
Common methods of Florida asset protection include asset protection trusts, family limited partnership (FLP), and accounts receivable financing.
If the debtor does not have many assets, bankruptcy may be the better option instead of planning for protection. If the business has significant assets, we may advise utilizing proactive asset protection.
Creditors cannot take certain assets, like retirement plans. Each U.S. state protects owners of corporations, limited liability corporations, and limited partnerships from liabilities.
If you own a business or professional practice, the risk of loss and liability is high, making it a dangerous asset. Incorporating your business in your personal assets was once considered the standard and the best way to insulate your assets. Now, the LLC has quickly become the standard business because it is more convenient, more flexible, and less expensive, and asset protection is offered at the same level of protection.
Since LLCs are mandated by state law, the filing requirements and protections offered differ from state to state. However, state laws separate the owner and business and their assets from liability. In many states, certain business owners, like doctors, dentists, lawyers, and psychiatrists, cannot afford the protections of an LLC since they cannot shield themselves from liability.
If you are unsure which method of asset protection fits your unique situation, consulting a Florida asset protection attorney can help you find the answers you need to move forward with confidence.
What Assets Are Protected in a Lawsuit in Florida?
Thanks to the generous protections given by the Florida constitution, statutes, and common law, Florida is one of the most debtor-friendly states. Florida asset protection laws apply to permanent residents and those who own property in Florida. Those anticipating substantial judgments often move to Florida from other states to become a resident and reap the rewards of its asset protection benefits.
Florida statutes protect many assets from creditors. For example, Florida common law protects property owned by spouses from creditors if one spouse is in debt. As mentioned above, LLCs are also used for asset protection.
The key assets that Florida law protects include the following:
- The head of household’s wages
- Homestead with limited acres
- Life insurance
- Multi-member LLC interests
- Retirement accounts
- $1,000 of vehicle value
- $1,000 of personal property
- Disability income
- Social security
- Prepaid collect plans
- Medical savings accounts
- Unemployment benefits
- Inheritance (in some cases)
In most cases, a home cannot be lost in a Florida lawsuit. In fact, the most important and well-known exemption is the homestead exemption of property. This means a home is protected from creditors subject to its acreage, with exceptions for misconduct and fraud. There is no financial limit on the homestead exemption, but location is key. If the house is in the city, the rule applies to ½ an acre, while 160 acres applies in rural areas.
Protecting assets that belong to a business tends to entail different tools and strategies than protecting individual assets. Our asset protection attorneys often advise structuring business assets, for example, to make it more difficult for creditors to collect the assets.
Florida Asset Protection Strategies
It’s important to note that estate protection planning with an asset protection lawyer will not shield tax debtors from tax liability. Some people believe they can move assets offshore to protect themselves from the IRS or income tax. Do not confuse legal offshore asset protection with offshore tax evasion, which is criminal. As stated before, asset protection works best before it is necessary, so early preventative action with a skilled business lawyer is essential.
The reorganizing and transferring of assets should be done before problems with creditors arise. This could be considered a form of legal insurance. Similar to how most people do not see a doctor until they experience pain or an ailment, most people or businesses unfortunately do not seek an asset protection attorney until they need it.
Asset protection strategy after a lawsuit is filed is difficult, but it’s not impossible, and it is never too late to inquire about asset protection before a creditor becomes interested in your property. Just keep in mind that asset protection tools put in place just before legal trouble are not going to work as well as advanced protections. However, even late protections are better than no protections and put the debtor in a better position.
There are some situations in which it’s too late for a business owner to protect their assets. Fortunately, if this happens to you, know that you still have options to limit the financial fallout. You may be able to liquidate assets to smoothly close your business or generate the revenue needed to keep your business going. If you need to sell your business, our business appraisal services can help you determine whether it’s worth it.
How an Asset Protection Lawyer Florida Can Help
Most attorneys will tell you that offset asset protection trusts are some of the best tools to protect your money from lawsuits because a local court does not have jurisdiction over foreign trustees. Here is the process of protecting your assets.
First, a professional law firm will review your case, as well as all your assets and risks, and then ask about your financial goals and how to best protect your assets. After this, the planning process begins. Typically, this will involve establishing structures – like trusts and companies – to create barriers between the creditor and the debtor. This is done by applying a variety of estate planning and business planning tools.
An asset protection plan that is established properly performs the following functions:
- Settlement negotiation
- Lawsuit deterrence
- Moving assets out of creditors’ reach
Be sure to engage in asset protection prior to a lawsuit for the best results. If you have not engaged in asset protection, you can do so at any time. Just remember that every situation is different, so it’s always best to consult a professional, reputable asset protection lawyer.
Your asset protection attorney can help you better understand this area, provide you with legal advice, and go through your assets to determine what is at risk if you ever find yourself being sued by a creditor. This will allow them to better decide the best course of action to protect those assets, whether it is asset protection planning, asset protection trust, estate planning or something else.
If you’re looking for the best asset protection attorneys near me, The Turning Group is here to help. Contact us today to begin protecting your business and set yourself on the path to success.
If your business is facing bankruptcy proceedings, The Turning Group can help you find a solution to keep you on your feet. Based in Doral, Florida in the Greater Miami Area, we offer comprehensive bankruptcy alternative and liquidation services to clients throughout the state of Florida. Contact us today at 305-640-5754 or fill out the form below so we can begin to steer you toward success.