Asset Protection is utilized by individuals and businesses to legally and ethically protect assets from the future/potential threat of creditors. The best time to protect assets is before a legal controversy arises. Below are the most common strategies to protect your primary home:
- Maximize the Homestead Exemption for a Primary Residence is one of the best strategies to utilize. For example, if your home is worth $200,000.00 and you have a $75,000.00 mortgage, then you may pay the entire Mortgage Balance off so that the Homestead Exemption (and creditor protection) is maximized from $125,000.00 to the full $200,000.00 (value of the property). Each state has different homestead laws. Check your state here: https://www.assetprotectionattorneys.com/Domestic_Asset_Protection/List_of_States_For_Financial_Planning_Exemptions.aspx
- A second method to protect a home is by using the Tenancy by the Entirety ownership (only available for married couples). In the case of Tenancy by the Entirety owned property, a creditor may only make a claim to the Real Estate if both Spouses were responsible for the claim(s) of such creditor. Tenancy by the Entirety is only available in certain states. See the list of states at: https://www.assetprotectionattorneys.com/Domestic_Asset_Protection/Tenancy_By_The_Entirety.aspx
- In the states that do not have a viable Homestead Exemption (full creditor protection) for a Primary Residence, a homeowner could equity strip the equity of their property by placing a lien on the property with a mortgage and promissory note. This makes the home a much less desirable asset for creditors to take to satisfy in satisfaction of a judgement. That does not mean that the creditor will not satisfy their judgement in other ways, however, at least the home would be safe.
- Finally, purchasing an Umbrella Insurance Policy on the property is advisable (in addition to an Asset Protection Plan). If you claim is covered by insurance, rarely will any creditor file a lawsuit in court for the excess of the insurance Proceeds paid out and/or any additional compensation above and beyond the insurance payments.
For additional information about protecting your primary home, contact The Presser Law Firm, P.A. for a complimentary preliminary consultation. The Presser Law Firm P.A. 6830 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton FL 33487 (561) 953-1050 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.