Planning to build a home? Many people have asked me whether or not money used to buy a lot where they intend to build a residence is protected. Or, is money paid in advance to a contractor to build a homestead protected under Florida’s homestead provisions exempting homestead property from creditors. The short answer is “no.
People throughout the country are learning about the Florida Supreme Court case of Havoco v. Hill and its importance for Florida asset protection planning.
As you many readers of this blog already know, the Florida Supreme Court declared that personal property owned jointly by a husband and wife is presumed to be tenants by entireties property which is immune from the creditors of either spouse individually. The Supreme Court made this holding in the case of Beal Bank, SSB v. Almand in 2001.
Generally speaking, the Florida consitution protects homestead property owned by a natural person. But, what happens if a person deeded their homestead to their living trust, and as a result the legal title is held in the name of the trustee for the trust.
Many lawyers and attorneys do not tell their clients about the exceptions in Florida law to homestead protection.
One problem of having a judgment entered against you is that the creditor’s attorneys can attack any lawsuit you have, or any claim which you may have in the future, against any third party.
A prospective client called and asked whether the Florida homestead protection extends to IRS debts where the IRS debt pertains to one of the two spouses who own the homestead.
Retirement plans that are established under a body of federal law referred to as ERISA ( Employee Reitement Security Act of 1974) are protected from creditors pursuant to Florida Statute 222.21.
There are some creditors against whom asset protection is extremely difficult. These creditors include government agencies such as the IRS, SEC, and FTC, and your spouse.
529 Plans are named under the section of the IRS code that creates and regulates them. These plans provide for a way for a parent or grandparent to invest and save for a child’s education.