WE’LL HELP YOU MEET ALL OF YOUR ESTATE PLANNING NEEDS
Last month, The Whisler Law Firm announced that it’s teaming up with Martyn Elberg, Esq. to start providing estate planning services to a wider range of clients, and we’re excited to finally introduce Marty Elberg!
My enthusiasm for estate planning began in the classroom. Having entered law school at 35, I was one of the older students in most of my classes, and our trust, wills, and estates class had a tendency of putting most students to sleep. But it held my attention, and that’s thanks in part to my age at the time. As someone who had recently gone through a divorce and had a young child, it was intriguing to me that there were ways to guarantee that my child would be cared for in the ways that I wanted him cared for, even if something happened to me. This idea of “ruling from the grave” can often be a daunting and uncomfortable topic for some, but for me, it was so significant that I couldn’t ignore it.
I graduated from California Western School of Law in 2006, and that’s when my new wife and I moved back to my hometown of Eagle Grove, Iowa, to be closer to family and raise our boys with the Midwestern values we’d been taught. After being admitted to the Iowa bar, I opened an office to serve as a general practitioner for our small town because we needed a jack-of-all-trades. It was an enjoyable time in my life, and we successfully transitioned our boys into young men. But I was ready to dedicate myself to the type of law
I had loved for so long, so we moved to Florida and I began focusing almost solely on estate planning. I was admitted to the Florida bar in 2012, and my team members at my practice, Circle of Life Legal Services, have evolved into experts at comprehensive plans for family well-being.
I understand the fear of sitting down and planning for the inevitable. I know it can be hard to think about, both for yourself and for others. But estate plans are too important to be without, which is why my new of-counsel relationship with The Whisler Law Firm is such an exciting endeavor. Through and through, they are about putting people first, and that’s really what estate planning is all about too. We pride ourselves on our ability to truly listen to our clients and to translate their vision into estate plans that meet their desires and expectations. With every new client, I always appreciate the unique composition of each family and know firsthand that thoughtful, creative, and customized planning can maximize financial security and the harmony that results from it.
If you want to leave a legacy behind that you feel proud of and secure in, our expertise in family protection, wealth preservation, values-based planning for couples, planning strategies for unmarried couples or divorced individuals, and all aspects of estate administration will help you achieve just that. Whether you’re married or single, have a traditional family or a blended one, are just starting out, or may now be looking back on a life well-lived, The Whisler Law Firm will help you craft a plan to achieve your goals for your loved ones for years to come. Our goal is always to help you preserve your most cherished family needs and values.
I’m so honored and excited to be a part of this team, and I can’t wait to meet you and help you lay down the plans you need for yourself and your loved ones.
WHO SHOULD HAVE AN ESTATE PLAN?
EVERYONE, INCLUDING YOU!
Nearly 50% of the population dies without an estate plan in place. Creating one can be a scary process, but it creates reassuring peace of mind. There’s so much value in knowing that your loved ones will be secure after you’re gone.
No matter your income level or age, estate planning is important for couples who are not married and for single and married people with minor children. Even if you don’t have young children, you may want to make particular instructions if you have other heirs. Estate planning with an attorney is helpful if you can’t decide how to divide your assets or just want to make special provisions.
Estate plans consist of several legal documents:
Will — a will is a basic planning document that gives instructions
on who should take care of your kids and who gets your assets after you die.
Living Will — a living will can alleviate the emotional trauma your loved ones experience when deciding to keep you on life-support or not. You make the choice now so they don’t have to later.
Power of Attorney (POA) — a POA is used while you’re alive, and usually during a time of incapacitation. It authorizes a person of your choice to run your financial affairs.
Medical Surrogate — also known as medical powers of attorney, these are very important if you have special health care needs and desires. They’re also important in an emergency.
HIPAA Authorization — a proper HIPAA authorization gives your medical providers the legal ability to speak with your loved ones.
Trust — a trust allows you to control and preserve your assets during life, during incapacitation, and after life. A properly funded trust will alleviate the need for probate.
If you do have estate plans in place, reviewing your accounts is just as important as drafting legal documents. If you have an insurance policy, make sure your beneficiary designation is correct. Check with your bank and investment advisor to ensure that you’ve indicated the proper person for a Transfer on Death or Pay on Death.
Estate planning is for everyone who cares about the legacy they want to leave behind for their loved ones. If you’d like to discuss your estate plans, call our office so we can help.
MEET STEVEN WILLNER
OUR NEWEST ATTORNEY
We’re continuing to grow The Whisler Law Firm team because we’re excited to provide more services to our clients. That’s why, at the beginning of July, we brought litigation attorney Steven Willner onto our team to help us tackle more property insurance, personal injury, and workers’ compensation cases.
Steven has been practicing law for almost 27 years. He’s been a member of the Florida bar since 1994, during which time he also owned and operated his own firm, and has worked with several other prestigious firms in Florida between then and now. “I took one law business course during my undergrad years in Albany and was hooked,” Steven says. “I’ve always enjoyed helping people work through their problems, and here was a chance to do it as a career.” Steven was also a Spanish language minor and speaks Spanish fluently, another skill set that made us excited to welcome him to our practice.
Steven is an incredible fit with our team because he operates under the same values that we uphold every day. “I always keep the client informed at every step in the process, and I’m a huge advocate for client participation,” Steven explains. “This is their case, after all. If a client feels strongly enough to take legal action over an issue, then I feel strongly about getting them involved in that process as much as I can.”
Outside of work, Steven enjoys watching and attending sporting events, namely baseball, with his wife. Originally from New York, he’s a Yankees fan through and through but has been trying (and failing) for years to become a Marlins fan. When they’re not cheering on their favorite teams, Steven and his wife spend time with his parents, who are Florida locals, and his in-laws, who live in Costa Rica, where his wife is from. “It’s been too long since we’ve gone down to see them,” Steven says. “I’m looking forward to the day when we can visit them again.”
We’re excited about the years of experience and knowledge Steven will bring to The Whisler Law Firm as we expand our reach. He’s already become a reliable team member who’s making our firm better, and we’re lucky to have him.