A reader asks an interesting question about tenants by entireties protection: does tenants by entireties protection apply to marketable securities held in a Florida brokerage account where one of the spouses is a permanent Florida resident and the other spouse resides outside Florida?
Tenants by entireties property is not technically an “exemption” similar to exemptions from creditors established by Florida statutes or the Florida Constitution. Florida’s asset protection exemptions require that the debtor be a Florida resident. Entireties protection, not being an exemption per se, does not require that the debtor be a Florida resident. Entireties assets are protected from the creditors of one spouse so long as the asset is located in Florida so that is covered by Florida’s property laws.
My answer to the reader’s question is that the Florida securities account would be protected from the creditors of either spouse regardless of whether one, both, or neither of the couple resides in Florida. However, if there is a judgement against the non-Floridian spouse, and the financial institution has an office in the state where the debtor spouse resides, I believe the creditor could garnish the account in the debtor’s home state.