I'm writing with a potential liability question. I was recently (3 weeks ago) involved in a car accident (rear end fender bender) in Miami where I'm probably considered at fault since I was the one hitting the car in front of me. Even though the impact was not much and the other driver was clearly fine, he now claims injuries and has retained a lawyer. While this is still early in the process and my insurance company is handling it, my insurance made me aware that the other side might ask for an asset affidavit at some point. Here is my question:
Since my wife & I have a mortgage ($160.000) in her name and our only assets (stocks for $60.000) are in my name only, would it be good to make my wife the primary registered holder of the brokerage account, basically moving the stocks into her name now? Or making it at least a joint account? There would be tax benefits to this as well.
Is the asset affidavit going to ask strictly about my assets only or could I claim our mortgage as liability, even though it's not in my name?
Would there be any drawbacks to signing the stock account over to my wife? If the stocks are in my wife's name, would I then leave them out of the asset affidavit?
Many questions I know, I hope you can shed some light on this.
1 Answer from Attorneys
This action could be considered a fraud against creditors and may not protect you since you already have notice of the claim. No way to know today what the affidavit will request. Generally they want to know if you have assets that could satisfy an excess claim. Sounds like you have some assets and you would have to provide that information at the appropriate time. Hiding the assets wont help you in the long run. Besides your case sounds like one that will resolve. Don't make any hasty or potentially damaging decision without seeking some legal guidance.