Don’t strike out! Protect your assets.

Posted by on Oct 29, 2015 in asset protection, Business Plan, estate planning, Probate, Trusts, Wills |

With the World Series now underway, the New York Mets face off against the Kansas City Royals. This should be quite the battle since the Royals have not held a World Series title since 1985 and the Mets have not seen a title in the last 29 years.  Each team is undoubtedly pumped and their fans are likely wearing their lucky unwashed undergarments (gross but necessary).  Just as each team is taking the necessary steps to avoid striking out come game time, you too should take the necessary steps to protect your assets and be prepared for any curve ball life may throw your way.

Every individual, no matter what their circumstances are, should be concerned with protecting their assets. With 16 million new civil suits being filed each year, no one is completely safe from the possibility of litigation.  No need to be stifled with fear, however.  At Wild, Felice & Partners, P.A., our attorneys focus on asset protection through estate planning and business formation.

Estate planning

The most favorable estate planning tool is the Living Trust.  By creating a Living Trust you are protecting your assets and loved ones from probate.  Probate, the legal process of proving one’s will, is costly and can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months to complete.  Avoiding probate through the creation of a Living Trust allows for the assets you leave behind to be distributed timely and in any manner you deem suitable.  Further, the assets remain protected long after you’re gone as they are segregated from any possible lawsuit, divorce, or bankruptcy your beneficiaries may become part of.  Other important documents that will be included in your trust based plan include a last will and testament, assignment of property, durable power of attorney, living will, healthcare surrogate and HIPAA release form.

Business formation

Asset protection for business owners begins with choosing the proper business form. Whether you own a business as a sole proprietor or as part of a general partnership you can be held personally liable for all of the debts of the business.  However, you can avoid these business debts and protect your assets through creating a Limited partnership, Limited Liability Company, or Corporation.

The Limited Liability Company (“LLC”) is a commonly used structure that offers higher liability protection than a corporation would. Once the LLC is formed it then assumes ownership of the assets.  By eliminating your personal ownership and, instead, owning your assets in an LLC, you are safeguarded from being pulled into a lawsuit brought against you.  This means your home and personal accounts (i.e. bank account) remain untouched since you are not personally liable.  This feature allows the LLC members to remain in control of the assets without having to worry about any risk associated with having title in their name.  Since there are many steps involved in properly forming an LLC, it is imperative that you contact a qualified attorney to assist you from start to finish.

Don’t strike out. Protect your assets from probate or a possible business debt. Whether estate planning or business formation is the appropriate technique for you, our attorneys can assist you.  For more information on successful Florida estate planning and asset protection techniques, please contact the South Florida law firm of Wild Felice & Partners, P.A. at 954-944-2855 and schedule your free consultation, or visit our website at

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








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Trick or Trust: Avoid The Blood-Sucking Probate Process

Posted by on Oct 28, 2015 in Probate |


When you open your door to the series of miniature monster’s and princesses’ exclaiming “trick-or-treat,” you can protect yourself from the “tricks” of the dark hallows eve night with the swift toss of a Twix or Snickers Bar. Thus, evading the wrath of the ghosts and goblins on Halloween night is nothing to sweat when you’re equipped with the right tools (Twizzlers, M&M’s & Bubble-Gum).

The same rings true in the similarly scary world of asset protection and wealth management, as you can avoid the evil little tricks of the probate monsters by incorporating the appropriate documents into your Estate Plan.

Probate is the validation of a will, and administration of the assets in the decedent’s estate. This can be an incredibly long and expensive process, yet many are “tricked” into it due to the failure to evade it through proper estate planning. Similar to the Vampires that will be roaming the streets on Halloween night, Probate has away of sucking the wealth out of an estate. The best way to avoid this “trick” is to choose the following estate planning “treat:”

Pour-Over Will & Trust Treat: Control & Protect Your Assets
A will coupled with a trust effectively bypasses probate. The pour-over will takes all of the property that passes through the will, and funnels it into the trust. Said property is then distributed to the trust beneficiaries pursuant to the terms of the trust. A pour-over will functions to ensure that all of the decedent’s property is transferred to trust. Think of the pour-over will as a safety net that catches all of the assets that were not properly transferred into trust. All the contents of the net are then poured into the trust, ensuring that all of the property is ultimately distributed through the living trust. This effectively removes all of the property from the Last Will & Testament, thereby leaving nothing to be administered through probate. Who is tricking whom now?

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

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Costumes That Cover Your Assets

Posted by on Oct 27, 2015 in asset protection |


This Halloween Season, Explore The Variety of Estate Planning Costumes that Are Styled Particularly to Fit Your Assets!

It’s that time of year where the shelves are stocked with a Wild variety of costumes – everything from monsters and zombies, to an assortment of forest creatures and Disney princesses. The only question now: which one fits just right? Similarly, to put together a proper estate plan, you must beg the same question. In determining what estate planning strategies fit your needs, consider the following “costumes:”

The Digital Robot: Whether you are going for Star Wars’ C-3PO or a more modern Transformer, your entire outfit is all about protecting your digital assets. These digital assets include bank accounts, email accounts, digital documents, pictures, items saved on your cellular phone, blogs, Facebook, Instagram, etc. While many may advise you to simply incorporate your digital asset wishes into your will, doing so can be problematic when it comes to privacy. When a will is admitted to probate, its contents become public record. Thus, any private digital asset information you place in your will is exposed to the public through probate. As an alternative, said information can be placed in a separate document that is referenced in the will; or better yet, placed into a trust. This way, your social media identity remains private, and you can receive all of the same benefits mentioned above. Furthermore, don’t forget to consider the privacy policies and terms regarding deceased users that are agreed to upon creation of many social media sites. Make sure you have an attorney assisting you in ensuring your digital assets are protected.

The Sick Witch – Have you ever wondered why the Witch is always green? Clearly, she’s sick – which is why she needs to incorporate health related documents into her estate plan! As much as we want to fight it, there is a Sick-Witch in everyone’s future – which is why we all need the following documents in our estate plans: (1) Durable Power of Attorney – this allows you to designate and authorize someone to legally act on your behalf, in the event that you become incapacitated. The instrument will specifically state the powers that you are giving the person that you nominate to act on your behalf. Furthermore, this person must make decisions that are in your best interest, not their own. Take careful consideration in determining who you want stepping into your shoes. (2) Combination Living Will & Designation of Healthcare Surrogate – this outlines important healthcare decisions in advance, and appoints a healthcare surrogate to make healthcare decisions for you when you become unable to do so yourself. Be certain to name someone, otherwise, a proxy may be designated in which you would never chose yourself. You want to choose whose hands your life is in, right?

The Wise Wizard – This Wizard knows that the best magic is that of a Trust. For many, especially young Wizards who have yet to build up their assets, an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (“ILIT”) can be very beneficial. For the Wise-Wizard-Parents, you can ensure that you are providing for your children, by having your life insurance policy go into a trust, which incorporates your intent regarding when and how your children receive the money. Furthermore, many people don’t realize that the proceeds of life insurance are included in the gross estate of the “owner” upon death (possibly using up a lot of your transfer tax exemption). Using an ILIT removes the “incidents of ownership” over the proceeds, and therefore your estate does not have to pay estate taxes on it. Additionally, when it is set up for the benefit of your spouse, then passes to children; when your spouse dies, the proceeds will not be included in his/her gross estate either. You can also set up the ILIT to a Dynasty Trust or Generation Skipping Trust, for the continued benefit of future generations. The Wise Wizard can use an ILIT for the following benefits: (1) avoid estate tax of proceeds; (2) shelter property from creditors at death; (3) provide income and support for beneficiaries; & (4) meet the liquidity needs of the Grantor’s estate.

The Go-To-Goblin: This is the big scary monster costume that you can always fall back on. It is composed of the following documents: (1) Living Trust – as discussed previously, a living trust is a great way to avoid probate & protect your assets; (2) Assignment of Property – this is exactly that, assigning your property to your trust. This includes both real & personal property. A trust does not do anything for you if there is no property in it; (3) Last Will & Testament – this is your traditional will that is used upon death to distribute property to beneficiaries, specify last wishes, and name guardians for minor children; (4) Durable Power of Attorney; & (5) Combination Living Will & Designation of Healthcare Surrogate (discussed in the Sick Witch costume above).


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As Lamar Odom recovers, who will be making his financial and medical decisions?

Posted by on Oct 19, 2015 in estate planning, Probate, Trusts, Wills |

Ex-NBA star Lamar Odom was found unconscious, vomiting and foaming from the mouth last week in Las Vegas, Nevada. Since his admission to the hospital, blood tests revealed that both cocaine and opiates were found in his system and he had suffered from an overdose.  Odom’s initial condition was listed as critical and he was comatose for most of the week.  Luckily, his condition has improved significantly and he is now awake and breathing on his own.  Still, Odom’s mental state may not permit him to make his own financial and medical decisions. This tragedy reminds us of how important it is to make certain that all of the necessary healthcare documents are in place and that your estate plan in up to date.

Whether you have never considered an estate plan before or if you have an older plan in place, now is the time to visit our South Florida office for a free consultation. Life is unpredictable and changing constantly.  Therefore, it is important to have an estate plan that is updated accordingly with these changes.  By creating an estate plan, you are ensuring that your loved ones and the wealth you have accumulated are both protected.  The most desirable way to accomplish this goal is by creating a living trust.  Since the trust will hold your assets, they will not be subject to the lengthy and costly process of probate.  Instead, your assets will be distributed in a manner you deem appropriate and to whichever beneficiary you desire.  Unlike a will where your wishes become public record upon your death, the content of your trust will remain private.  The trust based plan will also include all of the necessary healthcare documents, such as:

Durable Power of Attorney: Appoint the individual you see fit to make all of your financial decisions, should you become incapacitated or otherwise unaware of your surroundings.

Designation of Health Care Surrogate:   Designate a healthcare surrogate to handle your medical decisions, should you become incapacitated or otherwise unaware of your surroundings.

Living Will: An important document that allows your healthcare surrogate to give the doctor the necessary authorization to “pull the plug” if you are being kept alive by artificial means.

Lamar Odom’s tragic event is proof of how fragile life can be. Prepare yourself for the unpredictable by calling the South Florida firm of Wild, Felice & Partners today for your free consultation.

Its a Wild World. Are you protected?  SM

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Ghouls, ghosts and estate planning, OH MY!

Posted by on Oct 12, 2015 in asset protection, estate planning, Probate, Trusts, Wills |

Tis the season for scary decorations, fun costumes and pumpkin spice everything. As Halloween quickly approaches most Americans are stocking up on candy and preparing their homes for the tiny trick-or-treaters. Yes, having the scariest house on the block is important but properly planning your estate is even more important.

Did you know that less than half of all Florida residents have an estate plan in place? This may be attributed to the fact that most South Floridians feel that they are either too young or not wealthy enough to worry about estate planning. Yet, estate planning isn’t about being wealthy and it’s not about being “the right age.” Estate planning is about being proactive and taking the necessary steps during your lifetime to ensure your loved ones and the wealth you have accumulated are protected. Whether you want asset protection for peace of mind, want to ensure your loved ones avoid the mess of probate or you just want to reduce the possible estate tax, the South Florida law firm of Wild, Felice & Partners can help you accomplish your goals.

There are various techniques that can be used depending on what your goals are. The most desirable technique used in estate planning is the living trust. By creating a revocable living trust you are ensuring that your assets are safe from the possibility of litigation, bankruptcy, and divorce. During your lifetime you can revoke or amend your trust to fit accordingly with any life changes such as a marriage, divorce, children, or a change in wealth accumulated. Once deceased, the assets you included in the trust during your lifetime will avoid probate and, instead, be distributed immediately to the named beneficiaries in the manner that you choose.

Your trust based plan will also include a Pour-Over Will which will make certain that all remaining assets not included in the trust “pour-over” into the trust immediately. Your plan will also include the Durable Power of Attorney, Living Will, Healthcare Surrogate and HIPAA Release form. These healthcare documents allow you to designate and legally authorize someone to act on your behalf in the event you become incapacitated and unable to make both financial and healthcare decisions for yourself. For more information on the revocable living trust or any of the mentioned healthcare documents, please visit our website at http:/

Make October less scary by contacting the South Florida Estate Planning law firm of Wild, Felice & Partners at 954-944-2855 and schedule your free consultation today.

It’s a Wild World. Are you protected? SM

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