March Madness Begins!

Posted by on Mar 14, 2011 in estate planning, Legal News, Probate, tax, Trusts, Wills |

College basketball culminates each year in a 68-team tournament to crown its champion that is chock full of upsets, Cinderella stories and buzzer beating shots.  Unlike NCAA basketball, there is no specific shot clock or game clock for our lives.  There may not be enough time in regulation to accomplish everything we need to before that final buzzer sounds.  In order to assure that we accomplish what is most important to us during our short lives, we create lists of priorities.

Some of us give greater priority to our families, others to our careers and others to traveling the world and creating new experiences every day.  No matter what your current priorities are, it’s vary important to get your estate planning taken care of when you are young and healthy rather than waiting until you are older and weak.  None of us are certain of how much time is left on the clock but we can be certain that it is incredibly irresponsible to leave our estate planning to a last-second heave before the buzzer sounds.

For more information on successful Florida estate planning techniques, please contact the South Florida law firm of Wild Felice & Pardo, P.A. at 954-944-2855 or via email at to schedule your free consultation.  It’s a Wild world.  Are you protected?

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Charlie Sheen May Be “Winning” But Your Family Might Be Losing

Posted by on Mar 7, 2011 in Legal News |

Charlie was quoted as saying: “I’m different. I have a different constitution, I have a different brain, I have a different heart. I got tiger blood, man. Dying’s for fools, dying’s for amateurs.”

For those of us that are not filled with tiger blood, we should be concerned about what will happen to our family when we die. Get an estate plan taken care of today because tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone.

Dying isn’t for fools but a lack of planning is. Don’t be a fool. Call the attorneys at Wild Felice & Pardo today to schedule your free consultation.

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Death Is Merely The Beginning

Posted by on Mar 4, 2011 in estate planning, Legal News, Probate, tax, Trusts, Wills |

Most people are lucky enough to only have to deal with death a few times in their lives.  Even fewer people will be charged with the task of arranging the affairs and distributing the assets of the deceased.  When a person dies, there is a tremendous amount of emotional strain on the family and friends that are left behind.  probate helpDealing with the stress of probate is an unnecessary ordeal that can be avoided by hiring an attorney skilled in both estate planning and probate.

Probate is the legal process by which property in an estate is transferred to the heirs or beneficiaries of the deceased person.  The process begins with a petition filed with the court that lists all of the property of the deceased and the people to whom the property is to be given.  In larger estates, there are often conflicting interests among family members and the probate process can become more contested and expensive.  Typically the probate process will take between 6 and 18 months for an estate under $1 million and may cost somewhere between 3 and 7 percent of the total estate.

Contrary to a popular misconception, probate is necessary whether or not you have a Will.  If a person dies with any property owned in his or her individual name, probate is required.  Florida has two different probate procedures depending on how large the estate of the decedent is.  For any estate over $75,000, formal probate proceedings are necessary.  However, if the estate is under $75,000 without any real estate and only a small amount of personal property, the estate may be streamlined through a summary probate administration.

In addition to the litany of forms that need to be completed for the court, all required persons need be notified and the proper probate procedures must be followed.  Florida Probate Rule 5.030 requires that a personal representative be represented by an attorney unless he or she is the sole interested party.  At least one Florida court has ruled that until three years after death, there might be other interested parties and therefore, an attorney is required.

The best way to avoid the probate process is by utilizing a living trust as the foundation of a comprehensive estate plan.  You will still need the services of an attorney for the administration of the trust but that process is much faster and much less expensive.  For any friends or family that were unable to get their estate plan situated in time, a good probate attorney can help to limit the stress and expense of the probate process.

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