What Assets are Protected From Creditors in Florida?
An asset is anything that you own that has value. Your personal assets include everything from the money in your savings account to your home. One of the most important aspects of effective estate planning is protecting your assets from claims made by creditors. It is no secret: Creditors can be aggressive. To account for this, asset protection is crucial. In Florida, certain assets are entitled to additional protection against creditor claims. Here, our Tampa estate planning lawyers provide an overview of Florida’s asset protection laws.
An Overview of Assets that are Protected From Creditors in Florida
Under Florida state law, some assets are entitled to inherent protection against many creditor claims. To obtain the maximum amount of protection against potential creditor claims, it is important to understand asset protection laws. Here are some of the key assets that are generally protected against creditor claims in Florida:
- Homestead Exemption: Florida’s homestead exemption is one of our state’s most powerful asset protection tools. As explained by the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser, a family’s primary residence may be protected against creditor claims under the homestead exemption. To be considered a ‘homestead’ a residence must meet the state’s legal requirements. When a property is properly classified as a homestead, creditors cannot force a sale by the owner in order to satisfy outstanding obligations.
- Life Insurance Policies and Annuities: In Florida, annuities and life insurance policies can sometimes be exempted from creditor claims. Indeed, the state provides a relatively high degree of protection for the proceeds of life insurance policies and related annuities.
- Qualified Retirement Assets: Some retirement assets are protected against creditor claims. If you have assets within a qualified retirement account—such as an IRA or a 401(k)—you can often protect those assets against a claim made by creditors. For some people, an effective asset protection strategy is to utilize the advantages of a qualified retirement account.
You Can Better Protect Your Assets With Personalized Estate Planning
With a comprehensive and focused estate plan, you can best protect your assets from the full range of creditor claims. It should be emphasized that estate planning is a case-by-case matter and the best strategy to protect your assets will depend entirely on your specific situation. The asset protection approach that works for another person or another family may not be the right approach for your circumstances. If you have any questions about how to best protect your assets from creditor claims, an experienced estate planning lawyer can help.
Call Our Tampa, FL Asset Protection Attorneys for Immediate Help
At Bubley & Bubley, P.A., our Tampa asset protection lawyers are diligent, focused advocates for clients. If you have questions about protecting money or property from creditors, we can help. To set up a confidential case evaluation with an experienced estate planning attorney, please contact us right away. We represent people throughout the region, including in Riverview, Brandon, Plant City, Palm Harbor, Lakeland, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg.