Poor Estate Planning Leaves Storm Clouds over Sun Life Stadium

Posted by on May 13, 2013 in asset protection, Legal News, tax |

Last week the Miami Dolphins were dealt a crippling blow when they were denied public money for a stadium upgrade.  Without a major rehab of the beloved stadium, South Florida’s chances of hosting the 50th Super Bowl in 2016 are greatly reduced.

Stephen Ross, the current 95% owner of the Miami Dolphins, sought both state and local help to pay for an estimated $400 million worth of renovations to Sun Life Stadium.  The team worries that the stadium, built in 1987, may become inoperable without the proper renovations within the next 5 to 10 years.   Florida’s Legislature didn’t see it that way, and adjourned after refused to allow a vote on this bill.  Rep. Carlos Trujillo, a Republican from Miami, simply stated, “It was a bad deal for taxpayers.”

If only the former owner of the Miami Dolphins, Joe Robbie, would have completed his estate plan before he died…

Joe Robbie is Florida’s greatest example of dealing with the consequences of not having a proper estate plan or business succession plan in place.   Joseph Robbie was the owner of the Miami Dolphins and founder of the Joe Robbie Stadium.  Upon his untimely death in 1990, his estate was valued at $100 million.  9 months after his death, he owed approximately $47 million in estate taxes.  The family was forced to sell the Dolphins and the stadium at a bargain-basement price, at just a fraction of the team’s real value.  In 1994, Financial Planning magazine reported, “the year’s biggest loser in the National Football League is the Robbie family, the former owner of the Miami Dolphins.”

The real tragedy is that it all could have been avoided had Robbie implemented a simple life insurance policy to pay the estate taxes.  Instead, the family was torn apart by the stress of the forced sale.  Just imagine the worth of Robbie’s 2 prized assets in today’s market place had he done some proper estate and business succession planning?

As great a businessman as Joe Robbie was, he missed a major league opportunity to provide for his family.  A proper game plan for succession of your business and the estate taxes that may be due upon your death, will allow you to leave a lasting legacy to preserve everything you worked so hard to achieve.

For more information on successful Florida estate planning and business succession planning,  please contact the South Florida law firm of Wild Felice & Partners, P.A. at 954-944-2855 to schedule your free consultation.

It’s a Wild world. Are you protected?



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Funeral Planning…the Best Way to Seal Your Fate

Posted by on May 6, 2013 in Legal News |

Not surprisingly, cemeteries in the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts are not willing to accept the body of Boston Marathon bomber, Tamerlan Tsarnaev.  A lone uncle of Tsarnaev, along with his funeral director, plan to ask the city of Cambridge for a burial plot instead.  The uncle told reporters that Muslim tradition call for his nephew to be buried and he would like it to be in Cambridge as that was his home for the last 10 years.   On Sunday, several protesters gathered outside the funeral home holding signs and American flags chanting “USA!”  The signs contained messages urging Americans not to bury the bomber on US soil.

The dilemma is emotional and stressful for all involved.  Even when you remove the terrible events surrounding this burial, final ceremonies and funeral arrangements are taxing on any grieving family.  The best way to alleviate some of this stress at a painful time is to plan ahead.  Leaving behind written instructions for your survivors can prove a great relief both emotionally and financially.  Otherwise, Florida state law will dictate who will have the right to decide how to handle your remains.  Oftentimes this leads to disputes between your remaining family members.

Our team of successful Florida estate planning attorneys can help you memorialize your preferences including:

  • burial verse cremation requests
  • funeral services
  • leaving pets behind
  • creation of a Living Will to dictate whether you want your life artificially prolonged or if you prefer to be allowed to die naturally
  • designating a Health Care Surrogate to make medical decisions on your behalf

And for those forward thinkers that already have an estate plan in place, it’s a good idea to review your plans annually to ensure they still reflect your wishes.

For more information on creating a set of written instructions upon your passing,  please contact the South Florida law firm of Wild Felice & Partners, P.A. at 954-944-2855 to schedule your free consultation.

It’s a Wild world. Are you protected?




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There’s No Time Like the Present…First NBA Player comes Out as Openly Gay!

Posted by on May 1, 2013 in estate planning, Family Law, tax, Trusts, Wills |

This week famed NBA center Jason Collins came out as the first openly gay athlete in a major men’s American team sport.  “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay,” Collins stated in the May 6, 2013, issue of Sports Illustrated.

Motivated by the recent Boston Marathon bombings, Collins acknowledged that he was done waiting for the perfect moment to come out.  He stated “things can change in an instant, so why not live truthfully?”

In a world of uncertainty, it is imperative that gay and lesbian couples to take advantage of proper estate planning.  The current laws do not afford same-sex unions the same legal protections as traditional married couples.  As it stands now your partner will most likely inherit nothing upon your death and could even be forced to move out of your shared home.  Same-sex partners in Florida also have no legal rights in the following areas:

  • No elective share, or inheritance of a portion of the deceased’s estate.
  • Not considered next of kin regarding decisions about your partner’s medical treatment when your partner is incapacitated.
  • Not considered next of kin regarding hospital visitation rights.
  • Not considered next of kin regarding decisions about your partner’s burial services.
  • No protective tax treatment in terms of IRA’s and retirement plans.
  • No shared access to their partner’s Social Security benefits or Medicare benefits.

Don’t just sit idle hoping that everything will work out.   Make sure your beloved partner is protected upon your passing.  At Wild Felice & Partners, we can work with you to draft a comprehensive estate plan to recreate some of the rights and benefits of traditional married couples.  Some key elements include:

  • Last Will and Testament to ensure that your estate is not blindly distributed according to intestacy laws.
  • Living Will which will specify how you would like to be taken care of in case of incapacity.
  • Designation of Health Care Surrogate which will allow your same-sex partner to give informed consent for your medical treatment.

Our South Florida law firm treats estate planning in terms of a married couple, so the fee plan for a same-sex couple will naturally get the same treatment.  For more information on how to plan for your partner’s future, contact our South Florida law firm of Wild, Felice & Partners, PA for a free consultation at (954) 944-2855.




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