untitledAccording to TMZ, 87 year old Dick Van Dyke’s Jaguar erupted into flames while driving in LA. Fortunately, he was pulled from the fire by a passing good-Samaritan. While the legendary actor’s car is now crispy ash on the side of the 101 freeway, he managed to escape the bizarre car explosion without any injuries.

Events such as these remind us that tragedy can strike without a moment’s notice, and it is important to always be prepared!  If you were involved in an accident, who would have the authority to make decisions on your behalf? Who can access your medical records? Have you designated a guardian for your children? Have you designated someone to make financial decisions for you in the event that you cannot? These are all questions, that when answered, can protect your family and assets when tragedy strikes.

Create a shield against the flames of tragedy with the following documents:


  1. Living Trust – used to gain control over the who, when, and what of how your assets are distributed. A trust is a great way to protect your assets & preclude unnecessary taxes. You can designate yourself as a Trustee, while designating trustworthy successor Trustee’s to manage the trust when you are no longer able to do so.
  2. Assignment of Property – place all of your property into the trust, and avoid costs, loss of privacy, & headache associated with probate. Probate is the process of validating your will; therefore, when all of your assets are distributed through the trust, there is nothing within the will to validate. As an alternative, you can merely assign property to the trust that you specifically want to preclude from probate, for the purposes of privacy.
  3. Last Will & Testament – used to distribute property to beneficiaries (or a trust), specify last wishes, and name guardians for minor children.
  4. Durable Power of Attorney – In the event that you become incapacitated, this document designates someone to step into your shoes and make financial decisions on your behalf. That person can only make decisions for your benefit, and not their own.
  5. Combination Living Will & Designation of Healthcare Surrogate – Create a living will that states whether you would want life-prolonging medical treatment. Furthermore, the designation of a healthcare surrogate ensures that someone you trust is making medical decisions for you when you cannot. Otherwise, State statute will determine who can make those decisions for you.


Take a lesson from Dick Van Dyke and don’t get swallowed in the flames of disaster – plan ahead!


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.