Lawsuit Protection Part II: Assets That Protect Themselves

ERISA - Exempt Asset Protection
ERISA plans (e.g. 401(k)) have built-in asset protection.

In Lawsuit Protection Part I, I discussed the advantages of being judgment proof. To reiterate, the main purpose is to discourage aggressive attorneys, because there is no financial upside for them.  That article can be summed up as follows: Judgment proof people have nothing to lose, so would-be suing attorneys have nothing to gain.  Being judgment proof is a very effective way to keep a lawsuit from ever being filed against you.

Built-In Asset & Lawsuit Protection

But there is an obvious downside to being judgment proof: We all want to have wealth and assets. How can one have significant wealth AND be judgment proof at the same time? Before we tackle that concept in Lawsuit Protection Part III, it’s important to discuss how different assets are treated in the eyes of law. Assets are not created equal when it comes to wealth protection laws.

What Is An Asset?

Accountants will tell you that assets minus liabilities equals equity, or (A – L = E).  In the realm of asset protection, we think about protecting equity. That’s the real asset. A building valued at $6oo,000 with a $625,000 mortgage in place is not an asset.  It’s a liability.  That building actually represents a debt. It’s underwater and doesn’t need to be protected. Liquid assets like cash, stocks, bonds, and physical precious metals are pure equity and in need of protection most of the time (unless they’ve been purchased on margin or with debt).

Let’s consider the example of a 33 year old physician living in California. Assume this physician has $90,000 of cash in the bank and a home valued at $400,000 (with a $250,000 mortgage). Further assume that she owes $200,000 in student loans. In a strict balance sheet accounting sense, this person is in the red (i.e. she has negative overall equity), but she does have assets.

Is she judgment proof (assuming there is no malpractice insurance)?  To answer this question, we must first understand the difference between exempt assets and non-exempt assets. In general, exempt assets are off limits. They can’t be reached by creditors. Non-exempt assets are everything else.

Exempt and Non-Exempt Assets

Some types of assets are exempt from lawsuit judgments and other creditor claims. Those assets cannot be touched. Some exempt assets include qualified retirement plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and homesteaded property. In some states like Florida and Texas, equity in your home is completely protected by homestead laws.

In almost all scenarios, cash in the bank  is not protected at all. It is a non-exempt asset. That means a court can order that cash in the bank be used to pay off a verdict. An asset protection attorney could help convert cash into an exempt asset category. One simple way to do that would be to simply pay down the mortgage on a homestead property.

Converting Property from Non-Exempt to Exempt

Why pay down the mortgage as opposed to the student loans? Well, as discussed above, homesteaded property is an exempt asset. There are laws in place that automatically place homesteads beyond the reach of creditors. By paying down a mortgage, your can protect the asset AND keep it available for future use (i.e. a home equity line can be tapped in the future). Just as important, if tragedy strikes and for some reason other creditors come calling, the $60,000 would be safely exempt from the claims of those creditors, including student loan lenders! That’s more relief than one could get even in bankruptcy court. Exempt assets are protected assets!

Again, the key to fortifying your assets is being judgment proof, even if you have significant wealth. Take practical steps today to understand the types of assets you have, and then begin figuring out how to protect them one at a time as part of an overall asset protection strategy.

Strong Creditor Collection Tools

Visit https://mwpatton.com to learn more about asset protection strategies.

One of my asset protection clients has a judgment entered against her by a federal regulatory agency. This client has almost no income, except for a modest monthly social security check. The creditor federal agency hired a commercial collection firm to collect its judgment. As part of the collection effort, my client’s social security income was garnished. There is a federal statute which states that creditors cannot garnish social security. The client wants to know how he can dissolve the garnishment and protect her assets.

IRS – Asset Protection Exempt

The IRS has enhanced collection tools including the legal right to garnish social security checks and other benefits sponsored by the federal government. Specifically, Section 6334 (c) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 6334 (c)) allows Social Security benefits  to be taken to collect unpaid federal taxes, if monthly social security benefits exceed $750. If benefits do exceed the $750 threshold, the IRS gan garnish up to 15% of the income. Of course, a debtor has the right to appeal for a “hardship” exception.

Other federal regulatory agencies have similar remedies available to them, and no amount of asset protection planning can protect federal benefit income from such garnishment remedies. Any judgment owed to the federal government can be enforced by garnishing income received as part of social security or any similar government benefit.

But this is one collection rule that I don’t think we should be complaining about. After all, if one owes the federal government money, isn’t it just common sense that federal social benefits should go toward paying the debt. If you disagree, tell me why below.

529 Asset Protection College Planning

529 Asset Protection PlanningInternal Revenue Code 529 savings plans help families save for the cost of college tuition. Some 529 plans are operated by the States while others are directly operated by educational institutions. All 50 states offer at least one type of 529 plan to help parents (or other relatives) fund the cost of college tuition. Investment and interest returns on 529 plans grow tax free. Qualified distributions for college expenses are likewise tax free. 529 plans generally come in one of two flavors:

  • Savings plans – these operate much like 401(k) or IRA retirement plans.
  • Prepaid tuition plans – these allows parents to “lock in” tuition rates for in-state public colleges or universities.

In some states, 529 plans have built in asset protection features. Money in a 529 plan is generally exempt from bankruptcy estates, which means that if you file bankruptcy, creditors will generally not be able to get their hands on the cash value of a 529 savings plan.

529 Asset Protection Outside Bankruptcy

What about outside of a bankruptcy filing, in the context of a lawsuit or other creditor claims? Are 529 plans protected in a civil, non-bankruptcy context? The answer depends on where you live. Individual states offer varying degrees of legal asset protection for 529 plans. In some states 529 plans are protected from the claims of creditors of the beneficiary of the 529 plan (i.e. the college student), the account owner (e.g. parent), and/or the donor of the funds (e.g. parent or other relative). Some states offer protection for all three. Other states offer considerably less protection for 529 funds. Since the asset protection component varies so considerably from state to state, your best best is to consult an asset protection attorney to find out how well your 529 assets are protected. For a complete (though not frequently updated) list of state by state creditor exemptions for 529 plans, check out Morningstar.

Florida Asset Protection for 529 Plans

Money contributed to a Florida 529 plan is broadly protected. Assets in a Florida 529 savings plan are effectively protected against creditors of the beneficiary, the account owner, and the donor of the funds to the plan.

New Jersey Asset Protection

New Jersey, on the other hand, only offers protection against the creditors of the beneficiary and the donor of funds. In other words, claims against the account owner (e.g. a parent) are not exempt and could result in a 529 plan being liquidated to satisfy a legal claim or judgment.

New York Asset Protection

The New York statute only addresses creditor claims against account owners. The statute provides legal asset protection for funds in a 529 account only while the beneficiary is a minor.

Fraudulent Transfers

If money put into a 529 plan is deemed a fraudulent transfer, then it can be attacked and “clawed back” by legitimate creditors of the person making the transfer into the 529 plan. Again, fraudulent transfers are the primary reason that asset protection planning needs to be pursued before trouble is on the horizon.

Really Scary Risks and Asset Protection Planning

The scariest risks are risks that you don’t even know exist. The ones that are like a snake in the grass, silently coiled right by your feet ready to strike. It’s virtually impossible to manage risk unless you clearly understand the risks.  As an asset protection law firm, we’ve become pretty good at dealing with legal risk, and we’ve developed methods to eliminate or, at least, diminish it’s capacity to impact your wealth.  While legal risk is probably the greatest threat to your wealth, it is not the only risk to your wealth.

Defining Other Types of Risk

Besides legal risk, you should consider three broad categories of risk:

  • Institutional Risk — Remember Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers?  How about MFGlobal, which took almost $800 million of client money down with it?  Major institutions have failed, and more possibly can fail. Have you done the research necessary to decide for yourself whether or not your bank or financial institution is safe? If not, you’re in the realm of really scary risk, and no amount of asset protection planning can save you.
  • Market Risk — This is the risk of investments losing value. Anyone who has ever bought stocks or bonds has consciously taken market risk. Asset protection planning isn’t designed to address this type of risk.
  • Control Risk–When you invest in stocks or bonds, you don’t control the underlying vehicle (company) in which your investing. That leaves you open to the risk posed by other people. Enron, WorldCom, and Bernie Madoff are good examples of what can happen when you give up control of your investments. My asset protection strategies leave you in charge of the planning, so control risk is at your option.
  • Currency Risk — Yes, currency can be risky, even if you hold it in 100 dollar bills in your mattress at home.  The reason is that the amount of goods of services that currency can buy in the global marketplace changes daily. You might be thinking “Isn’t this really market risk?” Yes and no. I think of it separately because it pertains to paper money and not investment instruments like stocks and bonds. For what it’s worth, I like the U.S. Dollar when it comes to currency. Call me crazy . . . . Any good asset protection strategy should give you the option to hold different currencies as you see fit.

More on Market Risk and Asset Protection

Many professionals follow advice that traditionally has worked very well–they buy municipal bonds and hold them until maturity.  That strategy has worked well for many years, and it might continue to work.  I’m not challenging your financial advisor’s advice. My goal is simply to make you think: Does it seem to you that we are experiencing traditionally reasonable market conditions?  Does the extreme volatility in the markets concern you at all, not to mention the daily headlines coming out of the closely correlated markets in Europe? Are you concerned about the filing of the largest municipal bankruptcy in history, and rampant fraud in the financial services industry?

This is the one question you should be asking:  Given all the known and unknown risks in the market, am I being appropriately compensated for my participation in the game?  If the answer is “no,” then consider sidelining some of your assets.  That’s asset protection 101.  If you don’t know the rules (risks), don’t play.

Physician Bankruptcy Filings On The Rise

Doctors are being pushed into bankruptcy with increasing frequency as reported in this CNN article. Surprisingly, bankruptcy attorneys have noted that malpractice judgments are not a direct cause of the increase in physician bankruptcy filings. The ever escalating price of malpractice premiums does, however, seem to be a factor.

Asset Protection Planning Can Actually Reduce the Cost of Operating a Medical Practice

As unlikely as it may seem, doctors can actually reduce the cost of operating their practices by simply spending the one-time cost of developing an asset protection plan. While that cost is significant (often north of $20,000), the plan serves twin purposes that will save physicians money in the long run. First, an asset protection plan will serve to protect your wealth and keep you at the investment helm. In comparison to tools like whole life insurance, asset protection is superior because the fees are straightforward, and there is never any sort of penalty or need to jump through hoops if you ever want to remove your cash from the plan (though few of my clients ever want or need to pull money out their plans).

Second, when doctors have asset protection, there is less of a need for malpractice insurance.

The Need for Malpractice Insurance is Inversely Proportional To The Existence of Asset Protection

Think about the reasons for carrying malpractice insurance. For one, it covers the cost of legal defense in the event that you’re ever sued. Malpractice insurance also provides plaintiffs with a pot of readily available money from which to draw in the event that they succeed in their malpractice claim. That’s a huge incentive . . . FOR SOMEONE TO SUE YOU!

I spoke with a seasoned malpractice defense attorney two weeks ago. He said something along the lines of this: “In 20 years of practice as a malpractice defense attorney, I’ve never seen a doctor without malpractice insurance get sued.” The inverse must be true as well: Only physicians with malpractice insurance are likely to get sued.

You can effectively protect your personal wealth through the use of an offshore asset protection trust coupled with a family limited liability company. You don’t need malpractice insurance for protection. What you might neet it for is to pay the cost of a legal defense. I always recommend at least a minimal amount of malpractice insurance, if only to cover the cost of legal fees in the even that you are ever the victim of a lawsuit.

Asset Protection Can Increase Your Profitability

Do the math. Reduced malpractice premiums over the course of your career can really add up to a huge savings, and with reductions in insurance reimbursements, patient cash outlays, and the ever increasing cost of doing business as a physician, asset protection may be just the cost savings that helps you achieve banner profits.

Using Debt As A Shield

By Michael Wayne Patton

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The best way to think about asset protection is as a comprehensive strategy that protects you and your wealth from many angles. Trusts, family limited partnerships, LLCs, life insurance, and retirement plans are all tools that we use to fortify wealth and pass it on to loved ones with the smallest tax burden possible, but in many cases the way in which these tools are used is just as important as the tools themselves.

Not many people think of debt as a good thing, but in the world of asset protection, debt can be extremely useful as a tool and as a strategy, especially if you have any significant portion of your net worth tied up in real estate (or in some cases even stocks or bonds). Think about it like this: cash is easy to protect, because we can safely move it out of the U.S. and beyond the reach of U.S. creditors and courts. The same is true of other hard assets like precious metal, art, collectible cars, etc.

Real estate, on the other hand, is where it is. It can’t be moved and is therefore always subject to the jurisdiction of the court system where it is located. So even if real property is inside your asset protection plan (where it should be), a judge can simply decide to ignore the protections around it.

Equity Stripping

This is where debt comes in. Property that is encumbered by a mortgage at a high loan to value ratio is not very attractive to creditors. One way to protect the value of property is simply to carry a note on it, but that option doesn’t appeal to everyone. Luckily there’s an alternative.

So long as real property is inside of an asset protection plan at the time when a creditor’s cause of action or grievance arises, the equity in the real property can be “stripped” out and protected within the planning. This means that the property can be protected by debt after a lawsuit is filed against you, and the loan proceeds are likewise protected. It is a very sophisticated strategy that I’ve used to help people save real estate ranging from Hawaiian homes to commercial property.

If you’re interested to learn more about asset protection planning, please feel free to contact directly at (850) 803-1166. Just say that you were referred by the Florida Healthcare Law Firm, and I will waive my customary $279 consultation fee.

 

What OJ Simpson Can Teach Us About Domestic Asset Protection

OJ Simpson made a lot of mistakes, but one thing he did right was put good asset protection planning in place. In fact, OJ played the asset protection game to near perfection, and he didn’t even use an offshore asset protection trust. We can all learn a little something from the asset protection tools that OJ used for protection from lawsuits. Though Simpson more or less “lucked” into his asset protection plan, with the help of an asset protection attorney, you can implement an asset protection strategy that’s even more effective than OJ Simpson’s.

Federal Asset Protection

OJ Simpson began his NFL career playing for the Buffalo Bills. As part of his compensation, OJ received an NFL defined benefit retirement plan, which was in place for the duration of his professional football career. Fast forward thirty years to 1999. By 1999 OJ had been acquitted of double homicide by a “jury of his peers.” The bad news was that in 1997 the Brown and Goldman families had won a $33.5 million dollar civil judgment against Simpson. See Rufo v. Simpson, 103 Cal. Rptr. 2d 492, 497 (Cal. Ct. App. 2001).  Despite losing the civil case, Simpson’s defined benefit retirement plan (valued at more than $4 million) was “off limits.” In other words, the judge presiding over the civil case ruled that OJ’s retirement plan could not be used as a source of proceeds to satisfy the judgment won by the Brown and Goldman families.

The Employee Retirement Security Act (“ERISA”) includes an asset protection fail-safe mechanism that ensures employees receive the benefits promised to them by their employers. See 29 U.S.C.A. § 206 (1974). This federal asset protection feature prevents creditors from satisfying judgments out of certain ERISA qualified retirement plans such as pensions, defined benefit plans, profit sharing plans, and 401(k) plans.

Plans falling outside of ERISA (e.g. IRAs, Roth IRAs, Life Insurance Cash Value, Annuities, etc.) are only protected to the extent provided by the state in which a judgment debtor resides, and to this end some states are much better than others. For example, Florida asset protection laws provide for 100% protection of IRA accounts, cash value of life insurance, and annuities. California, on the other hand, only provides protection to the extent reasonably necessary for support.

Florida Asset Protection

By 1999, Simpson had also availed himself of Florida’s strong homestead protection laws. Under Florida law at the time, any domiciled resident of Florida could take advantage of an unlimited homestead exemption. That simply meant Simpson’s home could not be touched by the Brown or Goldman families, though following the collapse of WorldCom (and the fact that many WorldCom execs had used their fraudulently obtained funds to build huge Florida mansions), the Florida legislature carved out some “securities fraud” exceptions to the homestead exemption.

Additionally, in 2005 Congress altered the application of state homestead exemptions within the context of bankruptcy proceedings. However, many states still offer very good protection against creditors outside of bankruptcy. Whether or not you qualify for that protection is a function of the state law where you are domiciled.

OJ Only Used Domestic Asset Protection

Not all asset protection strategies involve offshore trusts, but they do all require adequate planning. A qualified asset protection attorney can help you determine how best to prepare for an unknown future. And a failure to plan is one mistake that none of us can afford to make.

Click Here to Download a Guide on Protection of Retirement Plans.

Tenants by the Entireties: A Viable Asset Protection Strategy?

In Florida, the answer is “YES.” Tenancy by the entirety is alive and well in Florida asset protection law.

Some other states recognize the common law asset protection doctrine of tenancy by the entirety too. Tenancy by the entirety is a form of ownership that, as a matter of law, can only exist between a husband and wife when they opt for it. The other attributes of this form of ownership are the concepts of common time (i.e. it can only exist during the marriage), right of survivorship, and undivided interest.

These attributes basically mean that married couples own their property “together,” in every sense of the word.  And if one spouse dies, the other spouse automatically takes sole ownership of the property, but that ownership is as an individual. The tenancy and all of its benefits disappear when when one spouse passes on.

Tenants by the Entireties: The  Asset Protection Benefits

With respect to asset protection planning, a tenancy by the entirety provides a lot of protection while the tenancy is in place. Neither spouse acting alone can transfer property out of a tenancy by the entirety. Rather, the consent of both spouses is required. That feature provides “built-in” asset protection. If one spouse is sued or incurs a liability of (almost) any kind, assets held in a tenancy by the entirety are exempt. They can’t be accessed to satisfy a claim that exists just one spouse.

Using Tenancy by the Entirety for Asset Protection

In families where both spouses work, a tenancy by the entirety can be used to protect those cash. That can be done by having separate incomes deposited into a bank account that’s owned by the married couple as tenants by the entirety. This method is especially effective in households where one spouse is a physician, dentist, or lawyer in a state where profits can only be shared with other licensed professionals (e.g. Florida attorneys). Income from the professional practice can be protected against potential malpractice suits by having it deposited into a tenancy by the entirety account. But there is a catch: You have to be consistent. It simply won’t be effective if you wait until a lawsuit or other claim is asserted before you begin, or a judge might just decide to “undo” your efforts. For regular paychecks and profit distributions, it makes sense to consider having income direct deposited into a tenants by the entirety bank account. That makes the protection automatic.

Where It Doesn’t Work To Protect Assets

Tenancy by the entirety is a weak form of asset protection in some scenarios. One obvious weakness is that property held in this form of ownership is accessible by a married couple’s joint creditors. So if you both “signed on the dotted line” for that loan that’s now going bad, T by E probably isn’t going to offer very much protection. Property also loses the protections if a couple divorces and/or upon the death of a non-debtor spouse (i.e. the death of the spouse who is “free and clear”). Also, in order to take advantage of a tenancy by the entirety in bankruptcy, a couple would have to to opt for state exemptions rather than the federal exemptions, because the doctrine of tenancy by the entirety simply isn’t recognized by the federal bankruptcy code. To overcome these weaknesses, it’s a good idea to use a limited liability company, in addition to tenancy by the entirety. That way your bases are really covered.

You can find of list of states that recognize the doctrine of tenancy by the entirety here (though I can’t vouch for its accuracy or when it was last updated).

If you have questions about tenancy by the entirety and want to know if it’s available in your state, please call us today. We’d be happy to spend some time discussing it and your other asset protection questions. If you want to learn more about the legal doctrine tenancy by the entirety in general, check out this very helpful paper written by a bankruptcy judge: Tenancy by the Entirety in Bankruptcy or click here to download the paper.

Asset Protection and Wage Garnishment

One question I encounter quite often is what happens to my earnings (i.e. wages) if a judgment is entered against me? It’s a great question, because even if the bulk of your assets are protected, income can still be intercepted . . . in some circumstances. I want to address Texas and Florida asset protection laws as they pertain to garnishment of wages, because I have a lot of clients in those two states.

Texas and Florida

A writ of garnishment is a legal remedy that courts (outside of Texas) grant to creditors allowing them to collect a certain portion of a debtor’s wages or other income in an effort to satisfy outstanding judgments. For example, if your wages are garnished, then your employer would actually be ordered by the court to convey a portion of your paycheck directly to your creditors. In short, garnishment can be a harsh remedy, and it can have devastating consequences for people who rely on their income to meet daily needs.

Texas law does not have a mechanism for garnishment. In short, creditors have no way to garnish or otherwise intercept wages or other types of income from debtors located in Texas.  It is possible that a creditor could attempt to intercept a federal tax refund, but that is a long shot in most circumstances.

Florida Asset Protection

Unlike Texas, Florida does allow courts to issue writs of  garnishment. This means that debtors (i.e. individuals with judgments against them) in Florida need to plan for the possibility that some of their income may be intercepted. Despite that possibility, Florida asset protection law does make one notable exemption to a creditor’s right to garnish wages. This exception is called the head of household exemption.

If you are the head of a household in Florida, then your wages are “off limits” and cannot be garnished.  In this context the term “head of household” is more of a family definition. In other words, it doesn’t relate to where one lives or with whom but, rather, refers to an individuas support obligations. One can be the head of a household so long as she or he has a legal or moral support obligation for another person such as child, spouse, or parent. The supported person does not necessarily need to live in the same house or reside with the head of household (e.g. many parents have primary financial support obligations for children even though they do not have primary custody of the children).

Federal Garnishment Limitations

In addition to Florida’s state laws that limit garnishment of wages, there are many federal limitations on the amount of wages that can be garnished. Federal law limits garnishment to the lesser of (i) 25% of an employees disposable earnings or (ii) the amount by which disposable earnings are greater than 30 times the national minimum wage. Disposable earnings are basically equal to take-home pay. So, if you’re a high income earner, garnishment can have teeth.

To some extent, asset protection planning can help with the issue of garnishment, especially the use of offshore trusts. But truthfully, the best plan of attack is to set up your business so that you can control your wages. That way you can lessen the severity and impact of wage garnishment on your life.

Spousal QTIP Trusts For Florida Asset Protection

In July of 2010, Florida asset protection planning became a whole lot easier for married couples in the Sunshine State due to a new statute. Florida Statutes section 736.0505(3) clarifies a previously unresolved issue: Whether assets contributed by one spouse (“settlor”) to an inter vivos Qualified Terminable Interest Property trust (“QTIP trust”) for the benefit of the other spouse (“beneficiary”) are protected from claims of creditors if the beneficiary spouse dies first and the assets revert to the trust creator.

Florida Asset Protection Planning

The relatively new Florida statute clarifies the issue nicely. Now, if the beneficiary predeceases the settlor, assets contributed to the trust shall “be deemed to have been contributed by the settlor’s spouse and not by the settlor.” The effect of this new statute is that as a matter of law, a QTIP trust won’t be considered a self-settled trust for purposes of Florida asset protection planning, in the event that the beneficiary dies before the spouse who created the trust.

Rather, when the beneficiary dies first, the trust assets can be disposed according to the testamentary power of the beneficiary (usually exercised in the last will), or the trust can be structured so that the QTIP trust automatically converts into an asset-protected spendthrift trust in favor of the settlor. This is a very strong form of Florida asset protection. Essentially, by creating a QTIP trust in Florida, you can guarantee that assets contributed to the trust will be protected from creditors, no matter which spouse dies first.

One interesting aspect to this asset protection planning device is the estate planning advantages it creates for married couples, especially when either spouse has children from a previous marriage. While married couples can achieve some degree of protection from creditors by holding assets as tenants by the entirety, that form of ownership does have weaknesses. Revocable trusts were the most widely used alternative, but those trusts leave marital assets exposed to the claims of future creditors.

Section 736.0505(3) combines the asset protection component of holding assets as tenants by the entirety with the estate planning  and tax advantages of revocable trusts (as used between spouses), making the inter vivos QTIP trust an extremely attractive tool in the arsenal of married couples with exposed assets. As is the case with all asset protection planning tools, laws regarding fraudulent transfers apply to the creation of QTIP trusts, so you should make use of this planning before you think the planning is actually needed. Finally, QTIP trusts cannot be reciprocal between spouses. See 26 C.F.R. §25.2523 (f)(1)(f), Ex. 11. Some states (e.g. Arizona) have enacted laws stating that certain types of trusts between spouses are not reciprocal as a matter of state law. If Florida enacts such a law, QTIP planning could prove even more effective than domestic asset protection trusts.

While the new Florida asset protection law resolves some estate tax and asset protection issues for married couples in Florida, it does leave some issues unresolved. For example, how should inter vivos QTIP trusts will be treated in the event of divorce? Despite this uncertainty, section 736.0505(3) is an effective and desirable Florida asset protection tool because (i) it helps married couples effectively deal with estate taxes, (ii) it protects trust assets from claims made against either spouse, and (iii) it allows the trust creator to retain control over the distribution of trust assets.

Click here to learn more about QTIP trusts.

Call A Florida Asset Protection Attorney

If you would like to speak with a Florida Asset Protection Attorney, please call the Law Offices of MWPatton at (850) 803-1166. Mention this article, and we will waive our customary fee of $279 and conduct your personal asset protection analysis for free.