How do I protect my assets from my creditors? Well, the first thing you need to do, particularly if you’re married, is to have the credit in just one spouse’s name, and that way, if there’s any credit problems, they can’t attach the assets that are held jointly as husband and wife. So you need to title your assets as husband and wife, and that includes your bank account. So whenever you go to the bank, the next time you go to the bank, if you’re married, be sure that you talk to your bank representative. Ask them to pull your signature card, and be sure that the card provides that you are – you hold the account as tenancy by the entireties or you have it as husband and wife rather than as joint tenants with right of survivorship.
If the account is held as joint tenants with right of survivorship, that means that both of you have a one-half interest in the account, whereas if you hold it as husband and wife or tenancy by the entireties, you do not have a half-interest in the account or the property; you have an undivided interest in the whole. So it’s important that you have the accounts or your assets held as husband and wife and therefore any creditor who is against only one spouse cannot attach the assets that are held as husband and wife or held up by tenancy by the entireties.
You say, “Well, I don’t have the luxury of being married,” or, “if I’m married I want to keep my assets separate.” Well, some of the investments that you can have to protect them against creditors is if you invest in annuities. Annuities are something that cannot be attached. But the main asset that can be protected from creditors, and it doesn’t matter how much you owe them or how many judgments you have, is your home. Your home is your biggest asset. You can own your home. Creditors cannot take your homestead away from you, and even if you don’t owe any money on it, they still can’t take it. When you pass away, if you leave it to your children or your heirs, well, they still don’t get paid whenever you pass away, and it is passed on to your heirs. So your homestead is your very best investment as far as protection from creditors.
So if you have anymore questions or need to do some estate planning as far as asset protection and estate planning, well, give me a call at 727-847-2288.