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Asset Protection

Proper asset protection can help shelter your assets from creditors.

One of the biggest benefits of a properly executed estate plan is ensuring that your family receives your estate, not creditors. One of the biggest mistakes people make is they wait until they have been sued before they try to protect their assets. Asset protection is most beneficial when it is utilized as a “proactive” approach through business planning and estate planning. The Horton law Group, P.A. can help you with both.

What Assets Are Protected From Creditors?

Assets that are protected from creditor attachment include:

  • Your Florida Homestead real property
  • Retirement accounts
  • Annuities
  • Life insurance
  • Disability income
  • Social Security benefits
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Custodial accounts held for minor beneficiaries
  • Florida pre-paid college tuition plans

Assets that are not exempt from creditor claims:

  • Bank Accounts held in your name alone
  • Certain Joint Bank accounts
  • Personal property
  • Non-Homestead Real Property.
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Experienced Asset Protection Lawyers

Why is it importation to be proactive with regard to asset protection?

Asset protection is an excellent estate planning tool to help ensure the efficient transfer of assets to another party and to protect, with certain limitations, said assets from creditors. The primary restriction on the transfer of assets is the Florida Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (FUFTA). Fla. Stat. § 726.105 (2020). If a transfer is deemed fraudulent, a creditor can petition to court to avoid the transfer or seek payment for the value of the asset. Thus, it is critical to avoid any “badges of fraud”. 

Fla. Stat. § 726.105 provides as follows: 

(1) A transfer made or obligation incurred by a debtor is fraudulent as to a creditor, whether the creditor’s claim arose before or after the transfer was made or the obligation was incurred, if the debtor made the transfer or incurred the obligation: (a) With actual intent to hinder, delay, or defraud any creditor of the debtor; or (b) Without receiving a reasonably equivalent value in exchange for the transfer or obligation, and the debtor:  1. Was engaged or was about to engage in a business or a transaction for which the remaining assets of the debtor were unreasonably small in relation to the business or transaction; or 2. Intended to incur or believed or reasonably should have believed that he or she would incur, debts beyond his or her ability to pay as they became due. When determining whether a transfer is fraudulent, the courts look to the following statutory criteria: whether (a) The transfer or obligation was to an insider; (b) The debtor retained possession or control of the property transferred after the transfer; (c) The transfer or obligation was disclosed or concealed; (d) Before the transfer was made or obligation was incurred, the debtor had been sued or threatened with suit; (e) The transfer was of substantially all the debtor’s assets; (f)The debtor absconded; (g) The debtor removed or concealed assets; (h)The value of the consideration received by the debtor was reasonably equivalent to the value of the asset transferred or the amount of the obligation incurred; (i) The debtor was insolvent or became insolvent shortly after the transfer was made or the obligation was incurred; (j) The transfer occurred shortly before or shortly after a substantial debt was incurred; (k) The debtor transferred the essential assets of the business to a lienor who transferred the assets to an insider of the debtor. 

Florida Homestead Property 

Florida Property Art. X, 4(a), Fla. Const. provides protection for a homestead against the judgement of creditors. Specifically, the section states: There shall be exempt from forced sale under process of any court, and no judgment, decree or execution shall be a lien thereon, . . . the following property owned by a natural person:  (1) a homestead, . . . if located within a municipality, to the extent of one-half acre of contiguous land, upon which the exemption shall be limited to the residence of the owner or the owner’s family; (2) (2) personal property to the value of one thousand dollars. Thus, a person’s homestead, within a municipality, it protected up to ½ of an acre, that acre being contiguous and including the dwelling.  

If your house is on one parcel or land that is connected to an adjacent vacant parcel of land that you also own, the vacant land might not be protected.  part of your homestead property is vacant land connected to the homestead proper. The Middle District bankruptcy court held that “[t]he Debtor is not entitled to exempt the Second Parcel under the Florida constitutional homestead exemption. The Second Parcel has its own address, house, and driveway and is not used by the Debtor as her residence. So, even though it is contiguous to the Debtor’s home, the two parcels are not used in connection with one another.” In re Fowler, 2016 WL 1444195, *3 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 2016). In that case, the court found that the separate parcel was not protected “because the Debtor’s home is a separate structure on a separate parcel with another address than the home occupied by the Debtor’s adult daughter. For all legal purposes, it is a separate and distinct residence from the Debtor’s home . . .” However, the homestead protections of the Florida constitution or liberally construed in favor of the debtor. JBK Associates, Inc. v. Sill Bros., Inc., 191 So.3d 879 (Fla. 2016); Lopez; Callava v. Feinberg, 864 So.2d 429 (Fla. 3d DCA 2004); Hospital Affiliates of Florida, Inc. v. McElroy, 393 So.2d 25 (Fla. 3d DCA 1981); In re Yettaw, 316 B.R. 560 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 2004).

However, in the case of In re Mohammed, 376 B.R. 38 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. 2007), the debtor was able to establish that the vacant lot attached to there was part of their homestead as it was consistently used as the backyard of the property. We recommend putting up a fence around the exterior of the vacant lot, or adding patio furniture/outdoor BBQ area, storage shed, garden…something that shows you use the vacant lot, in its entirety, as one property.

If you are not sure whether you are taking advantage of Florida’s homestead protections, you should contact us immediately to set up a free 30-minute consultation with a qualified member of our team. 

Florida is a debtor friendly state. However, it is our philosophy that it is better to be safe than sorry. We highly recommend proper estate planning BEFORE there is even a hint of being sued – in any capacity.  

Asset protection strategies include:

  • Estate Planning 
  • Properly incorporating your business (limited liability)
  • Obtaining the proper type and amount of insurance, 
  • Utilizing Florida Homestead protections
  • Utilizing Tenancy by the Entireties if applicable 

At the Horton Law Group, we treat our clients like family. We want you to have peace of mind that both, your family and your estate, are protected. 

Why Hire the Horton Law Group, P.A?

The principal partner at the Horton Law Group, P.A., Attorney Sommer C. Horton, has been drafting quality estate plans for 20 years. She is also an experienced and aggressive estate litigator. She anticipates issues that may be the subject of litigation and she tries to dispel those issues when drafting estate plans, so litigation can be avoided in the future. She is highly regarded for her creativeness, strategic judgment and her uncanny ability to deliver persuasive legal arguments in the courtroom. She has a tremendous skill for being an aggressive advocate for her clients, while being one who understands and appreciates how trying litigation can be, thus, she is extremely sensitive to her clients’ needs. 

Ms. Horton is passionate about the law and believes in seeking justice for her clients in an ethical and economic manner. Ms. Horton fights for each and every one of her clients – every step of the way. Ms. Horton will spend time with you to make sure you understand the law, understand your rights and she will draft your estate plans for you so that you and your family are protected. In addition, she can assist you with your business planning, estate planning, and asset protection needs too. 

The Horton Law Group, P.A. is a boutique civil litigation law firm that only takes on a limited number of cases so that personal attention can be given to every client. Make the right call – schedule a free 30-minute consultation with Ms. Horton. You can make an appointment by calling 561-299-0018 or emailing legalsupport@hortonlawgroup.com.

Hear From Our Clients

Recently, I acquired my first home! I retained Ms. Horton to help me file Homestead for my property. I was unsure whether to put my Homestead property in my Revocable Trust – she provided me the benefits and consequences of doing so in a way that I actually understood. I trust her judgment. She was very patient and very sensitive to my needs. I look forward to working with her again in the future.

Joseph F., Client

Ms. Horton represented me during my divorce. She was the best. Very sharp! Very skilled! She was attentive to my needs and was prompt in her responses back to all of my calls and emails. If you are looking for an attorney who will actually represent you and listen to what it is that you want, then you need to call Attorney Sommer Horton. She made this process very easy for me. When I had her in my corner, I was not stressed because I knew she was taking good care of me. I highly recommend the Horton Law Group.

Victoria R., Client

Ms. Horton represented me in a highly contested family litigation case and two other litigation matters. She was extremely attentive to my needs and incredibly aggressive in the courtroom. Litigation went on for over 2 years and she was there for me each and every time I needed her. She was always prepared for hearings. She won most if not all of them. There were boxes and boxes of exhibits that she used at the three day trial in this matter. During trial, Ms. Horton was calm, cool and collected. She did an amazing job with the many experts in this case. She destroyed the opposing party at trial. I felt very relieved and at ease with Mr. Horton in my corner. If you need a family law attorney and/or a trial attorney for that matter – call Attorney Sommer Horton. She is the best of the best. I would recommend her to anyone who is in need of a brilliant and aggressive attorney.

Daria P., Client

I would strongly recommend Horton Law Group. The whole staff was helpful and courteous every time I was there. Ms. Horton is an excellent attorney. She handled my case professionally and resolved my issue with a favorable result for me. I would highly recommend her to anyone in need of an exemplary attorney.

Thomas N., Client

An issue came up and I called the Horton law group… I’m so lucky that I did. Sommer handled it with ease. She is attentive, assertive, and a bull dog! If you need something big or small handled or if you need good legal advice don’t hesitate! It would be a mistake not to call.

John B., Client

Sommer was simply brilliant and amazing with representing us but also very patient and understanding In her handling of the anixiety we were feeling. It was nice to have someone by our side and I could not have done this without her.

Glenn A., Client

The Horton law group provided me a great service. I’m very pleased with them.

Maria O., Client

Sommer Horton represented my Stepmother wonderfully. We were in an emergency situation involving my father’s trust. We were helped every step of the way. She was upfront and honest with us throughout. Sommer and her staff were very friendly and quick to respond to any questions we had. Sommer is an outstanding attorney who diligently advocated on our behalf. I highly recommend her.

Margaret S., Client

My introduction to Sommer Horton has been a privileged experience! She is nothing short of an amazing attorney, always having your back with outstanding results. We met years ago under sad circumstances when I lost a parent and since then, Sommer has handled our life…. the good, the bad and the ugly. If Sommer has the time to handle your case, you are guaranteed to be in the best of hands!

Tami D., Client

Sommer Horton is a top-notch attorney. She’s my go-to lawyer for family issues, estate planning, or any time I have a legal issue or question. She and her staff are responsive, attentive, and they get results. I highly recommend Horton Law Group.

Gayle D., Client

Recently Sommer Horton Represented my brother and I in a probate matter and she did an awesome job. Our case was very difficult and she was extremely patient and when it was neccessary she aggresively took action. I would recommend her services and use her again. The entire staff was very helpful.

Melissa H., Client

Ms. Horton represented me in Guardianship case. It lasted several years. She kept me informed, never missed a deadline and was sensitive to my needs as it came to legal fees and costs. She was worth every penny spent on legal fees. I hope I don’t ever need legal counsel in the future, but if I do, Mr. Horton is the only lawyer I will call. Ms. Horton and her legal team are top notch professionals. I highly recommend the Horton Law Group.

Deborah B., Client

Ms. Horton represented me in a highly contested family litigation case and two other litigation matters. She was extremely attentive to my needs and incredibly aggressive in the courtroom. Litigation went on for over 2 years and she was there for me each and every time I needed her. She was always prepared for hearings. She won most if not all of them. There were boxes and boxes of exhibits that she used at the three day trial in this matter. During trial, Ms. Horton was calm, cool and collected. She did an amazing job with the many experts in this case. She destroyed the opposing party at trial. I felt very relieved and at ease with Mr. Horton in my corner. If you need a family law attorney and/or a trial attorney for that matter – call Attorney Sommer Horton. She is the best of the best. I would recommend her to anyone who is in need of a brilliant and aggressive attorney.

Daria F., Client

Sommer Horton is professional, timely, and always available to assist with any questions. She doesn’t waste my time and keeps things efficient. Never a doubt things are being handled correctly!

Victoria C., Client

Sommer is incredible! She and her team greatly helped my family and I. She is extremely driven and I could not believe how hard she worked. I highly recommend her!

Lucas A., Client

I have had the privilege of working together with Sommer on several matters. She is extremely focused and detail oriented. She seems to shine in every situation. Highly recommended.

Johny L., Client

Ms. Horton and her team are professional, courteous, honest and diligent. Their knowledge of the law and ability to look at all solutions made all the difference in my case. Their personal approach made me feel like was their only client. They were always available and always positioning my case towards a positive result. I recommend the Horton Law Group to any person looking for fair and comprehensive representation.

David C., Client

I am completely satisfied with Ms. Sommer Horton, Esq. as my attorney, and for her law firm, the Horton Law Group, P.A. for their outstanding service and customer care. I highly recommend Ms. Horton as an attorney in Florida and her law firm. Ms. Horton and her staff are efficient and professional with understanding my case and not wasting any of my time or resources. Ms. Horton always promptly answers my calls and questions, and makes sure that I can review all work, and she helps me make timely decisions for my case. Ms. Horton and her staff are always courteous and prepared for my case in and out of court and I have been relieved by her as a

Stephen W., Client

Sommer is very professional and dedicated with her client care. She is a beast in court, extremely fierce. She keeps the line of communication open and is very detailed with her explanations. Anytime I need to use an attorney, you can be sure I will call Sommer.

Scott B., Client

Let me start by saying, I have had Sommer represent me in several litigations. She has always been very dependable and honest about how she would handle my particular situations. Her dedication to my cases, even the small ones has always impressed me. Sommer is what I would describe as someone you always want on your side. She is tenacious in getting things done, on time and with as much success as she promised. I would highly recommend her for litigation cases as well as estate planning. I can only say again if you have Sommer you have one of the best to represent you.

Bill M., Client

Sommer is a wonderful attorney, she’s the type of attorney that everyone wishes for, she’s dedicated, fierce, loyal to her clients and ensures that every option is explored to find the absolute best possible situation and outcome. Her attention to detail and willingness to go above and beyond is what truly separates Sommer from the rest. I’m glad I found her and would definitely recommend to anyone that needs her services.

James G., Client

Very professional and reliable Sommer and the Horton Law Group provided excellent service, demonstrating professionalism and personal attention to any of my questions regarding a recent legal dispute. Ms. Horton provided me with excellent legal advice. She took the time to explain everything clearly to me. I found her to be reliable, courteous and professional. I highly recommend her without any reservations.

Barbara D., Client

Ms. Horton took care of every detail regarding my case in a timely manner, strongly suggest!

Kelly F., Client

I am completely satisfied with Ms. Sommer Horton, Esq. as my attorney, and for her law firm, the Horton Law Group, P.A. for their outstanding service and customer care. I highly recommend Ms. Horton as an attorney in Florida and her law firm. Ms. Horton and her staff are efficient and professional with understanding my case and not wasting any of my time or resources. Ms. Horton always promptly answers my calls and questions, and makes sure that I can review all work, and she helps me make timely decisions for my case. Ms. Horton and her staff are always courteous and prepared for my case in and out of court and I have been relieved by her as a trusted professional to ensure that my case is grounded in legal case law, Florida statutes, and working to come up with the best solutions for me.

Stephen M., Client

Sommer and the Horton Law Group provided excellent service, demonstrating professionalism and personal attention to any of my questions regarding a recent legal dispute. Ms. Horton provided me with excellent legal advice. She took the time to explain everything clearly to me. I found her to be reliable, courteous and professional. I highly recommend her without any reservations.

Barbara P., Client

Sommer Horton is the best attorney I’ve ever used. She is aggressive and gets the job done, but she cares about her clients. Her office is friendly and responsive, and she’s always there to answer any questions I have.

Gayle M., Client

Ms Horton handled my labor case and it was quickly resolved. She was well versed with the legalities of my case and advised me that it would be favorably resolved. Once she the information from me about the case and sent a demand letter, the other party settled within days. She did a great job for me

Raffaele B., Client

Sommer advised me on estate planing, she also made it easy to draw up a will. She is a one of a kind attorney that cares about clients need.

Joseph F., Client

Ms. Horton is a fabulous divorce attorney. She is affordable, aggressive and will fight for you. I would strongly recommend you to call her. She I creative and she is also very easy to talk to, she understands what you are going through and she will be there for you.

Giancarlo M., Client

Sommer worked with my on my trust and other legal documents. I recently had to meet with her again to update them. I feel comfortable that I am in good hands with her knowledge and detail. I would highly recommend her firm

K. U., Client

Ms. Horton represented me in Guardianship case. It lasted several years. She kept me informed, never missed a deadline and was sensitive to my needs as it came to legal fees and costs. She was worth every penny spent on legal fees. I hope I don’t ever need legal counsel in the future, but if I do, Mr. Horton is the only lawyer I will call. Ms. Horton and her legal team are top notch professionals. I highly recommend the Horton Law Group.

Deborah B., Client

Ms. Horton represented me in a highly contested family litigation case and two other litigation matters. She was extremely attentive to my needs and incredibly aggressive in the courtroom. Litigation went on for over 2 years and she was there for me each and every time I needed her. She was always prepared for hearings. She won most if not all of them. There were boxes and boxes of exhibits that she used at the three day trial in this matter. During trial, Ms. Horton was calm, cool and collected. She did an amazing job with the many experts in this case. She destroyed the opposing party at trial. I felt very relieved and at ease with Mr. Horton in my corner. If you need a family law attorney and/or a trial attorney for that matter – call Attorney Sommer Horton. She is the best of the best. I would recommend her to anyone who is in need of a brilliant and aggressive attorney.

Daria F., Client

I came to the law group with a problem from years ago… all I can say is that Sommer is amazing! Her staff is outstanding.. Sommer is such a bulldog and fought hard for me.. I’m so lucky I made the right choice. If you have legal problems or need legal advice call the Horton Law Group. You will be glad you did.
I came to the law group with a problem from years ago… all I can say is that Sommer is amazing! Her staff is outstanding.. Sommer is such a bulldog and fought hard for me.. I’m so lucky I made the right choice. If you have legal problems or need legal advice call the Horton Law Group. You will be glad you did.

John B., Client

Sommer Horton has been a professional in all my dealings with her. She is professional, courteous, and detail focused.

Scott S., Client

Highly recommend ! She was very professional and helpful , you won’t be dissapointed . Her attention to detail is impressive.

Hannah C., Client

Ms. Horton helped me with my estate planning. She was very patient and attentive to our current and future needs. She will always look out for you and keep your best interests intact. I highly recommend her for any legal needs you may have!

Jenifer P., Client

Very professional and reliabe
Sommer and the Horton Law Group provided excellent service, demonstrating professionalism and personal attention to any of my questions regarding a recent legal dispute.
Ms. Horton provided me with excellent legal advice. She took the time to explain everything clearly to me. I found her to be reliable, courteous and professional. I highly recommend her without any reservations.

Barbara C., Client

Let me start by saying, I have had Sommer represent me in several litigations. She has always been very dependable and honest about how she would handle my particular situations. Her dedication to my cases, even the small ones has always impressed me. Sommer is what I would describe as someone you always want on your side. She is tenacious in getting things done, on time and with as much success as she promised. I would highly recommend her for litigation cases as well as estate planning. I can only say again if you have Sommer you have one of the best to represent you.

Bill M., Client

I am completely satisfied with Ms. Sommer Horton, Esq. as my attorney, and for her law firm, the Horton Law Group, P.A. for their outstanding service and customer care. I highly recommend Ms. Horton as an attorney in Florida and her law firm. Ms. Horton and her staff are efficient and professional with understanding my case and not wasting any of my time or resources. Ms. Horton always promptly answers my calls and questions, and makes sure that I can review all work, and she helps me make timely decisions for my case. Ms. Horton and her staff are always courteous and prepared for my case in and out of court and I have been relieved by her as a trusted professional to ensure that my case is grounded in legal case law, Florida statutes, and working to come up with the best solutions for me.

Stephen W., Client

Sommer is a wonderful attorney, she’s the type of attorney that everyone wishes for, she’s dedicated, fierce, loyal to her clients and ensures that every option is explored to find the absolute best possible situation and outcome. Her attention to detail and willingness to go above and beyond is what truly separates Sommer from the rest. I’m glad I found her and would definitely recommend to anyone that needs her services.

James G., Client

Sommer Horton has served as our general corporate counsel for the past several years.  She aggressively defended us in a frivolous lawsuit filed against us and won!   She has also represented us on several other corporate matters.  She has handled all of our business needs with great success. She is professional, dedicated and has a keen attention to detail. I fully and confidently recommend Sommer Horton and the Horton Law Group, P.A. for all of your professional and business needs.

Juan C., Client

I was looking for a great lawyer to be on my side on a lawsuit and I was very lucky to find Summer. Not only is she extremely responsive to any questions I had, but she had the ability to understand my needs. From day one, she advised me on the best route to take and explained in detail what to expect and the potential problems that might be on the horizon. Sommer is someone I trust to handle any future claim and I definitely want her on my side. Needless to say…we won the case she represented us in.  She is top notch.

Annette L., Client

Horton Law Group represented me better than I could have ever imagined. My needs were put first and I was treated as a friend rather than a number.   My opinions were valued and my doubts were always reassured.  My nerves were calmed and the process was always explained.   My attorney, Sommer Horton, fought hard for me.   She went above and beyond and did everything she could to ensure a great outcome.  I couldn’t have asked for a better law firm or attorney. Thanks guys!!!

Barbara C., Client

I have known Sommer Horton for years.  I recently utilized her services to draft my family estate plans.  I was blown away with her knowledge of the law.  She explained the importance of each document in a way that I understood why I needed my estate plan.  She is affordable and efficient.  In fact, she is wonderful!  Ms. Horton really does care and she will make sure you, your family and your asserts are protected.   My recommendation would be that you call her if you need legal help.  She will take good care of you.

Madi P., Client

I retained Sommer Horton from the Horton Law Group to represent me in a trust litigation lawsuit. We successfully had the successor trustees removed and me appointed to serve as the current trustee of the trust. I find Ms. Horton to be very knowledgeable with the laws. Every strategic move she made in the case, she had me approve first. She copied me on all communications with the other parties counsel so I always knew what was happening in my case. I am extremely satisfied with her work and I am extremely satisfied with all of her staff. She has a great team. They were always very nice and got me what I wanted in a timely manner. We are in the final stages of litigation and I am 100% satisfied with how she got the case to this point. I would definitely hire Attorney Sommer Horton again should I ever need an attorney again. I found her rates to be fair for the work she did for me. She is worth it.

Levance "Lee" B., Client

Ms. Horton and her entire team at Horton Law Group have been a life saver while going through an extremely contentious and difficult divorce. Ms Horton has fought for my children and me at every step. She is straightforward, diligent, realistic and someone you can trust. Thank you Sommer, Teresa, and the whole team!

Audrey M., Client

Over the past decade, Sommer Horton and her team at the Horton Law Group have treated me like family and have helped me through multiple legal matters. The entire team has always communicated quickly and efficiently while taking the time to help me thoroughly understand even the most complex legal jargon. They’ve consistently shown empathy and have always made time for me and my family through the process. Sommer Horton is Simply the Best. THANK YOU HORTON LAW GROUP!

Rick R., Client

It is not often that I take the time to compliment a Professional that I felt it was their job to do well to begin with. However, it was a pleasant surprise to deal with someone who went far beyond my expectations and performed as well as you in preparing my Estate Planning. I also appreciate that your billing was as reasonable as it was. Most people expect that “sticker shock” when dealing with Lawyers and Accountants. I found that your knowledge of Finances made it unnecessary for me to incur any further expense for accounting.
Thanks for the great job that you and your staff did.

Ralph B., Client

Serving as a Successor Trustee with several litigation cases pending, having an attorney working diligently for your client is of utmost importance. Sommer Horton was that attorney. Regardless of the nature of the situation, Sommer was there to support and advise not only my client, but myself as well. She and her team worked meticulously to delve into the issues so that our client’s interest was best represented. Her efforts were rewarded with favorable outcomes for our client, that is what we call a win, win. Sommer Horton and the Horton Law Group, P.A. were amazing, I highly recommend them.

Marline L., Client

I have worked with Sommer from Horton law group on several occasions over the past 7 years. She strikes the right balance between aggressive and realistic. Sommer is knowledgeable, confident and unflappable. The perfect team to walk with you through difficult circumstances.

Margarita K, Client
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