When Does New Florida Resident Qualify For Florida Asset Exemptions?

Florida law exempts many assets from execution by a judgment creditor including intangible personal property including life insurance and annuities. Section 222.14 of the Florida statutes exempts cash value life insurance, annuities and annuity proceeds that were issued to citizens or residents of Florida. Most other states do not exempt these assets from creditor garnishment. …

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Does a Spouse Automatically Inherit Everything in Florida?

Some new clients have told me they have not made a will or a testamentary trust because they had assumed their spouse would automatically inherit all their individual property. These people misunderstand Florida law. Florida law entitles a surviving spouse rights in some, but not all, of a decedent’s property. A surviving spouse will inherit …

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Fraudulent Transfers Can Diminish Homestead Protection

Existing Laws on Florida Homestead Protection and Fraudulent Conveyance It is well-settled Florida law that the purchase or improvement of a Florida homestead cannot be set aside as a fraudulent conveyance. The Florida Supreme Court in Havoco v. Hill said that a creditor cannot reverse a judgment debtor’s payments made toward a homestead property even …

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Is a Single Member LLC in Florida Protected from Creditors?

Florida has enacted a statute specifically dealing with single member limited liability companies. The statute authorizes single member LLCs. The statute includes creditor remedies to collect a judgment from a debtor’s membership interest in the debtor’s single member LLC. Generally, a judgment creditor’s sole remedy against multi-member LLCs is limited to a charging order. The …

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August 2020 Asset Protection Case Law Update

This case law update concerns transfers of exempt property after filing bankruptcy, the statute of limitations for fraudulent conveyance, and proper wage garnishment jurisdiction. Bankruptcy Debtors Can Sell or Transfer Exempt Property After Filing Date In re: Hampton, 2020 WL 3969247 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. 2020). Summary A bankruptcy court confirmed that bankruptcy exemptions are determined …

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Can a Judgement Against You Affect Your Spouse in Florida?

Florida is a “separate liability state” and a “separate property state.” Separate liability means that each spouse may contract individually with a creditor and incur separate debts, or both spouses may jointly execute a debt contract to pay debts such as a mortgage loan or credit card. One spouse is not liable for the debts …

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Garnishment of a Joint Account When Funds Belong to Non-Debtor Owner

Under tenants by entireties law, a joint account between married couples is protected from garnishment resulting from a separate judgment against just one of the spouses. But what if the joint account is not tenants by entireties? Or, what if the account is jointly owned between unmarried family members (such as parent and child)? When …

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How to Protect Proceeds of Homestead Sale in Florida

Florida’s homestead exemption has been interpreted to provide protection not only for the physical homestead property, but also for both the cash and non-cash proceeds from a voluntary sale of the homestead as well. A financial account comprised of homestead sale proceed has often been described as a “homestead account.” Many clients have heard of …

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