The recent derailment of an Amtrak train left at least eight casualties and many more injured. Nobody who boarded the train that fateful day was expecting this to happen, rather they were just going about their day as they would any other. Death is a difficult topic to approach, because nobody likes to think that someday it will happen. It is important however, because you want to make sure that you are ready for when it happens and because, unfortunately, it can happen at any time.
Waiting too long to draft an estate plan can be troublesome as well. When a person dies, there may be reasons to question the mental capacity of the individual at the time he or she prepared an estate plan. Undue influence or fraud from third parties, who take advantage of a close relationship with the decedent for personal gain, can be reason to challenge a legal document after death. Another reason that can be grounds to challenge a legal document is whether it was properly executed and with all the formalities required.
Powers of attorney, for example, are powerful documents that grant another individual broad discretion over medical and financial decisions. Such an important power should involve careful planning. Standard legal forms found online, software programs with legal templates, and other self-help documents, are attractive to many individuals due to the ease of access and low cost. However, template powers of attorney are not always the equivalent of a proper Florida power of attorney drafted by a lawyer.
Many states, like Florida, have strict requirements regarding execution of valid powers of attorney or advance directives. In order to make it easy for your loved ones to say goodbye, you should consult an estate planning attorney who can recognize potential pitfalls and how to avoid them.
It’s a Wild world. Are you protected?SM
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.
How many networking events do you attend a week?
I usually attend anywhere from 10 to 15 networking events per week.
How are you able to manage a company, family and network 15 times a week?!
No man is successful without a lot of other people wanting him to be. I would not be able to juggle all of the balls I have in the air without the support of my wife, my family and my friends. It takes a village to run a business.
With new emerging technology, how do you think estate planning will change? What does the future hold?
People’s assets are becoming more and more digital. Prior to Facebook going public, the domain Facebook.com may have been the most valuable asset Mark Zuckerberg owned. Our domains, social media, shared online documents, email addresses and all types of digital intellectual property are key concerns when creating and funding estate planning documents.
If you could travel any where, where would you go?
Gainesville, Florida. Either there or Italy.
If you won the lottery today, what would you do?
I don’t think my life would change much. I’d probably write larger checks to charities than I normally do and I would definitely travel a bit more. I love my job and I especially love meeting new people through networking. I might throw a bunch of money at Bruce Springsteen to play a private concert for my next birthday but other than that, I’d be low key.