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5 Key Qualities To Look For in an Asset Protection Attorney in Orlando, Florida

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5 Key Qualities To Look For in an Asset Protection Attorney in Orlando, Florida

June 15, 2023
Geoff Hoatson

Protecting your assets should be a priority as a resident or potential resident of Florida. Proper asset protection planning is crucial, whether your concern is shielding your hard-earned assets from creditors, avoiding high nursing home costs, or securing your financial legacy for your heirs. 

Understanding the available strategies and legal options is vital to safeguarding your assets. Our Florida asset protection planning guide offers a comprehensive overview to help you make informed decisions about securing your financial future.

However, finding an attorney with extensive knowledge and experience is crucial to ensuring your wishes and future goals will be handled properly and professionally. At Family First Firm, we know you have many choices for asset protection planning in Orlando. Whether you need a new plan or a review of an existing one, we’re always by your side to provide simple yet creative legal solutions to protect your family’s legacy.

Keep reading to discover the 5 key qualities to look for in an asset protection attorney, then call us at (407) 574-8125 to schedule a consultation.  

What is an Asset Protection Attorney?

An asset protection attorney focuses on helping clients protect their assets from creditors, lawsuits, and other financial risks, providing guidance on how to best structure and manage assets to minimize potential losses. 

Asset protection planning attorneys have a wide range of knowledge and experience in areas such as estate planning, elder law, and Medicaid. They help clients create strategies for protecting their assets from creditors or other claimants while complying with state and federal laws. An asset attorney also works with clients to create trusts, wills, or other legal entities that can help protect their assets from creditors or lawsuits.

Have you been searching online for an “asset protection attorney near me?” Consider the following key qualities before making your decision. 

  1. 1.Knowledge & Experience

An experienced asset protection attorney will have a comprehensive understanding of the state and federal laws related to asset protection and a thorough knowledge of the various strategies available for protecting assets. Ask your potential attorney about their experience working with clients in similar situations to yours to ensure they can give you advice tailored to your needs.

  1. 2.Reputation & Credentials

An excellent asset protection attorney will have a solid reputation among their peers and positive reviews from past clients. Confirm that the attorney you hire has all the necessary credentials, such as being licensed by the Florida Bar Association, and has distinguished themselves by earning honors like a high Avvo Rating and a Super Lawyers Rising Stars award. Finding an accomplished asset attorney will set you up for success by ensuring they have the qualifications to handle your case effectively.

  1. 3.Communication Skills

Communication skills are essential when working with any type of lawyer. However, this quality becomes even more critical for asset protection attorneys because they must be able to explain complex legal concepts clearly and concisely so that their clients understand them fully. When interviewing potential lawyers, notice how well they communicate verbally and in writing. 

  1. 4.Problem-Solving Skills

An asset protection attorney must possess excellent problem-solving skills. Why? Often, they must devise creative solutions for complicated legal issues related to protecting their client’s assets from creditors or other claimants. Look for an asset attorney with a track record of successfully resolving challenging cases to give you peace of mind knowing they can conceive innovative and effective solutions for you. 

  1. 5.Commitment & Dedication

Hiring a committed, dedicated, and passionate asset protection attorney is vital. This professional can protect your assets from creditors or other claimants while complying with state and federal laws governing asset management and taxation. Remember, the best results come from the greatest dedication. Look for a results-driven law firm that does not stop until you have achieved your ultimate goals.

What Assets Can You Protect in Florida? 

In Florida, you can shield certain assets from creditors, including: 

  • Your primary home (under the homestead exemption)
  • Qualified retirement accounts like 401(k)s, IRAs, and pensions 
  • Life insurance policies and annuity contracts, with some restrictions. 
  • Social Security benefit
  • Disability income benefits
  • Prepaid college tuition plans
  • Medical savings accounts
  • Workers' compensation benefits
  • Property held as tenancy by the entirety (for married couples)
  • Personal property (up to a specified value) 

What Are Some Examples of Florida Asset Protection Strategies? 

1.  Homestead Exemption

Florida law provides a homestead exemption for the value of your home up to $500,000. This means that creditors cannot seize your house to satisfy a debt. You must reside in the home as your primary residence to qualify for the homestead exemption.

2.  Tenancy by the Entirety

Tenancy by the Entirety is a powerful way for married couples to protect their assets. This special form of joint property ownership, unique to Florida, shields assets from the individual debts of either spouse. Rest easier knowing your assets are safe with this effective asset protection tool.

3.  Limited Liability Company

A limited liability company (LLC) is a business entity that offers its owners limited liability protection. This means that LLC owners are not personally liable for the debts of the LLC. LLCs are typically used for businesses but can also be used for asset protection.

4.  Family Limited Partnership

This legal entity empowers families to unite and safeguard their assets, amplifying their defenses against creditors.

5.  Domestic and Offshore Trusts 

Both domestic and offshore trusts are secure legal structures created to provide an extra layer of security. However, executing asset protection plans requires the guidance of a seasoned attorney to guarantee compliance with the law and prevent unintended consequences such as legal issues or reduced asset protection. These complexities can be navigated with the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney, ensuring you avoid potential pitfalls while maximizing your asset protection strategies.

What’s the Connection Between Estate Planning and Asset Protection? 

At first glance, estate planning and asset protection may seem like two different things, but in reality, they go hand in hand. This is especially true in Florida, where specific laws and regulations can impact your estate and assets. Combining the two in one comprehensive plan can be highly beneficial in the long run, as it not only helps you protect your assets but also ensures that your estate is distributed according to your wishes. 

Consulting an experienced asset protection attorney can help you navigate the complicated legal landscape and develop a strategy perfectly tailored to your unique needs.

Irrevocable Trusts 

An irrevocable trust is a powerful legal tool that separates your assets from those in the trust, making it impossible for creditors to access the trust's assets at any point. 

Florida residents can also benefit from the added layer of security that irrevocable trusts provide, as they protect assets from being considered for Medicaid eligibility. With an irrevocable trust, you can ensure your financial stability for the long term. 

Remember that it cannot be changed once you establish an irrevocable trust, transfer assets to it, and name a beneficiary. Despite these restrictions, irrevocable trusts have significant benefits worthy of consideration for protecting your financial future.

Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs) 

A GRAT is a versatile trust that lets you transfer your assets while maintaining the right to receive annuity payments. Trust-based gifting can be an excellent strategy to protect your wealth while reducing potential estate taxes. An experienced asset attorney can explain this irrevocable trust's benefits and setup options.

Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRTs) 

A Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT) is an excellent way to transfer assets to a charity without losing the income generated by those assets. This provides tax benefits while also safeguarding your assets from creditors.  As a result, a CRT can be a valuable tool in your estate planning and philanthropic endeavors.

Retirement Accounts and Asset Protection

In Florida, retirement accounts can also provide asset protection.

IRA Protection 

Florida law offers robust protection for individual retirement accounts (IRAs) from creditors, including traditional and Roth IRAs. 

ERISA-Qualified Retirement Plans

Did you set up 401(k)s or pension plans for your retirement? Good news! Generally, these plans enjoy federal law protections against creditors. Additionally, this protection may extend to rollover IRAs if the funds originated from an ERISA-qualified plan. 

How Can An Experienced Asset Protection Attorney in Orlando, FL Help? 

An experienced asset protection attorney can help you protect your assets in multiple ways, including:

Creating an Individualized Assessment: an asset attorney can analyze your finances and create a tailored asset protection plan to secure your future and protect your legacy. 

Offering Legal Guidance: an attorney can guide you through the complexities of asset protection planning law and regulations to keep you in compliance. 

Protecting Entities: an asset protection attorney can help you establish and manage LLCs, corporations, or trusts to safeguard your hard-earned wealth by creating a legal barrier between your assets and potential creditors or claimants. 

Maximizing Exemptions: discover state-specific exemptions that can protect specific assets from creditors by working with a knowledgeable asset attorney. 

Implementing an Estate Plan: a comprehensive estate plan developed by an experienced asset attorney can protect your assets and pass them on to your beneficiaries according to your wishes. 

Adjusting Your Plan as Life Unfolds: as your life evolves and the laws change, an asset protection attorney can provide ongoing support and adapt your plan to align with your new circumstances. 

Have You Been Searching for an “Asset Protection Attorney Near Me” in Orlando, FL? Contact Family First Firm

At Family First Firm, our knowledgeable, dedicated, and passionate asset protection attorneys and legal team have helped countless families protect their futures. It’s why we’re the highest-rated elder law firm in Florida. 

If you call Florida home or are considering a move to the Sunshine State, prioritizing asset protection planning is vital. We’re always by your side to provide simple yet creative legal solutions to protect your family’s legacy

Call us at (407) 574-8125 or complete our online form to schedule a consultation.

Copyright © 2024. Family First Firm - Medicaid & Elder Law Attorneys. All rights reserved.
The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
Family First Firm – Medicaid & Elder Law Attorneys
(407) 574-8125
https://familyfirstfirm.com
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