What is probate? How do I avoid it?

Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 in Legal News, Probate, Trusts, Wills |



Probate is a legal process that takes place after someone dies. This includes:

  1. Proving to the Court that the Will is valid
  2. Identifying and recording the deceased’s personal items
  3. Appraising the property
  4. Paying remaining taxes and debts
  5. Providing remaining property to heirs

Just five simple steps, right? Wrong.

By reading the aforementioned process, you must believe probate goes something like this…

Grandma dies, grandma’s will is read by the court, grandma pays her taxes, then grandma gives her prized mahjong set to her favorite son. The family then skips off into sunset and lives happily ever after.

In an ideal world, we would all be eating milk and cookies while listening to the final requests of Bubbe. But the truth is, probate is a long, arduous, stressful process that does not include milk and cookies. In fact, by the time you are done with probate, you might feel like you are on the verge of death yourself.

Like your mother-in-law, probate is something you might want to avoid. But unlike your mother-in-law, probate is something you can avoid by visiting with an estate planning attorney and setting up a revocable trust.

It would behoove you to work with the estate-planning attorneys at Wild Felice & Partners and avoid the hell on earth called probate.

Here are three ways to avoid probate:

  1. Living Trust: Living trusts were invented to avoid probate. Any asset held as part of a trust will avoid probate. This is so important so we will repeat that, any property within a trust will avoid probate. After the death of your loved one, the trustee can easily and quickly transfer the trust property to the family or friends it was designated to, without probate.
  1. Joint Ownership of Property: By adding someone else to take title on your property, the papers show ownership. Therefore, when the owner dies, the property goes to the other joint-owner – no probate involved. However, you should NEVER own something with someone you aren’t married to. There are asset protection and tax consequences to doing to.
  1. Gifts/Beneficiary Designations: Giving away property while you’re alive helps you avoid probate for a very simple reason: If you don’t own it when you die, it doesn’t have to go through probate. That lowers probate costs because, as a general rule, the higher the monetary value of the assets that go through probate, the higher the expense. However, be prepared to pay gift tax for any gift over $14,000 in a given year. Gifting at the time of death, via Trust or beneficiary designation, is much more affordable.

Losing a loved one is already a stressful and arduous experience. Why would you chose to allow your family to suffer through probate during their time of mourning? It is recommended to contact an estate-planning attorney to ensure your assets are all protected, including the mahjong set.

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What is Elder Law? Why does it concern me?

Posted by on Nov 13, 2014 in Elder Law |

\What is Elder Law?

What is Elder Law?


Seniors are the fabric of our family. Their idiosyncrasy’s, morals and mannerisms lace through the generations. Even if you received your bad temper from your mother or type A personality from your father, you are thankful for everything they have done for you and your family. It is important to care for them as they have for you.

Elder law ensures the matriarchy and patriarch of your family is taken care of in various areas of their life. This includes three major categories:

  1. Estate Planning
  2. Long Term Care
  3. Guardianship

Estate Planning

Your parents or elderly family members may have created a will several years ago. It is important that they updated their basic estate planning documents such as wills, trusts, durable power of attorney, health care surrogate and living will. It is recommended a specialized elder law attorney review these documents once a year.

Long Term Care

As your loved one gets older, you want to provide them the upmost care; however you are afraid of the costs associated with this care. Wild Felice and Partners have provided our clients assistance with the long-term costs such as nursing home or assisted living facilities. We can also assist with the requirements and application process of to be admitted into a home.

The government can assist with these costs, especially if you or your loved one has served in the military. It is important to speak with an estate planning and elder law attorney to ensure you are getting the full benefits you and your loved one deserves.


As your loved one gets older, it is very important to have a power of attorney in place to ensure he/she receives the exact treatment and care noted in the will. If the documents are not properly implemented, they may not uphold under the law.

History of Elder Law

The concept elder law was established in 1965 and signed into law under the Older Americans Act (OAA) by President Lyndon John. This authorized grants to States for service programs, funding for research and training projects in the field of again.

In 2000, it was amended National Family Caregiver Support Program, which was intended to help hundreds of thousands of family members who are struggling to care for their older loved ones who are ill or who have disabilities.

Elder law is not only a broad form of law but can also be a complicated one. We highly recommend working with a specialized elder law attorney so you can get the best long-term care, with the most benefits and at the discretion of your loved one.

To learn more about the benefits of elder law visit http://wfplaw.com/Elder-Law.html

Wild Felice & Partners is a full-service, Fort Lauderdale, Florida based law firm with a specialty in estate planning, asset protection, elder law, and probate administration. Our law firm provides the knowledge and experience of a large law firm, while giving our clients the hands-on service and attention to detail that only a smaller firm can truly offer.

Wild Felice & Partners, PA
Attorneys at Law
101 North Pine Island Road,
Suite 201
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33324

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