Which States Recognize Tenants by Protection?

One of my married clients this week had recently moved to Florida to seek protection from a large lawsuit. The client owned property jointly with his wife in several states including his previous domicile of Pennsylvania, a vacation home in North Carolina, and newly acquired joint property in Florida. The issue presented is whether these marital assets were all exempt as tenants by entireties assets after the client declares Florida as his primary home. Continue reading

Sole Proprietorship Advantages For One-Owner Businesses and Professions

Most one person professional business- such as attorneys or physicians- operate as a legal entity (P.A. or L.C.) . The professional is an employee who receives from the business a combination of salary and profit distributions. This business arrangement has tax advantages because it can reduce employment taxation, but it may not be best for asset protection when the business and/or the professional owner has a potential legal problem. Continue reading

Collection of Domestic Support From Irrevocable Trust

Asset protection against domestic support judgments is very difficult. As an example, one of my clients has been paying substantial alimony to an ex-wife. His surviving parent, who lives in South Carolina, told him that his S.C. estate planning attorney set up a living trust that would protect the client’s future inheritance from his ex-wife by placing the inherited assets in a discretionary spendthrift trust. The client asked me to confirm the protection under Florida law. Continue reading

Are Social Security Benefits Protected From Securities and Exchange Commission Collection?

A caller said that the Securities and Exchange Commission had a civil judgment against him for his violation of federal securities laws. He wanted to know if the SEC could take his social security income when he retires. He said he had read my prior blog entries that said social security is exempt from garnishment, but that he had read something to the contrary on the internet. Continue reading

Moving Protected Homestead Equity From Another State to A Florida Homestead Property

Selling an exempt homestead in one state in order to move in to a new Florida homestead can be tricky. One must be careful to preserve the  protection of current homestead while it is on the market and also protect a Florida property that is purchased before the old home is sold and the new Florida home is occupied. Continue reading

Changes May Be Coming To Fraudulent Transfer Statutes

Florida’s fraudulent transfer law is for the most part the enactment of the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act. The Uniform act is adopted by most, if not all, states including Florida. On July 16, 2014, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) unanimously adopted the Uniform Voidable Transactions Act to replace the Unifrm Fraudulent Transfer Act. Continue reading

Should Your LLC Issue Written Certificates of Membership Interests?

Ownership of a corporation is evidenced by a stock certificate. Ownership of an LLC is evidenced by the LLC’s operating agreement , and in most cases, confirmed by LLC income tax returns. LLCs do not typically issue “shares” or other written certificates of ownership. But, an LLC may elect to issues written shares, and in some cases, establishing member ownership by written certificate has asset protection advantages. Continue reading

What Constitutes A Joint Judgment For Tenants by Entireties Exemption?

Tenants by entireties assets are protected against a judgment against either spouse, but entireties assets are not exempt from a creditor holding a joint judgment against both spouses. Sometimes, there is an issue about what constitutes a “joint judgment.” This past week I dealt with the issue of whether a single party that holds separate judgments against both spouses can execute against the couples entireties assets. Continue reading

Virtual Currency Hides Money From Ex-Spouse

I have said in prior blog post many that asset protection does not involve hiding assets or lying about assets. Yet, intentional deception about assets does occur, and it occurs most frequently in divorce cases. Family law gives ex-spouses powerful collection remedies that penetrate most defenses used to protect against civil judgments. Debtors owing alimony and support sometimes revert to hiding money and lying about their wealth. Continue reading