At the Law Office of Brian C. Perlin, P.A., our credentials enable us to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to our legal services.  By building relationships with our clients, we are also able to understand each client’s needs and desires, and we support such goals through thoughtful, comprehensive planning techniques.  Please watch our videos to learn more about who we are and the services we provide.

Serving Miami and South Florida since 1985

Founded in 1985 by Brian C. Perlin, the Law Office of Brian C. Perlin, P.A. is a boutique law firm located in Coral Gables, Florida. Our office represents clients throughout South Florida in matters related to estate planning, probate, trust administration, elder law and asset protection. Through extensive knowledge of the law, along with our background in tax and financial services, we provide clients with tailored, strategic plans to meet their needs and the needs of their families, while being mindful of the life events many clients are facing.

The Law Office of Brian C. Perlin, P.A. prides itself on the creation of well-designed estate plans, and on easing the burden of the probate, guardianship and trust administration processes. For over 35 years, we have safeguarded thousands of families from the potentially devastating effects of illness, disability, creditor claims and death. Regardless of your stage in life, it is never too early or too late to make a plan. We look forward to assisting you in achieving a peace of mind that only comes from the creation of a proper legal plan.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE ONE FAMILY AT A TIME

Client Testimonials

Mr. Perlin and his staff are outstanding! Very professional, friendly people. The office has a serenity to it, and Mr. Perlin’s knowledge is comforting. He takes his time explaining any and all questions/ concerns – you never feel rushed. My husband and I are very pleased that he was recommend to us. We will definitely recommend him to anyone that his services would help.
Thank you Brian and staff!
Isabel

Excellent !!! thankful for meeting Mr. Pelin !! great advise and gave me honest options to my case, including one that did not involved him at all. Felt his honesty. I will definitely recommend him no doubt. !!
Karina

Brian Perlin is a true professional. We used him for our estate planning and found he has extensive knowledge in this area. He is patient in explaining any questions or concerns you may have. Appointments are on schedule. A five star experience for sure. We recommend him highly.
Susan

How to Best Address An Alzheimer’s Diagnosis Impacting an Elderly Loved One in Your Life

Did you know that June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month? Were you aware that Alzheimer’s Disease impacts millions of senior adults and is a form of dementia that causes memory loss and diminished problem-solving abilities? Do you have an elderly loved one in your family with a recent diagnosis of Alzheimer’s? You need to be sensitive to the degenerative nature of Alzheimer’s and realize that it is not only difficult for those suffering from it, but also for those who care about them.

Are you providing care for your elderly loved one with Alzheimer’s? How can you provide your elderly loved one with the best possible support? Be mindful that part of helping your elderly loved one will involve educating others in understanding what he or she is going through. We would like to share with you some ways you can assist others in recognizing the impact of Alzheimer’s on your elderly loved one and what he or she is facing in the future.

• Communication. After an Alzheimer’s Disease diagnosis, there may be a lot of uncertainty and emotion. While your elderly loved one may be trying to adjust and come to terms with his or her Alzheimer’s diagnosis, he or she may not want other people to know about the diagnosis. In fact, he or she may never want to talk about it with others, even though family and friends probably have a sense that something is wrong. It is important for you to discuss with your elderly loved one how he or she would like to proceed. If your elderly one is unable to make his or her own decisions, ask his or her legal decision-maker about thoughts on how to proceed communicating with family and friends.

• Information. Now that the decision to communicate the diagnosis has been reached, there should be differing degrees of information for family, friends, and others. Close family and friends should be encouraged to educate themselves about Alzheimer’s Disease and the impact it will have on their elderly loved one. You should talk about the symptoms, dispel myths, and let them know your elderly loved one is going through changes he or she cannot control. Be sure to answer questions and share any educational resources you may have to help family and friends to better understand. Now in regard to others, information that helps explain your elderly loved one’s behavior is enough.

• Education. As the caregiver of your elderly loved one you, of course, are very aware of what he or she can and cannot manage, especially as the disease progresses. Teaching family and friends, who want to interact with your loved one, how to interact appropriately is key. For example, ask family and friends to reintroduce themselves periodically and to refrain from correcting the elder loved one. Let family and friends know that social stimulation is healthy because it provides mental exercise and helps reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness. Take time to model how to interact with your loved one.

Remember, because June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, and advocates across the health care, nonprofit, and legal communities are offering support for Alzheimer’s patients, caregivers, and families impacted by the disease. If you or someone you know would like more information or guidance about related legal matters, schedule a meeting with our firm.

At the Law Office of Brian C. Perlin, P.A., our credentials enable us to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to our legal services. By building relationships with our clients, we are also able to understand each client’s needs and desires, and we support such goals through thoughtful, comprehensive planning techniques. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting.

During World Elder Abuse Month, Do You Know How to Protect Yourself?

As an aging adult, do you know how to protect yourself from elder abuse? Were you aware that June is officially designated as World Elder Abuse Awareness Month, and June 15 is designated as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day? This annual campaign, which was created in 2006, highlights the situation of seniors experiencing abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

Did you realize that millions of older adults are victimized in America each year? You need to be aware that no elder is immune from experiencing some form of abuse. Therefore, you should keep yourself informed about elder abuse, be aware of your surroundings and your interactions with people and keep your private information protected. Most importantly, if you feel nervous about someone bothering you, reach out to your family, friends or the police.

You need to be able to help yourself by learning what the warning signs of elder abuse are and how to address them. We would like to share some of those signs with you below.

• Has someone tried to hurt you? Do you have a family member who has become angry with you and become physically, verbally or emotionally abusive? These circumstances are not okay and you must report them.
• Be careful of financial exploitation. Keep your checkbook, credit cards and debit card somewhere safe and secure. Be vigilant about your accounts so that you can be aware if someone tries to use your credit cards or makes an ATM withdrawal. Any transactions not authorized by you are evidence of financial exploitation.
• Do you have a caregiver coming into your home to assist you with housekeeping, meal preparation or dressing. Does your caregiver ever refuse to make your meals or help you put on your clothes? This is a warning sign of elder abuse. You need to contact family members or trusted friends to tell them your concerns.

Do not be afraid to ask for help in addressing any situation in which you believe you are being exploited, abused or neglected. If you do not think you can handle it alone, you should reach out to trusted family members, trusted friends or the police.

We recommend that the sooner you take action about any abuse toward yourself, the better. Early intervention will lead to a better outcome for you and everyone involved. Be sure to research available resources, contact your Florida elder law attorney and talk to your physicians. There are many people and organizations dedicated to helping older adults and their families address elder abuse.

We know you may have questions about this, and many other, issues. At the Law Office of Brian C. Perlin, P.A., our credentials enable us to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to our legal services. By building relationships with our clients, we are also able to understand each client’s needs and desires, and we support such goals through thoughtful, comprehensive planning techniques. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting.

4 Mistakes Families Can Make When Advocating for Senior Loved Ones

Do you have a senior loved one that you keep an eye on? What would you do if you had to respond to a health care emergency involving your senior loved one? Since the beginning of COVID-19, which seriously hit senior adults, many families of seniors have had to confront this important question. Unfortunately, families soon realized they lacked the basic health care documents needed to act effectively on the behalf of their senior loved ones.

Now is the time to begin addressing key estate planning tools so that your senior relative may be protected. You should know that estate planning is more than just wills and trusts. It is also drafting legally sound health care documents, such as a health care surrogate, a living will, a health care privacy release, and more.

Whether a guard against the coronavirus, or other health considerations like dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, we would like to discuss four mistakes to avoid when using estate planning tools to advocate for a senior loved one:

Not understanding what a living will is. A living will is not a last will and testament. It is a completely separate legal document that tells physicians and others what an elderly family member’s personal choices are concerning his or her end-of-life medical decisions.

Not knowing what the elder adult wanted. If, at the time of your elder loved one’s drafting of his or her health care wishes, he or she was unsure or unclear, even the most expertly drafted documents can be vague or lacking. To avoid this problem, make sure to have specific conversations with your older loved one about health care and make an appointment with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney to put them in writing. This can serve as the basis for constructing an accurate health care power of attorney, or updating one, and provide future guidance to more effectively advocate for him or her.

Not knowing the importance of the health care surrogate. A health care surrogate (agent) may be one of the most important health care advocates for an elderly family member. The agent is chosen by your senior loved one who is creating the documents and is considered his or her trusted advocate, if he or she is unable to speak for himself or herself. If the document was poorly constructed or not created by a Florida estate planning attorney or if the agent fails to understand his or her granted authorities, then your senior loved one runs the risk of his or her medical wishes not being honored.

The agent is not acting with due diligence. Advocating for an elder loved one involves knowing what the legal document says, communicating with the physicians and medical staff, being aware and observing closely what is happening to the senior and questioning the results, if needed. If the agent is lacking, families should not wait long before seeking advice from a Florida estate planning attorney.

At the Law Office of Brian C. Perlin, P.A., our credentials enable us to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to our legal services. By building relationships with our clients, we are also able to understand each client’s needs and desires, and we support such goals through thoughtful, comprehensive planning techniques. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting.

Where is the Best Place To Safely Keep Your Estate Planning Documents?

Do you, like many Americans, consider a safe deposit box the best place for storing important documents? Do you have a safe deposit box located at your local Florida bank where you store your important papers and even some of your valuables? Now that you have just completed your estate plan with your Florida estate planning attorney, where are you thinking about keeping your estate planning documents?

In thinking about where to put your estate planning documents, what are the discussions about where to safely keep them? Are you thinking about keeping them at your bank? What are the pros and cons to keeping them in a safe deposit box at the bank? In our blog we would like to share more with you on this subject so you can make an informed decision.

Many estate planning lawyers may advise clients not to keep the original copies of their estate planning documents in a safe deposit box. One reason is that the bank is open only on certain days, at specific times. Secondly, only the owner or owners can access the box. Finally, if you are the only owner of your safe deposit box, at your death your family and/or personal representative of your estate may need a court order to access your documents.

Now, there may be ways for others to access your safe deposit box by adding additional owners to your box, but you may not want to or forget to add them. Also, you could ask your attorney to allow your agent access to your safe deposit box in your durable power of attorney. Often, however, banks do not always honor these documents when the time to access the safe deposit box comes. In addition, the durable power ceases to work upon your passing.

So, where else could you put your original estate planning documents? You could put them in a fireproof and waterproof lockbox in your home, in a home safe or in a secure container in a safe place in your home.

It is important to mention right now, that no matter where you decide to keep your original documents, you should have copies. Remember, without the originals of your will and other estate planning documents, there can be challenges later for both your needs and the needs of your family. There may also be issues in reaching any goals you may have for your legacy. It is vital that you discuss this now with your experienced Florida estate planning attorney.

We know you may have questions about this, and many other, elder care issues. At the Law Office of Brian C. Perlin, P.A., our credentials enable us to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to our legal services. By building relationships with our clients, we are also able to understand each client’s needs and desires, and we support such goals through thoughtful, comprehensive planning techniques. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting.

Guidance To Begin Talking About Medical Care

Are you an aging adult? Are you beginning to think about the time when you may not be able to make healthcare decisions for yourself? Those thoughts are not easy to have. However, you need to begin to think about your long-term care so that your loved ones will know what you would want in the event of a sudden crisis or incapacity. We encourage you to set aside time, soon, to have conversations with your loved ones about your personal preferences for medical decisions and for your long-term care. Let us give you some guidance on how to begin.

• If you were to become incapacitated due to an illness or accident, who would you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf?
• Is there anyone that you absolutely do not want to make decisions for you?
• If there was a need for feeding tubes, life support, and other artificial life-saving devices, would you want to use them?
• Is there any type of medical care you would never want?
• If you were permanently disabled or incapacitated, what would provide or take away from your “quality of life?”
• If you were given an option, would you prefer skilled nursing home care or in-home healthcare?
• If co-pays become excessive or insurance does not cover your treatment, how will you and your family pay for your care?

As you make and discuss your choices with your family, it is imperative that you document all your decisions in an estate plan. You need to meet with a qualified Florida estate planning attorney as soon as possible. He can help advise you in the choices you have for your healthcare decision maker. He can also prepare and advise you on all the other legal documents in your estate plan.
Do you have questions? At the Law Office of Brian C. Perlin, P.A., our credentials enable us to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to our legal services. By building relationships with our clients, we are also able to understand each client’s needs and desires, and we support such goals through thoughtful, comprehensive planning techniques. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting.

Checking in on Aging Parents Residing in Nursing Homes

Do your parents reside in a skilled nursing facility? Do you expect that the staff will take care of your parents? Unfortunately, the standard of care can fall short in some facilities. How can you be sure that your parents are not suffering nursing home abuse and neglect? We would like to share some tips that can help you protect your parents and ensure their safety.

Be sure at every visit, to look for signs of abuse. Abuse can be physical, emotional, financial, sexual, or neglectful. It is important to look for these signs every time you visit. In addition, pay attention to any changes in the behavior, attitude, and health of your parents.

Physical signs of abuse to look for include:

• Dehydration
• Bed sores
• Fractures, falls, or head injuries
• Malnutrition
• Rapid weight loss or weight gain
• Unexplained welts, bruises, or other wounds
• Unclean conditions and unsanitary conditions
• Your parents are frequently ill or have frequent infections

Behavioral signs of abuse include:

• Showing agitation or becoming extremely withdrawn
• No longer communicating with family members and friends
• Beginning to wander around inexplicably
• Wanting to be isolated from other people
• Fear of being touched
• Biting or rocking
• Reluctance to speak in front of certain nursing staff members

When visiting, pay attention to the staff, other residents, and look at the records for your parents. Be aware of how the staff treats your parents. During your visit if no one checks in on you, that could be a sign of neglect. However, if a staff member stays in the room and will not leave during your visit, that could be a sign of controlling abusive behavior by the staff member. Always notice how staff members interact with other residents as you walk down the halls because that can be a sign of how they treat your parents when you are not visiting.

Do you notice foul smells or unsanitary conditions? That could be a sign of neglect. Always keep up and review your parents’ bank statements and bills, checking for strange and unusual transactions, which can be a sign of financial abuse.

If you find something that concerns you, do not wait to seek help. We know you may have questions about this, and many other, issues. At the Law Office of Brian C. Perlin, P.A., our credentials enable us to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to our legal services. By building relationships with our clients, we are also able to understand each client’s needs and desires, and we support such goals through thoughtful, comprehensive planning techniques. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting.

Family Caregivers Resources to Use During National Older Americans Month

Did you know that the month of May has been devoted to honoring and supporting the nation’s senior population since 1963? During May, Older Americans Month formally recognizes Older Americans as indispensable to our society and recognizes their value. May is also National Elder Law Month, which is dedicated to promoting and providing legal support for a wide range of senior-related issues. However, without the aid of family caregivers, millions of seniors would have difficulties. In fact, family caregivers are vital to the care of our seniors year-round.

In honor of Older Americans Month, National Elder Law Month and family caregivers across the country, we would like to share some very important and much needed resources on our blog.

1. The need for respite care. Caregiving can be a tremendous sacrifice in terms of time, money and opportunity costs, especially if a senior loved one has a physical or mental health disability. Often, caregivers are at risk of developing their own health problems due to exhaustion and unmet needs. With respite care, caregivers are able to take breaks and care for themselves.

ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center ARCH helps senior caregivers find appropriate respite care programs and services for their elder loved ones. The National Respite Locator provides a state-by-state list of facilities that can help give family members a break.

National Adult Day Services Association – This is a professional organization that provides adult day care consumer resources, including an adult day care locator and counseling on choosing the right facility for a senior loved one.

Senior Corps and Senior Corps’ Senior Companions program provides respite care by matching older volunteers with seniors who need help with daily tasks.

2. The need for health care. Do you know all the options available to seniors today? Let us share this list with you.

Department of Veterans Affairs – The V.A. provides a vast array of support services for qualifying senior veterans and their families, including a paid family caregiver benefit. The program is called Veteran-Directed Home and Community Based Services. Elder law attorneys are potent advocates for senior veterans’ rights and often help secure V.A. benefits if they’re denied.

Medicare — Medicare is a massive federal health program for people aged 65 and older. Senior caregivers might not realize that Medicare covers home health and skilled nursing services in many circumstances.

Medicaid — Medicaid is a federal-state partnership program that provides health coverage for people with limited income and assets. Medicaid can also pay for long-term care in nursing homes.

SHIPs — State Health Insurance Assistance Programs, or SHIPs, provide free support to Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers.

3. The need for legal planning. The time to start legal planning for those you love is now. We know you may have questions about what you or your aging loved ones need. From advance directives to estate planning to long-term care proactive planning, we are here to help. If you or someone you know would like more information or specific guidance on legal issues, we encourage you to contact an elder law attorney.

At the Law Office of Brian C. Perlin, P.A., our credentials enable us to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to our legal services. By building relationships with our clients, we are also able to understand each client’s needs and desires, and we support such goals through thoughtful, comprehensive planning techniques. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting.

Three Ways to Prevent Florida Seniors from Losing Their Life Savings to Nursing Home Costs

Did you know that May is both National Elder Law Month and National Older American Month? This is an important time of year to ensure our aging Florida seniors have the support they need.

Are you aware of the importance of Florida seniors knowing that if they need nursing home care, they can reach out to a qualified Florida elder law attorney who can help? A qualified Florida elder law attorney knows the cost structure of nursing home care and can help Florida seniors protect a lifetime of savings from being completely used up by the cost of care.

Let us discuss three ways to prevent aging Florida seniors from losing their life savings to a nursing home.

1. Early Planning is Key. The most important thing Florida seniors can do to preserve their life savings may be to start planning for the future well in advance of when those plans need to begin. First, meet with a qualified Florida elder law attorney as soon as possible to engage in long-term care planning.

2. Know the Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid. Are you a Florida senior planning for Medicare to cover the cost of a nursing home? Unfortunately, Medicare typically only covers 100 days of nursing home care. As a Florida senior if you qualify for Medicaid, then the Medicaid program in Florida will take over when Medicare benefits are no longer enough. Medicaid will cover nursing home costs for qualified Florida seniors for as long as they need it. Is there a catch to this news? Yes. Medicaid rules will require Florida seniors to spend down most of their life savings prior to qualifying for the program. Also, Medicaid will look back over the past 5 years and see what was held in assets, and what the income and expenses were during this time period.

3. Planning Should Stay 5 Years Ahead. Remember, as a Florida aging senior, a qualified Florida elder law attorney can help you plan around this 5-year “lookback” rule to protect your life savings. Your attorney may decide the best way to do this may be to ensure that your assets are transferred out of your estate prior to the 60 months before you need nursing home care. Since the need for this care may be on the horizon, it may be best to start planning early. Your attorney can work with you to figure out the best approach.

We know you may have questions about this, and many other, elder care issues. At the Law Office of Brian C. Perlin, P.A., our credentials enable us to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to our legal services. By building relationships with our clients, we are also able to understand each client’s needs and desires, and we support such goals through thoughtful, comprehensive planning techniques. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting.

Helping Your Parents Understand Why They Need a Durable Power of Attorney

Do you know if your parents have created an estate plan, including a durable power of attorney? The reason for this question is because even though, right now, your parents are healthy, what would happen if one or both of them were to suddenly become incapacitated? For example, one or both might lose their mental or physical capacity due to an accident, a sudden decline in health, or any factors that come as they age. Be aware that if your parents are not able to make plans for themselves, it is possible that the state of Florida will appoint a guardian for your parents rather than looking at other options. Most certainly, your parents, you and your family want to avoid this situation, so what can you do? You and your family can help your aging parents by encouraging them to plan ahead and meet with an experienced Florida elder law attorney and obtain a power of attorney as soon as possible, definitely before it may actually be needed.

Now that your parents have a power of attorney they can allow someone to make decisions on their behalf. The person enabled with decision making power is called the agent. You or a family member who lives close to your parents may wish to act as the agent. The most important part of this decision about selecting an agent or agents is that by planning ahead, while your parents have capacity, they have a voice in making the choice. The completed durable of attorney will keep the state of Florida from having to appoint a guardian for your parents.

As you and your parents talk about their power of attorney, it is important to know that there is more than one type of power of attorney. To begin, your parents should consider what type of authority your parents want to grant and to whom. Your parents could establish a general power of attorney intended to enable financial decision-making, like paying bills or handling investments. However, establishing a durable power of attorney means that the authority granted by the power of attorney will remain intact even if your parents, the principals, become incapacitated.

Remember, if your parents, you and your family avoid making these decisions together, the state of Florida could end up making them for you later. This is, most importantly, why your aging parents should have a power of attorney in place right now. Then your parents, you and your family can have peace of mind that if one or both of your parents become incapacitated there is a power of attorney in place.

At the Law Office of Brian C. Perlin, P.A., our credentials enable us to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to our legal services. By building relationships with our clients, we are also able to understand each client’s needs and desires, and we support such goals through thoughtful, comprehensive planning techniques. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting.

Understanding Why We Celebrate National Autism Acceptance Month

Are you aware that in April we celebrate National Autism Acceptance Month? Sadly, in the past decade, the prevalence of autism has more than doubled among children in the United States, from 1 in 125 children receiving a diagnosis in 2010 to 1 in 59 children receiving a diagnosis in 2020, according to the Autism Society. The mission of the Autism Society during National Autism Acceptance Month is to increase the understanding of autism and encourage people throughout the United States to reach out to loved ones with autism, participate with them, and create more opportunities for them.

In the past, the Autism Society celebrated Autism Awareness Month, but now, it is celebrated nationally and is known as National Autism Acceptance Month. The reason for the shift is based not just in words, but in the idea of what it means to truly accept people with different abilities in our society, rather than just acknowledge that they are here. Everyone needs to be made aware that people with autism often face difficulty, starting when they are children, when many public schools struggle to provide the appropriate support services necessary to both integrate autistic children in regular classrooms and provide extra, separate help. These same issues may continue into adulthood, when autistic people may have greater challenges in finding gainful employment, accessible housing, or affordable health care. By accepting autism everyone can participate in helping to change these structural issues and make the world a more welcoming place for autistic children and adults alike.

There are many ways to be active during National Autism Acceptance Month. You should reach out to the Autism Society so they can provide ideas for how you can help. The Autism Society provides assistance by creating educational programming for schoolchildren to learn more about autism. Since many autism efforts already focus on school-aged children, learning more about opportunities for higher education and employment for autistic adults and finding ways to create these opportunities in your community is a great way to get involved.

We know you may have questions about this, and many other, issues. At the Law Office of Brian C. Perlin, P.A., our credentials enable us to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to our legal services. By building relationships with our clients, we are also able to understand each client’s needs and desires, and we support such goals through thoughtful, comprehensive planning techniques. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting.

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Suite 503 Coral Gables,
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