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Asset Protection for Property Owners

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St. Petersburg

Asset Protection Attorneys

Protecting Property Owners’ Assets & Wealth

If you own or plan to own a home, then you need to have a strong plan in place for protecting your assets and wealth from various parties that may want to come after everything you’ve worked so hard to acquire.

At Boss Law, our esteemed legal team can devise a strong legal strategy to insulate your assets and help you avoid costly lawsuits and devastating losses. Although most people think asset protection services are something only the wealthy need, every homeowner should take control of what they own by consulting with an experienced lawyer to determine all of their options.

If you are ready to protect your wealth and legacy, then please give us a call today at 727-877-3188 to request your free case consultation.

Which Type of Trust Is Best for Asset Protection?

Boss Law is here to listen to your concerns and explain all of the ways you can protect your assets. Reach out to our law firm today to find out if the following asset protection strategies are right for you:

Land Trusts: This is a fully revocable trust designed for buying, holding, financing, or selling real estate in a private manner.

Limited Partnerships: You can create a limited partnership to shelter your wealth and still keep control over assets.

Limited Liability Companies: LLC business entities are entirely separate from the owners. This means your personal assets will be protected if the business is hit with a lawsuit.

Premarital Agreements: You can use a premarital agreement to specify and separate property between you and your spouse to keep them outside of a property division in case of divorce. Premarital agreements can also be used to dictate how the marital property will be divided or whether alimony will be paid.

How Can I Protect My Real Estate Investments?

With a grantor retained annuity trust (GRAT), you can transfer your highly volatile or income-producing assets, such as real estate, stocks, or a business, to a trust for a specific number of years. By putting your real estate into a GRAT, it can be removed from your estate if the value of the transferred asset appreciates. This also allows you to receive any income from the assets during the GRAT term.

Once the trust ends, the asset appreciation will be awarded to the beneficiaries named in the trust. Since the beneficiaries can’t receive any value until the end of the GRAT term, the value of the gift is reduced, which maximizes the total amount that can be gifted. If you pass away before the GRAT ends, some or all of the assets held in the trust can be included as part of your estate.

How Can I Protect My Home Assets?

A revocable living trust is a powerful estate planning tool that is designed to hold legal title to your property. With a revocable living trust, you can still manage and change the terms of the trust during your lifetime. The assets you choose to include in a revocable living trust generally do not have to pass through probate.

Can I Lose My House If Someone Sues Me?

If you are a homeowner who is being sued by another party in civil court, then you risk losing your home if you don’t win the case or convince a judge to throw it out. That is why many smart homeowners in Florida include land trusts in their estate plans to protect their properties against threats from creditors and other parties who may try to come after their home during a lawsuit. Land trusts can be revocable or irrevocable, depending on your unique goals and preference.

A land trust is a strong estate planning tool for homeowners because they basically convert the “real property interest” into a “personal property interest.” This is achieved through a contract between the land trustee and the trust beneficiary. The beneficiary of a land trust can be a person or a business entity, such as an LLC.

By including a land trust in your estate plan, creditors who file lawsuits against you can’t reach the asset because it is in the hands of the trustee and the beneficiary has no immediate interest to record or attach a lien to. Under Florida law, the land trust contract creates an “executory contract” in favor of the land trust beneficiary that establishes a protective barrier against predatory creditors.

What Assets Cannot Be Placed in a Trust?

You cannot place the following assets in a revocable living trust:

Medical / Health Savings Accounts: Medical savings and health savings accounts are used for paying medical expenses. Because these accounts are tax-free, they cannot be named under a living trust. If there is a legitimate reason you must tie either of these two accounts to the trust, then you can just name the trust as the primary or secondary beneficiary of the account.

Retirement Accounts: Retirement accounts, such as IRA’s, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and other qualified annuities, should not be transferred into a living trust. If you transfer these accounts, then it would count as a complete withdrawal of the funds, which means income taxes would be imposed on the transfer. Instead of transferring retirement accounts into a living trust, you can name the trust as the primary or secondary beneficiary of the retirement account.

Life Insurance Policies: Although you can change your life insurance policy’s ownership to be the trustee or assign your revocable trust as your life insurance beneficiary, creditors can still access these funds. If you have a life insurance policy, then you should establish beneficiaries using the policy instead of retitling it to a revocable trust.

How Can Boss Law Help You?