With the World Series now underway, the New York Mets face off against the Kansas City Royals. This should be quite the battle since the Royals have not held a World Series title since 1985 and the Mets have not seen a title in the last 29 years. Each team is undoubtedly pumped and their fans are likely wearing their lucky unwashed undergarments (gross but necessary). Just as each team is taking the necessary steps to avoid striking out come game time, you too should take the necessary steps to protect your assets and be prepared for any curve ball life may throw your way.
Every individual, no matter what their circumstances are, should be concerned with protecting their assets. With 16 million new civil suits being filed each year, no one is completely safe from the possibility of litigation. No need to be stifled with fear, however. At Wild, Felice & Partners, P.A., our attorneys focus on asset protection through estate planning and business formation.
The most favorable estate planning tool is the Living Trust. By creating a Living Trust you are protecting your assets and loved ones from probate. Probate, the legal process of proving one’s will, is costly and can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months to complete. Avoiding probate through the creation of a Living Trust allows for the assets you leave behind to be distributed timely and in any manner you deem suitable. Further, the assets remain protected long after you’re gone as they are segregated from any possible lawsuit, divorce, or bankruptcy your beneficiaries may become part of. Other important documents that will be included in your trust based plan include a last will and testament, assignment of property, durable power of attorney, living will, healthcare surrogate and HIPAA release form.
Asset protection for business owners begins with choosing the proper business form. Whether you own a business as a sole proprietor or as part of a general partnership you can be held personally liable for all of the debts of the business. However, you can avoid these business debts and protect your assets through creating a Limited partnership, Limited Liability Company, or Corporation.
The Limited Liability Company (“LLC”) is a commonly used structure that offers higher liability protection than a corporation would. Once the LLC is formed it then assumes ownership of the assets. By eliminating your personal ownership and, instead, owning your assets in an LLC, you are safeguarded from being pulled into a lawsuit brought against you. This means your home and personal accounts (i.e. bank account) remain untouched since you are not personally liable. This feature allows the LLC members to remain in control of the assets without having to worry about any risk associated with having title in their name. Since there are many steps involved in properly forming an LLC, it is imperative that you contact a qualified attorney to assist you from start to finish.
Don’t strike out. Protect your assets from probate or a possible business debt. Whether estate planning or business formation is the appropriate technique for you, our attorneys can assist you. For more information on successful Florida estate planning and asset protection techniques, please contact the South Florida law firm of Wild Felice & Partners, P.A. at 954-944-2855 and schedule your free consultation, or visit our website at www.wfplaw.com
It’s a Wild World. Are You Protected? SM.