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Asset Protection Planning

The attorneys of Nelson & Nelson, P.A., a U.S. News and Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" Florida estate planning law firm, provides a full range of asset protection planning services.

What is Asset Protection Planning?

Asset protection planning is developing a strategy to protect assets from potential creditors by structuring the manner in which assets are owned and forming business entities in desirable jurisdictions in order to significantly reduce the risk of liability exposure.

Asset Protection Planning Services

Barry A. Nelson, an industry-respected, board-certified attorney with decades of experience counselling high-net-worth clients was among the first Florida attorneys to advocate for asset protection. He revealed the serious implications of ignoring the potential liabilities that can threaten a client's assets. 

Our attorneys provide counseling to structure the manner in which assets are owned and in which jurisdictions to form business entities in order to significantly reduce the risk of liability exposure. We can develop a customized asset protection plan to secure your assets from creditors and other claimants as part of your estate plan or independently.

Clients who may be most at risk and in need of asset protection services may include attorneys, doctors, entertainers, athletes, lottery winners and the instantly wealthy. Those who become instantly wealthy should begin to protect their assets upon receiving their windfall, not after potential litigation against them is initiated.

Asset Protection Planning for Athletes, Entertainers, Lottery Winners and the Instantly Wealthy

There are many ways for a person to become instantly wealthy. Winning the lottery is just one example. Athletes and entertainers who receive large signing bonuses and entrepreneurs and other sellers of significantly appreciated real estate or businesses are all likely to receive a sudden material amount of wealth. Many well-known celebrities (i.e., Walt Disney, Marvin Gaye, Mike Tyson, Anna Nicole Smith, and Henry Ford) have filed for bankruptcy as a result of business reversals or lack of sufficient assets to carry a debtor through an economic downturn. Bankruptcy could be just around the corner for those with instantaneous wealth.

Advance planning can safeguard such wealth to ensure that the new-found liquidity will not be subject to creditor’s claims. Most instantaneous wealth does not reoccur and too many actors and athletes find themselves without wealth shortly after their large bonus was received. Among the reasons for this is overspending and lawsuits; because their contracts and salaries are public athletes and entertainers often find themselves fighting frivolous lawsuits. Lottery winners are often bombarded with requests for handouts from friends, family, and even strangers.

No single professional is skilled enough to provide an instantly wealthy client with advice in all areas such as tax, investments, Wills and trusts, insurance, and possibly a therapist. A team of professionals is the client’s best alternative. Our attorneys can help the instantly wealthy client put together a financial team which typically consists of a tax attorney, a certified public accountant, a financial planner or investment advisor, and possibly an insurance specialist. Such a team of professionals should be consulted before the client gains access to his or her new wealth.

Estate Planning and Asset Protection Book

For more information about asset protection planning for athletes, entertainers, lottery winners and the instantly wealthy see

Chapter 13

in Asset Protection and Estate Planning in Florida: A Plan to Survive Unexpected Financial Threats by Barry A. Nelson.

Pyramid of Protection Techniques


This pyramid reflects different asset protection techniques available under Florida law and Federal Bankruptcy law, and ranks by Tiers, the level of protection provided. The tip of the Pyramid providing maximum asset protection.


*Exempt Assets include: pension money, qualified retirement plans, IRAs, 401Ks, qualified tuition programs such as 529 plans, annuities (domestic and foreign), cash value life insurance, hurricane savings accounts, wage accounts, disability income benefits, life insurance proceeds on life of insured not paid to insured or insured estate, accumulated IRA, and Social Security.

**Trust Protected Assets include third party created spendthrift trust and discretionary trusts where the  creditor is someone other than a spouse. 

***Spousal Transfers include transfers outright to spouse, transfers to Trust for spouse – QTIP, and tenants by the entirety.

****Less Desirable Assets include: FLP charging order protection and LLC charging order protection.

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Copyright © 2020 Nelson & Nelson PA

Estate Planning and Asset Protection Book

For more information about asset protection planning and the Pyramid of Protection Techniques see Asset Protection and Estate Planning in Florida: A Plan to Survive Unexpected Financial Threats by Barry A. Nelson.


Estate Planning Questionnaire

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In order to begin the estate planning process, we request that our clients submit our Estate Planning Questionnaire. This form will help us obtain information so we may prepare a customized plan that will provide maximum benefits for you and your family's needs. Click the button below to learn more about how to get the process started.

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