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Protecting Florida Personal Property Assets from Creditor Claims

List of CreditorsDo you know which personal property assets are exempt from collection by creditors?

Exempt personal property includes household furnishings, motor vehicles, qualified tuition programs and all benefits paid pursuant to s. 112.1915. Household goods (furniture, furnishings, and appliances) in decedents' home at time of death are exempt from creditors up to $20,000. If an item is wrongfully taken or detained, family members may maintain an act of replevin to recover the possessions.

Two motor vehicles weighting no more than 15,000 pounds are also exempt if they are titled in the decedent's name and used regularly by the decedent's immediate family members as their personal vehicle. Should your vehicle be claimed you can apply to the court for recognition of the exemption and request the return of the vehicle.

Some qualified tuition programs (under 529 IRS Code of 1986), including the Florida Prepaid College Trust Fund are exempt from creditors.

Certain death benefits paid to teachers and school administrators are also exempt from creditors. All benefits paid pursuant to s. 112.1915.

If a decedent was residing in Florida at the time of their death the surviving spouse or the children of the decedent has the right to a share of the estate of the decedent which is designated exempt property.

In order to claim exempt property, persons entitled to it must file a petition for determination of exempt property on or before the later of the date that is 4 months after the date of service of the notice of administration or the date that is 40 days after the date of termination of any proceeding involving the construction, admission to probate, or validity of the will. If a timely petition is not filed, the entitlement to exempt property is considered waived.

If you have questions regarding exempt property or need estate planning assistance, call the probate attorneys at KALIS, KLEIMAN & Wolfe today at 954-791-0477.