Don’t Leave Anything to Chance…Especially Your Future!

Posted by on Dec 28, 2015 in asset protection, estate planning, Probate, Trusts, Wills |

Sunday night’s game left the New England Patriots fans in a state of horror. The Pats won the coin toss (as usual) but what happened next changed everything…they decided to kick in overtime.  The Pats were kicking themselves afterwards (pun intended) because that decision caused them to lose the game when the final pass was made to Erick Decker for a 6-yard touchdown.  Not everything left to chance will result in your favor, even if at first glance it appears that way.  This is one of the many reasons why proper estate planning is crucial.  If you’re scratching your head and wondering why estate planning makes a difference at all, just consider what will happen if you die without a plan and leave everything to chance…or, to be more specific, to statute.

The decision to create an estate plan is entirely yours to make but don’t be mistaken; just because you don’t create a plan doesn’t mean that one will not exist when you are gone.  By avoiding proper estate planning today you are allowing the State of Florida to take full control of your estate later on.  Your estate is made up of everything you own.  This entire estate will have to pass through probate; a legal process that can last for more than a year, may cost up to 10% of your estate and could result in the surviving family members arguing and suffering from major stress.  Since you have allowed the state to take full control, Florida will then decide who gets what and how much they will take.  If you have minor children, Florida will also decide who will be awarded custody and is fit to raise them.  This could very well result in someone you don’t like benefiting from your hard work, enjoying all you’ve left behind and shaping the remainder of your children’s lives.

This mess can be avoided and you can gain full control by creating an estate plan today. Every individual has different circumstances and goals that they wish to achieve, which is why there are various vehicles used in protecting your assets.  If, for example, you are only interested in appointing a guardian then a Will based plan may be appropriate for you.  If, however, you are interested in protecting your wealth for minors or for future generations (or maybe you even want to disinherit someone) then a Revocable Living Trust based plan would be a better option. No matter what plan you settle on, you will also receive other important documents, such as an Assignment of Property, Living Will, Durable Power of Attorney, Healthcare Surrogate, and HIPAA Release form.

Whatever your goals are, our attorneys will help you to reach them and provide you with the ultimate prize; peace of mind.

Don’t leave anything to chance (or statute!), gain control today by contacting the South Florida Law Firm of Wild Felice & Partners. Schedule your free consultation today by calling (954) 944-2855.

For more information about Estate Planning and Asset Protection, visit our website at

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

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Posted by on Dec 21, 2015 in asset protection, estate planning, Probate, tax, Trusts, Wills |

The Miss Universe pageant was especially entertaining this year thanks to Steve Harvey crowning the wrong winner. Miss Colombia enjoyed seeing her dreams come true and the false sense of security that followed for a brief moment before it was literally taken away and given to someone else.  Can you imagine how she must have felt?  The bad news is there is a chance you may feel something very similar without proper estate planning.  If you have a taxable estate, your hard earned wealth may end up in the hands of the government instead of remaining with your loved ones, continuing to support their health and wellbeing as you had hoped.

Taxes aren’t just for the living. Estate tax is a tax on the right to transfer your property after death.  This means that all of the property you own will be subject to federal estate tax.  Currently, the tax exemption amount is $5.43 million dollars.  This means that up to 5.43 million dollars of your estate can pass without being taxed but the remainder is not so fortunate.  If you have a taxable estate, there is still hope: you can still save by taking full advantage of the available federal tax exemptions or by creating an estate tax saving trust, such as a Qualified Terminable Interest Trust or a Bypass Trust.

Most Americans are familiar with Federal Tax Law Exemptions such as the personal estate tax exemption, marital deduction and charitable deductions. Taking advantage of these deductions will allow you to leave substantial amounts of property free of estate taxes.  Making annual gifts is another way to cut back on estate taxes.  Annual gifts of $14,000 per person may be made tax free.  Be very careful to not exceed $14,000 because then the gift becomes taxable and the amount of your personal exemption will be reduced.  It is best to keep any gifts under this amount to ensure you maximize your personal exemption.

Other then taking advantage of the Federal Estate Tax Exemptions, you can also seek the assistance of a qualified estate planning attorney to create an estate tax saving trust, such as a Qualified Terminable Interest Trust (“Q-TIP Trust”) or a Bypass Trust. The Q-TIP Trust is ideal for any married individual who may wish to retain control over any remaining property once their spouse passes away.  This is typically the case with those who are well into their second marriage and both spouses have children from a previous marriage.  In this particular situation, your surviving spouse will benefit from what you left behind but whatever remains after their passing will then be left to your children from your prior marriage.

Many times the Q-TIP Trust is utilized in conjunction with a Bypass Trust. A Bypass Trust shelters the property from estate taxes and “bypasses” the property from your spouse to someone else, such as your children.  Your spouse continues to benefit from the trust during their lifetime, even though the sole benefit of this trust is for your children.

Don’t continue to be comforted by a false sense of security. Protect your crown!  Call the South Florida office of Wild, Felice & Partners, P.A. today for your free consultation.  Allow our attorneys to help you plan for your future and provide you with peace of mind.  Call (954)944-2855 or visit our website for more information at

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

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December Is Hot! Failing to Plan is Not.

Posted by on Dec 14, 2015 in asset protection, Business Plan, Elder Law, estate planning, Probate, Trusts, Wills |

Let’s face it – we all had high hopes for a cooler winter. Yet, any hope we had has definitely been blown away but what feels like a summertime breeze. This December has produced record breaking temperatures. Throughout the month, temperatures have remained above average across much of the United States. Luckily December is early in the winter season which means some of us still have hope for cool weather but for now, it’s hot. While December is most definitely hot, not having a plan for your future is not. We have been taught from earlier years that planning is important. In high school we bought a day planner for class and likely way too many highlighters. In college, we had to map out our schedules and finances, and probably still bought way too many highlights. As an adult we are tasked with so many responsibilities, which is why it is essential to plan for the unforeseen. No matter what stage of life you are in, our attorneys can help you:

BUSINESS: Are you a business owner? Maybe you are the sole proprietor of a brand new Limited Liability Company (“LLC”) or perhaps just joined a multi-member LLC. If so, then you need to consult a qualified attorney regarding either an Operating Agreement or Partnership Agreement. These documents will include provisions relating to business and equity structure, management and what is perhaps most important in terms of estate planning; the right to transfer membership interest and restrictions on such transfers. These documents are “living” documents, meaning that they should be amended accordingly as the needs of the business change.

FAMILY: Whether you are single or married; if you have young children you really need to consider an estate plan. The most favorable plan is the trust based plan. By creating a Living Trust, you are able to control where your assets go, who gets them, and even when they get them. You can set limitations on the disbursement of assets to ensure your children first go to college or reach a mature age, in the event you are not here. The assets remain protected against unsecured creditors too, so you can rest assured that your assets stay in the family. Along with your Living Trust, you will also receive a Last Will and Testament, Living Will, Assignment of Property, Durable Power of Attorney, Healthcare Surrogate and HIPAA Release.

ELDERLY: The needs of the elderly differ greatly which is why it is crucial to have an elder law attorney assist in their planning. Whether it’s planning for long term care, Medicaid or Medicare planning, or creating the necessary documents to avoid a court appointed guardian, our attorneys can help.

CHANGES: As life changes your plan will need to change with it. If you are recently married, divorced, remarried, have had additional children or experienced any other major life changing events, contact the law office of Wild, Felice & Partners and allow our attorneys to update your estate plan to ensure your needs are met and your goals are achieved.

Let December be the only reason you break a sweat this month. Plan ahead and worry less! Call the To learn more about estate planning, probate and asset protection, visit our website at or call 954-944-2855 to schedule your free consultation.

It’s Wild World. Are You Protected? SM

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Holiday Celebrations, a New Year and an Estate Plan!

Posted by on Dec 7, 2015 in asset protection, estate planning, Probate, Trusts, Wills |

Tis the season for holiday flavored coffees, decorations galore and New Year resolutions.  Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, be sure to also contemplate creating an estate plan for your future.

No matter what stage of life you may be in, everyone needs an estate plan.  Regardless of how much you may or may not own, the goal remains the same: protect the wealth you’ve accumulated for yourself and your loved ones.  Did you know that if you do not have an estate plan in place that your assets will be automatically distributed “per stirpes” and subject to probate?  Per stirpes is as gross as it sounds!  It means you have no control over who will receive your estate, the State does!  Probate, the legal process of proving a Will, will then tie up those assets for a long period of time before your beneficiaries receive their share.  By creating an estate plan, such as a living trust, you are able to avoid unnecessary taxes, control the manner of distribution and provide protection for your beneficiaries against possible litigation, divorce, creditors or bankruptcy.  In fact, there are a variety of estate planning tools that ensure you are providing the most protection for yourself and your family:

  1. Living Trust – allows for your estate to avoid probate (the legal process of determining whether a will is valid) and for you to control who receives what and how they will receive it. A living trust offers ultimate protection for your beneficiaries against the possibility of divorce, litigation, bankruptcy and against creditors.
  2.  Assignment of Property – This document assigns your property to your trust. This includes both real & personal property. A trust is useless if there is no property in it.
  3.  Last Will & Testament – The 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 – This document allows you to designate and authorize someone to legally act on your behalf, in the event that you become incapacitated or otherwise incapable.
  5.  Combination Living Will & Designation of Healthcare Surrogate – This document outlines important healthcare decisions in advance, and allows for you to appoint a healthcare surrogate to make healthcare decisions for you when you become unable to do so yourself.

Before you bust out your winter boots to go get your Gingerbread Latte and begin making your New Year’s Resolutions, call one of our qualified Estate Planning attorneys for your free consultation at 954-944-2855.  For more information on successful Florida estate planning and asset protection techniques, please visit our website at

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

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Protect Your Assets Like Tim Tebow is Protecting His Family Jewels.

Posted by on Dec 1, 2015 in Business Plan, estate planning, Probate, Trusts, Wills |

Tim Tebow has just passed the toughest test of his life: remaining celibate while dating Miss Universe, Olivia Culp.  Unfortunately, passing this test didn’t lead to a sense of accomplishment and some sort of reward.  Instead, Tebow found himself dumped, heart-broken and headlining all social media.  If Tim Tebow is literally losing women over protecting his most valuable asset, we suggest spending a few hours a year on protecting your assets. However, the assets we are referring to come in a much different form, of course.

The assets we are referring to come in the form of estate planning and business planning. There are many benefits to creating an estate plan.  You can appoint a guardian to look after your children, avoid probate and even control over your assets from beyond the grave.  Many individuals don’t realize that without an estate plan someone you don’t know or maybe don’t even like could end up raising your children and/or spending your money.  Proper estate planning guarantees your assets are protected and distributed according to your wishes.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s always the right time for an estate plan!  Even if you aren’t married and don’t have any children, you still should consider protecting the wealth you have accumulated.  Perhaps you own a small business of your own or are part of a partnership with a friend. What if your business is sued? You may find yourself personally liable for judgment against your business and at risk of losing everything that you personally own. This can easily be resolved through creating a trust.  When your assets are in a trust, they cannot be reached by creditors, litigation, bankruptcy or even divorce.

Do like Tebow:  protect your assets!  While Tebow wasn’t rewarded, you surely will be.  Call Wild, Felice & Partners today to schedule your free consultation and allow our attorney’s to provide you with the peace of mind of knowing that both you and your family are protected.

To learn more about asset protection through estate planning visit

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 to schedule your free consultation.

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