Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Barry A. Nelson recently published a Book entitled, Estate Planning and Asset Protection in Florida (1st ed., 2019). Provided below is a summary of the book.
Estate Planning and Asset Protection in Florida is designed to help clients and their lawyers protect clients’ assets before litigation happens.
While the necessity of estate planning is understood by most clients, many fail to grasp the importance of protecting their assets as well. Barry A. Nelson, an industry-respected, board-certified attorney with decades of experience counselling high-net-worth clients reveals the serious implications of ignoring the potential liabilities that can threaten a client's assets.
Barry Nelson was among the first to advocate for asset protection. He perceived how estate planning anticipates only the very end of a spectrum of dangers that can adversely affect a client’s estate long before the will is read. The state of Florida, long considered a debtor’s haven, has fraudulent conveyance laws that prevent transfer of assets after litigation happens. Once an accident occurs or exposure to litigation is apparent, asset protection is significantly limited.
This work, years in the making, is like no other work on the market in combining estate planning and asset protection as a strategy. It describes how to integrate estate planning and asset protection for Florida residents to minimize Federal estate taxes and maximize protection of assets and explains what options remain even in the event of a claim such as divorce, claims for alimony, co-signings, or any number of lawsuits. While no one plan fits all, it expertly teaches clients and lawyers how to recognize their best options in a complex web of legal and tax relationships so the most informed decisions can be taken. Comprehensive, yet easy-to -use, it
- explains all the types of assets and asset protection techniques available, among them: (i) homestead for asset protection, property tax, and limits on dispositions during life and upon death, (ii) annuities; (iii) life insurance, (iv) retirement plan accounts and 529 accounts, (v) spousal transfers including inter vivos QTIP trusts and Spousal Limited Access Trusts ("SLATs"), (vi) domestic and foreign asset protection trusts, (vii) third party created trusts, (viii) use of partnerships and LLCs, and (ix) wage owner accounts.
- This book also outlines the requirements to benefit from these techniques and identifies from chapter to chapter the greatest traps for clients and their professional advisors, that could, for example, lead to a loss of homestead status, or permit creditors to gain access to earnings, life insurance proceeds, annuities, proceeds from inherited IRAs, pensions, profit sharing plans, etc.;
- it offers over 250 pages of appendices containing supporting, illustrative sample documents, exhibits, key selections from Florida statutes, the Florida Constitution, white papers, memoranda and affidavits;
- it discusses over 500 cases;
- in addressing the use of limited liability partnerships and LLCs it explains why creating trusts and LLCs in a state other than Florida (such as but not limited to Nevada, South Dakota, Delaware and Alaska) may provide greater asset protection than Florida;
- it considers a range of situations or scenarios and the challenges faced by: those who, for example, become instantly wealthy such as lottery winners, or professional athletes, celebrities or those who receive significant bonuses; it also, addresses the challenges of same-sex partners, the elderly who are vulnerable to financial exploitation, or children for whom a parent has had multiple spouses.
For those undergoing divorce, the book summarizes the laws regarding division of marital assets upon dissolution of the marriage and
- discusses the ability of a spouse holding an alimony judgment to access third-party-created trusts;
- it considers the protections of creating trusts in another state or country, and
- provides the essential information clients need to minimize estate, gift and GST taxes, and
- it familiarizes clients and advisors with the consequences of recent legislation, such as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the "2017 Tax Act") which became effective January 1, 2018, and which significantly increased the Federal estate, gift, and generation skipping transfer ("GST") tax exemptions.
and much, much more.