Stephen Bilkis
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Asset Protection Planning and Probate

Being concerned about probate as well as protecting your assets now and in the future, are worthwhile goals that should always be discussed directly with an attorney. In general, Florida asset protection planning refers to protecting the materials and wealth you have worked so hard to accumulate. While this sounds relatively simple, the very concept of protecting your belongings may mean different things to different individuals. Protecting your assets will also make the probate process easier.

A Florida estate planning strategy should always be discussed directly with an experienced attorney to get a better sense of what is involved in the best ways to protect yourself. Unfortunately, far too many people avoid the process of asset protection planning until it is too late. It should be done in conjunction with your estate planning process like choosing an executor.

There are very few things that can be done after you have already been presented with a lawsuit or a creditor coming after you in a judgement. Your thoughtful planning well in advance can help minimize the issues associated with asset protection planning and probate. The more asset protection planning you do, the fewer of your assets that will be included in your probated estate. The support from an experienced Florida asset protection planning lawyer is extremely beneficial for safeguarding your assets.

Asset protection may seem as simple as keeping funds in the bank and using a safe deposit box. However, for others, it may include foreign corporations, trust accounts and more. In a legal environment that tends to favor creditors, it is more important than ever to consider asset protection planning.

A creditor in today’s legal environment can be just about anyone who could enter your place of business or decide to sue you for any reason. Plaintiffs' attorneys operate on a contingency fee payment plan in which they collect a portion of the settlement of verdict as their fee. This means that you become relatively easy to sue and these lawsuits are extremely complicated and expensive to defend.

A creditor might also include individuals who you loan money to, a business partner or a bank. Mortgages and promissory notes are often crafted very heavily in favor of the lender creditor and any kind of legal disputes associated with this can be very expensive. Furthermore, you should also be worried about asset protection planning in terms of protecting your assets from a beneficiary spouse.

If your beneficiary gets divorced in the future, you want to do everything possible to shield these assets from that person. An asset protection planning attorney in Florida can help you to draft a trust and other necessary tools to avoid these situations. An asset protection planning attorney in Florida is a valuable person for crafting the right strategy for you. The various kinds of liability that you may want to protect against in Florida include business lawsuits, divorce lawsuits, IRS tax actions, plaintiff’s lawsuits, creditor and loan repayment lawsuits and real estate and landlord-tenant lawsuits. Various asset protection planning opportunities include off shore trust, domestic trust, marital agreements, domestic business entities, qualified accounts, life insurance, annuities, and the homestead or personal residence protection. Discuss these opportunities directly with an experienced attorney to learn more.

Take steps to protect what you have worked so hard to build already. It might be too late if you want too long and finding yourself in the midst of a lawsuit already. This is a big mistake that many people make, but it’s one that you can easily avoid by considering your asset protection planning options. An asset protection planning lawyer in Florida will tell you more about the general and specific risks you might face in the planning process and down the line.