It’s Madness. March Madness!

Posted by on Mar 28, 2016 in estate planning, Probate, Trusts, Wills |

March Madness is in full effect and many of us are beginning to realize that our brackets were less than impressive and our predictions were flat out wrong.  The participants with the most successful brackets tend to be the individuals who are the most prepared – they know the players, the stats and use this knowledge to prepare ahead of time.  Estate planning is a lot like March Madness; preparation will lead to a favorable outcome.  Though they are many vehicles used in estate planning, we recommend that everyone consider the following seven documents when planning for their future:

Revocable Living Trust:  The Revocable Living Trust tends the be the most favorable estate planning tool.  Florida’s probate system is among the most time consuming and expensive in our Country and this planning device offers a way to avoid the process.  In addition to probate avoidance, the living trust allows the Grantor to amend as many times as they wish during their lifetime or they may revoke the trust all together.  This estate planning tool also allows the Grantor to remain in control of their assets from beyond the grave since their Trust will dictate who will receive what and how they will receive it.  You can place restrictions on when children receive their share, for instance, ensuring that they first reach an age of majority or graduate from college.

Assignment of Property:  The Trust will be useless until it is funded.  This funding document will ensure that all personal tangible property makes its way into the trust and to your beneficiaries.

Last Will and Testament:  The Last Will and Testament will mirror the but with less detail since it becomes public upon death.  In this important document you will appoint minors on behalf of your children, nominate a personal representative on behalf of your estate and specify your wishes regarding cremation or burial.

Living Will:  This advanced directive, if signed, will allow the Healthcare surrogate to authorize the doctor to “pull the plug” if you are being kept alive solely by artificial means.

Durable Power of Attorney:  Incapacity document that controls during your life and is terminated upon your death.  The power of attorney makes important financial decisions on your behalf in the event you are unable to do so yourself.

Healthcare Surrogate:  Another incapacity document that will remain effective during your life.  The healthcare surrogate will make important healthcare decisions if you are unable to do so yourself, such as authorizing surgery or authorizing administration of medication.

HIPAA Release:  This important release will allow your healthcare surrogate access to medical records to make informed medical decisions.

Call the South Florida Office of Wild, Felice & Partners today at (954) 944-2855 for your free consultation and allow our attorneys to provide you with ultimate peace of mind.

For more information on Estate Planning, Asset Protection and Probate, visit

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Life Changes And So Should Your Estate Plan.

Posted by on Mar 21, 2016 in estate planning, Probate, Trusts, Wills |

As life progresses it continues to change.  While some changes may be small and have little impact on your life, others may be considered major and could carry heavy consequences.  Therefore, your estate plan should be reviewed every three to five years to ensure it continues to accomplish whatever your goals may be.

Creating an estate plan is an important step to take when planning for your future.  Unfortunately, most individuals mistakenly believe that once they have a plan in place they are done – no further steps are required.  To those individuals with this dangerous mindset I say beware! While creating an estate plan may be a crucial step in preparing for your future, it is only one of many steps into the right direction.  Once the plan is created it’s important to take that next step to properly fund your trust.  An unfunded trust is equivalent to an empty safe – useless.  Take the extra time to retitle your assets, accounts and move your real property into the trust.  Once this is done, you can rest assured that your assets are protected and outside the realm of Probate.

Once your trust is created and funded, you then should practice being mindful.  Be mindful of what’s occurring in your life and if you should find yourself experiencing any one of the following life changes, then it may be time to visit your estate planning attorney:

Divorce/Remarriage:  If you are recently divorced and have an older estate plan in place then it is a good idea to schedule time to meet with your attorney to review your documents.  Not doing so in this particular situation could result in your ex-spouse receiving your assets at death or your ex-spouse making important healthcare decisions for you while you are ill or recovering in a hospital.  If you are considering getting remarried, then you will want to update your estate plan to be sure that your new spouse is provided for and that your future family is protected.

Birth of a Child: Your priorities change when you have a child.  Whether it’s your first baby, second or third, you are going to want to them to be taken care of if you are no longer around.  The proper estate plan will designate guardians to care for your children and describe what you will leave to them and how they will receive it.  Leave your children a legacy and rest easy knowing they will have money to attend college, pay for their dream wedding or put a down payment on a home.  A revocable trust has the ability to restrict at what age your children will receive their share and will protect their share against unsecured creditors.

Death of A Loved One: Sometimes the individual you choose as your beneficiary or nominate as either your Healthcare Surrogate or Durable Power of Attorney will predecease you.  In the event that this occurs and you don’t have anyone else named in your documents, then you will need to schedule an appointment with your estate planning attorney to make some minor adjustments.

Inheritance:  Inheriting a large amount of money can actually be stressful and overwhelming to those who wish to either invest it or protect it.  It’s important to sit with a qualified estate planning attorney who can answer all of your questions and provide you with the best possible solution.

Call the attorneys at Wild, Felice & Partners for your free consultation at (954)944-2855.

It’s A Wild World.  Are You Protected? SM

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Who Will Be Making Your Important Decisions?

Posted by on Mar 16, 2016 in estate planning, Trusts, Wills |

Richard Simmons is making headlines again, only this time it’s not because of weight loss or any fitness related videos.  Simmons disappeared from the public eye two years ago and now rumor has it that his long time housekeeper has been holding him hostage and running his life.  Due to Simmons age, some are even going as far as calling it elder abuse.  However, Simmons has told officers that he is in the right frame of mind and continues to run his own life.  Whether or not Simmons is truly being cared for or being taken advantage of may never be known but what this story does is illustrate the importance of planning while you are young, healthy and still have full mental capacity.

Incapacity documents are crucial because they determine who will be making important decisions in your life in the event you become hurt, sick or otherwise unable to make those decisions for yourself.  Such documents include the Living Will, Durable Power of Attorney, Healthcare Surrogate and HIPAA release form.

Living Will:  An advanced directive that is sometimes called the “pull the plug” document.  If you sign this document, it will allow your healthcare surrogate to give the OK to the doctor to remove any artificial life support.  This is only after two doctors have agreed that nothing further can be done and that the artificial support is what is keeping you alive.

Durable Power of Attorney: This document will allow someone to make important financial decisions for you, allow access to accounts and continue to pay bills if you are unable to do so yourself.

Healthcare Surrogate and HIPAA release form:  Your healthcare surrogate will make informed medical decisions after reviewing your records, which the HIPAA release will allow them to do.  In the event that you are unable to authorize a surgery or make any other type of important medical decision, your healthcare surrogate will step in and do so for you.

Make the important decisions today while you still have all of your marbles.  Call the estate planning attorneys at Wild, Felice & Partners for your free consultation at (954) 944-2855.

For more information on estate planning, asset protection and probate, visit our website at

It’s A Wild World.  Are You Protected?  SM



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Leo Wins An Oscar!

Posted by on Mar 8, 2016 in estate planning, Trusts, Wills |

Leonardo Dicaprio is one of the most well-known actors today.  After 25 years in the film business, he has produced some major blockbusters like Titanic, Dijango Unchained, and The Wolf of Wall Street.  For years, the media and fans predicted he would win an Oscar but with each passing Awards event the Oscars went to other actors.  This year Leo got his win!  I bet you didn’t realize that you actually have something in common with ladies man Leo.  No, you haven’t won an Oscar and you aren’t making headlines.  However, just as Leo has experienced a major life change (definitely a career changing moment), you too experience major life changes.  While winning an Oscar maybe shouldn’t prompt Leo to revisit any estate plan he may have created, other life changes surely should prompt you to visit your estate planning attorney for a “checkup.”

So what types of life changes should act as a trigger when it comes to updating your estate plan (or possibly prompt you to create one)?  The following are some examples of major life changes individuals may experience during their lifetime:

Marriage:  So you’re getting married?  Hooray!  Marriage is the beginning of a long journey together, so why not begin that journey being fully prepared and protected?  An estate planning attorney can answer all of your questions and help build an estate plan that achieves all of your goals.  The most popular option is creating a revocable living trust.  This trust based plan will offer maximum protection and protect the assets you leave to beneficiaries from possible unsecured creditors.  Your plan will also come with other important documents such as the Assignment of Property, Last Will and Testament, Living Will, Durable Power of Attorney, Healthcare Surrogate and HIPAA release form.

Divorce:  Ok, so your marriage didn’t work out – it is not the end of the world.  Yet, it is imperative to update any estate plan you may have in place.  Without doing so, the individual you separated from could end up with part of (or all of!) your estate when you pass away or they may end up making important financial or healthcare decisions for you if you are incapacitated.  In addition to updating your estate plan you may also need to change beneficiary designations and ensure accounts or real property are titled correctly.  An experienced estate planning attorney can help make this transition easy and painless.

Remarriage:  Individuals entering into a new marriage must also ensure their estate plans name the correct beneficiaries, that their incapacity documents nominate the correct individuals and that beneficiary designations have been changed – similar situation as when you get divorced.  The main difference, however, is that you want to be sure that your new spouse is provided for.

Children:  Children are precious and all parents want the best for their little bundle of joy.  A lot of parents create what’s called a separate share trust to ensure their children are both protected and provided for in the event that they are no longer living.  This type of trust allows you to set restrictions on when and how your children will receive their share.  For example, you can set a specific age in which your child receives a percentage and then select a second age in which they can begin to manage their own account.  By setting restrictions such as these, you can rest assured your child will be provided for and mature enough to manage the money they receive.  Additionally, the share you leave your child will remain safe against any unsecured creditors they may face and remain within the family for up to 365 years.

For more information on Estate Planning, visit our website at or call (954)944-2855 for your free consultation today!

It’s A Wild World.  Are You Protected? SM

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Green Beer Is Almost Here!

Posted by on Mar 1, 2016 in estate planning, Probate, Trusts, Wills |

Get your green face paint, food coloring and crazy clothes ready because March is here!  Not only does March mark the official start of the Spring season (March 20th) but it also is the month in which many American’s celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  So if you’re one of those individuals that will be green from head to toe while guzzling green colored beer – take a minute to prepare yourself for the possible consequences that may follow from getting a little too crazy.

Estate Planning isn’t just for the rich or elderly; it truly is for everyone.  Even if you don’t feel you have enough assets that would warrant the creation of a Trust you should still have other documents in place such as a Living Will, Durable Power of Attorney, Healthcare Surrogate and HIPPAA release form.  Why, you may ask?  What happens if you drink too much of that green beer?  Let’s say you slip and fall and end up unconscious for a long period of time; who will continue to pay your bills?  Who will have access to your medical records so that they can make informed healthcare decisions on your behalf?  Would you want to be kept alive artificially?  These are questions that everyone should consider.

Living Will:  This advanced directive is better known as the “pull the plug” document.  It gives your doctor the go ahead to pull the plug if you are being kept alive by artificial means.

Durable Power of Attorney:  Nominate who will continue to pay your bills, have access to your accounts and be able to make other important financial decisions on your behalf should you temporarily be unable to do so yourself.

Healthcare surrogate and HIPAA Release:  Decide in advance who will have access to your medical records and be responsible for making important healthcare decisions on your behalf should you be unable to do so yourself.

In addition to these important documents, it is important to consider creating a Last Will and Testament.  This document will allow you to appoint a guardian on behalf of any minor children, direct how you want your property to be distributed and allow you to specify any burial or cremation requests.

Before you go drinking some crazy colored beer and letting loose for the night, prepare for the unforeseen by contacting the attorneys at Wild, Felice & Partners.  Call (954) 944-2855 for your free consultation or visit our website at for more information.

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