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Blog Posts in 2013

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What are the legal requirements for creating a Will in Florida?

In Florida, to create a valid Will you, the testator, must execute a signed writing in front of two witnesses. When executing the Will, the testator must have testamentary capacity. This means that ...
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If I sell my home, how do I shelter the proceeds?

When you sell or refinance your homesteaded home, you should shelter the proceeds. You have options: One option is to use the proceeds from the sale or refinancing to buy another exempt asset. For ...
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If my home equity is now fully homestead protected, do I need more protection?

You may. Homestead protection can be illusory. For example, if you have a $300,000 home equity and a $300,000 homestead exemption, your home is now fully protected. But how well will your home be ...
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Does the homestead exemption protect against every creditor?

No. Some creditors can override homestead protection and claim your home equity. These creditors include the IRS and other federal agencies. If you owe federal taxes or are sued by the SEC or the EPA, ...
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Are there ways to maximize your homestead protection?

There are several interesting techniques to maximize your homestead protection. For example, if your $200,000 home has $50,000 homestead protection and a $100,000 mortgage, you have $50,000 equity ...
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What happens if I die without a will?

Dying without a will means that you are dying "intestate." Your estate will be administered according to state law rather than your personal preferences. Florida State Law has an order of ...
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Can married couples apply their homestead exemption against the debts of only one spouse?

State laws do differ on who can claim the homestead protection. Several states give homestead protection only to the head of the household, but most states allow either spouse to claim homestead. This ...
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What procedural steps are necessary to claim homestead protection?

Most states impose procedural requirements for one to claim homestead protection. Usually, you must file a declaration of homestead in the public registry. Other states impose a residency period ...
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How do I calculate my exposed home equity?

Simply subtract your mortgage from your home's fair market value. A $300,000 home with a $150,000 mortgage has a $150,000 equity. If your state homestead law shelters $20,000, you have a $130,000 ...
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Why do I need an Estate Plan?

It is very important to pass on with a plan in place. An estate plan can help you ID which family members and loved ones will receive your property after your death. It will ensure that your property ...
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If a home has a homestead exemption of more than $146,450; won't this exemption still apply if you don't file bankruptcy within 40 months?

Yes. However, a judgment creditor can often force a debtor into involuntary bankruptcy within the 40 months to limit the homestead exemption to $146,450. This would then expose any additional equity. ...
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Would bankruptcy alter my homestead protection?

Recent federal bankruptcy amendments limit the state homestead exemption to $146,450 if you purchased your residence within the 40 months preceding bankruptcy. You must also have lived in that state ...
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How protective are the homestead laws?

The state homestead laws may partly or fully creditor protect the home's equity. Five states totally homestead protect the home; however, most state homestead laws only partly creditor shield the ...
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What is an Estate?

Your estate consists of all property owned by you at the time of your death. This includes real estate property, bank account, stock and other securities, life insurance policies, and personal ...
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How do people typically lawsuit-proof their home?

It's not that difficult to minimize the home equity that is exposed to creditors. One can accomplish it in a number of ways. But combining mortgages against the home with the protection of their ...
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How vulnerable is the family home to lawsuits?

Most Americans consider their home to be their most valuable – and vulnerable asset. Certainly, it's the one asset of greatest concern when they are sued because they are most emotionally ...
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What other planning tools are there?

We have covered only some of the available options in this Blog. We call them the foundational tools. But any expert in our field can go far beyond these basics. And it is no different with us. There ...
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How does equity stripping work?

This strategy calls for you to borrow against or otherwise pledge your assets as collateral security for some obligation. The secured creditor then has first claim against the asset to the extent of ...
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What is Estate Planning?

An estate plan addresses answers to legal and health questions upon death such as where their final property will be go and health care wishes to honor upon incapacitation. The following is a short ...
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What type of client uses international financial planning?

Not surprisingly, most of America's major corporations have international entities. And no less conspicuous are the hundreds of thousands of ordinary people worried about litigation and loss of ...
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Can you give us an overview on International Asset Protection?

Our many years as asset protection and wealth preservation lawyers have taught us that the safest wealth is international wealth. We create international asset protection programs for many clients and ...
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What is the role of domestic trusts in asset protection planning?

They play a relatively minor role. There are hundreds of different trusts, and each has its specific purpose for estate or financial planning. But for creditor protection, the trust must be ...
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How can we decide between FLPs, LLCs, corporations and the other entities we often hear about?

It can be difficult to decide upon the right entity in a given situation. You will probably need both your attorney and accountant to sort through their relative advantages and disadvantages of each ...
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How do S corporations and LLCs differ?

An LLC is a similar entity to an S corporation since the owners of both entities enjoy limited liability and both entities can be taxed as either a proprietorship or partnership. An LLC member's ...
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Which are better to use for Asset Protection -- Limited Partnerships or Limited Liability Companies?

LLCs are becoming more popular and are fast replacing LPs. We almost always use LLCs to title non-residential real estate and to operate businesses but we still prefer LPs to title 'safe' ...
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The Presser Law Firm, P.A. - Asset Protection Attorney
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