Nelson & Nelson - Estate Planning Attorneys - Miami Florida
Estate Planning and Asset Protection in Florida:
A Plan to Survive Unexpected Financial Threats
by Barry A. Nelson, Esq.


Estate Planning and Asset Protection in Florida is an exceptionally comprehensive and well-cited, practical resource for anyone who practices in Florida or needs an authoritative interpretation of Florida homestead and asset protection law. Especially useful are Nelson's "Greatest Traps" sections in each of the 16 chapters, which illustrate and help both client and lawyer avoid the threat of adverse (and often hard to recognize) legal exposure. This is an impressive book.

Stephan R. Leimberg, Publisher
Leimberg Information Services, Inc. (LISI)

In his usual practical and excellent method of explaining difficult subjects, Barry Nelson has produced an excellent and comprehensive treatise on asset protection and estate planning for Florida attorneys. He has addressed the topic with intelligence and practicality, a trait few lawyers have, but for which Barry Nelson is a master. This treatise is indispensable for Florida practitioners and for those attorneys out of state whose clients are moving to Florida. It is a MUST-have resource for the office.

Linda Griffin, JD LLM
ACTEC Fellow
Linda Suzzanne Griffin, P.A.

Estate Planning and Asset Protection in Florida should be in every Florida estate planner's library. It is the most thorough and up-to-date analysis of Florida law on asset protection strategies that I have read to date and includes extensive statutory and case citations as well as references to other secondary treatises and articles. A perusal of the table of contents will quickly demonstrate the utility of this treatise in finding answers to every client's questions.

Gideon Rothschild, JD CPA, Moses & Singer LLP
Fellow, The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel

This is an outstanding work by one of the top lawyers in our field. Asset protection has become one of the primary elements of modern estate planning, and this is one of the few works to address the subject as an integrated part of estate planning. Asset protection is important, and if you are an estate planner, particularly one with Florida clients (or clients with Florida assets), you should buy and read this book. The extensive discussion of the Florida homestead rules, which are both unique and invaluable for asset protection, would alone be worth the price of the volume.

Howard M. Zaritsky, J.D., LL.M. (tax), tax editor for Probate Practice Reporter
Distinguished Accredited Estate Planner and a member
of the NAEPC Estate Planning Hall of Fame, a nationally-recognized expert on estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes, fiduciary income taxes, estate planning, and estate administration.

Finally, a treatise that combines practical guidance and erudite commentary in one volume. Estate Planning and Asset Protection in Florida gives the practitioner the ability to review and understand not only the underlying needs that vary for each client, but the application to consider as it varies for each client. The clients of attorneys who utilize this reference are going to be well served.

Richard C. Milstein, JD
Akerman LLP
Fellow, The American College and Trust and Estate Counsel

Barry Nelson has again distinguished himself as one of the most knowledgeable and respected attorneys in the field of Estate Planning and the sub-specialty Asset Protection Planning.

His treatise, Estate Planning and Asset Protection in Florida is an excellent resource that offers a very comprehensive and well-organized compilation of both federal and Florida laws.

Of particular significance is his analysis of the homestead provisions contained in Florida's state constitution as further implemented in statutory law and the case law interpretations. Many attorneys, both Florida licensed and out-of-state practitioners, have incurred the wrath of the homestead laws by not being well versed in the twists and turns that confound even those of us whose focus is almost exclusively in the estate planning field. It is absolutely required reading for attorneys seeking to understand the very complex and somewhat mystifying laws that impact homestead in various ways, including descent and devise, alienation, the rights and remedies of creditors, estate tax apportionment, and ad valorem taxation. The author's knowledgeable dissection of this complex area will be of a great benefit to the readers of Estate Planning and Asset Protection in Florida and most importantly, the clients whom we all serve.

Charles Ian Nash, JD, LL.M (Tax)
ACTEC Fellow


The following is an excerpt from a review which is available in full at Steve Leimberg's Estate Planning Email Newsletter - Archive Message #2730 (account needed).

Steve Leimberg's Estate Planning Email Newsletter - Archive Message #2730

My father always said,

“You’ll learn as much by NOT reading as you would if you couldn’t read!”

This is a review of a very valuable legal resource– authored by LISI Commentator attorney Barry Nelson. This 847-page treatise will be of great help in your practice – no matter where you practice!   It provides an integrated process of considering tax, people, and asset protection planning simultaneously.

The subtitle of this book is:

“A Plan to Survive Unexpected Financial Threats.”

And that's what so different about this book; it addresses not only threats to the client but also threats to the practitioner. Each chapter addresses not only the biggest traps for the client but also the biggest traps for professionals advising clients. Barry points out the legal quicksand in every practice area covered. That alone may save your assets!


Probably every law firm in the country that handles estate planning has or will have a client who has a home now or who will someday move to Florida.  In fact, you yourself may move there or already have a home there!  So even though you may be living or practicing far outside of Florida, Estate Planning and Asset Protection in Florida is a resource that should be on your shelf – and required reading before your client moves to Florida!

Furthermore, I found that a number of chapters of the book, while referring to Florida issues, apply as well in other states and accordingly the book is a useful resource regardless of where you practice. For example, in Chapter 7- Spousal Transfers, you’ll find a summary of each state’s tenancy by the entirety provisions. Chapter 8-Inter vivos QTIP and SLATs contains a summary of each state that has inter vivos QTIP statutes. Chapter 9-Use of Partnerships and LLCs will be helpful no matter where you practice.

Of course, all practitioners will find Chapter 10-Use of Domestic Asset Protection Trust Planning – contains essential federal information as does Chapter 11 Offshore Asset Protection Planning (written by Alexander Bove who has authored many LISI commentaries).  Chapter 12-Third Party Created Trusts – will help you distinguish Florida law with other states’ laws including that of Nevada, Delaware and South Dakota.

You’ll also find Chapter 13  Planning for Athletes, Entertainers and Lottery Winners provides discussion that – although specifically related to the Florida lottery – also covers many issues that apply to most states.

Another good example is Chapter 14- Planning for Same Sex Couples.  Again, while some of the discussion is state specific, it raises many issues that need to be considered no matter what state you practice. Likewise, Chapter 15-Financial Elder Exploitation; while there are citations to Florida law, most of the issues are universal.  Much of the discussion in this resource has national implications such as fraudulent conveyances, disciplinary actions, ethics and malpractice and potential liability as an attorney providing asset protection advice.

I particularly found comparisons of state laws helpful.  For example, there is a comparison of Inter Vivos QTIP Trust Statutes.  And Barry points out where other states provide a more favorable situs than Florida (e.g. there is a detailed discussion of why it is safer to create a discretionary trust in a state other than Florida that clearly addresses exception creditors).

Finally, I love books that are loaded with and carefully cite case law, the actual state statutes upon which advice is given (including the relevant articles from the Florida Constitution), the Code (both Internal Revenue and Bankruptcy), and various sample documents and state forms (e.g. Florida Lottery Winner Claim Form) and Instructions (e.g. Instructions to Create a Florida Limited Liability Company).  Estate Planning and Asset Protection in Florida has all of this and much, much more.

Don’t leave your home(stead) without it!

LISI Estate Planning Newsletter #2730 (June 13, 2019) at Copyright 2019 Leimberg Information Services, Inc. (LISI). Reproduced with permission.


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Nelson & Nelson, P.A. is ranked Tier 1 in Trusts & Estates and Tax Law in Miami by the U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" since 2014. The attorneys of Nelson & Nelson, P.A. provide business, asset protection, probate, tax and estate planning services to high net worth individuals, families and business owners from their office located in North Miami Beach, Florida.
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