Florida property owned by a husband and wife with rights of survivorship is presumed to be “tenants by entireties” property which is protected from the creditors of either spouse, but not protected from joint creditors. If a husband and wife contribute money to a revocable living trust, does the change of ownership terminate the entireties protection?
Much has been written about technical procedures for setting up a tenants by entireties account. One of the rules, expressed in several prior court decisions, is that any joint account owned by husband and wife is presumed to be an entireties accounts even if the account title does not state “tenants by entireties” provided however that the debtor did not …
The Florida Supreme Court says that all joint bank accounts owned by a husband and wife are presumed to be exempt tenants by entireties accounts unless the spouses have disclaimed entireties ownership. What does “disclaiming entireties ownership” really mean?
A blog reader sent me an email about his Bank of America joint checking account which he and his wife opened many years ago. He says the account was originally titled as “tenants by entireties. Just recently, he saw that BOA unilaterally changed the title on his account to “tenants in common.” Tenants in common joint accounts provide no asset …
It is not easy to open a tenants by entireties bank account. I’ve written previously that some banks refuse to offer entireties accounts; some banks offer them but you have to ask and be lucky the bank representative knows what you are talking about; also, banks frequently change their account application forms.
Some states other than Florida have tenants by entireties protection. The protection is not equal among states.
Tenants by entireties property in Florida is exempt from individual debts of either spouse. It makes no difference if the debtor is a Florida resident or an out-of-state resident with property located in Florida.
A reader asks an interesting question about tenants by entireties protection: does tenants by entireties protection apply to marketable securities held in a Florida brokerage account where one of the spouses is a permanent Florida resident and the other spouse resides outside Florida?
Generally, Florida’s creditor exemptions are expressed in Chapter 222 of the Florida Statutes. The Chapter’s sections list Florida’s premier asset protection exemptions including the exemptions afforded wages, retirement funds and annuities. Sometimes the legislature makes important asset protection changes in various other parts of the Statutes.
Asset protection can be very complicated when a husband and wife reside apart in different states. Here is an interesting tenants by entireties issues presented recently by a new client.