In thursday night’s 30th anniversary episode of “Wheel of Fortune,” Autumn Ernhard’s name went down in the books as the second wheeling-wonder fortunate enough to reach $1 million in winnings. She left the show with a fortune figure of $1,030,340.00, stating she was in “utter shock” & “shaking.” It is undetermined whether her “shakes” are a result of muscle fatigue from the new hefty burden in her pockets, or the nerves associated with planning her estate & further preserving her new fortune.

The million-dollar-side-effects can be cured with the help of a Florida estate planning attorney.

Ease your mind with the top 5 estate planning strategies to cure a case of the shakes:

  1. Living Trust – a living trust has become increasingly desirable due to its ability to avoid probate (the legal process of determining whether a will is valid). There are three parties involved in a trust: (1) you, the creator; (2) the trustee(s) (who manage the assets in the trust); and (3) the beneficiaries. If you are married, you may want to designate yourself and your spouse as co-trustees, so that you have full control over the property while you are still alive. Side Note: such control does have tax consequences, so you will want to discuss this with your estate planning attorney.
  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 – this allows you to designate and authorize someone to legally act on your behalf, in the event that you become incapacitated.
  5.  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.

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.

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