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

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.

How You Can Help Your Aging Parents on National Clean Out Their Medicine Cabinet Day

Are you planning to celebrate National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day on the third Friday in April, by helping your aging parents clean out their medicine cabinet? Did you know that proper disposal of unused or expired medicines can be important, both for the health of your parents and for the environment? Medications left in the medicine cabinet of your aging parents past the expiration date or their shelf life, or disposed of improperly, can be a danger to your parents. We would like to share more with you about medicine cabinet safety.

Your aging parents may not know of any family members or friends who may face any issues with abuse of medications. However, there may be loved ones or friends visiting the home of your aging parents who do struggle with these issues and they may gain access to the medicine cabinet of your parents. You may think the medicine cabinet of your parents is safe because it does not contain any opioids, but opioids are not the only problem. Medications like ADHD medicine, sleeping pills, and antidepressants can be misused and cause poisoning that may be fatal. It is important to keep your aging parents’ medicine cabinet protected, and dispose of medications past their prime.

If you need to dispose of any medications, there are proper ways and laws to do so. Medications thrown into the garbage leak into the soil at landfills and contaminate the area. Flushing medications down the toilet should never be an option because if you flush medications they can become part of the water supply which can have ill effects on drinking water, and on aquatic life in your area. In fact, in the worst case scenario it can even get into the bloodstream of fish and shellfish, causing even more harm to humans and other sea animals who consume these creatures.

Here is some good news for you and your aging parents on National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day when you get the medicine cabinet organized and collect medications for disposal. Shortly after, on National Drug Takeback Day, many civic organizations, in addition to medical offices and pharmacies, may have bins in public areas to dispose of your unused or expired medications by placing them directly into these bins. The authorities can then dispose of them properly.

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.

Your DIY Estate Planning May Backfire on Your Beneficiaries

Are you a DIYer? Do you like to make your own repairs in your home, change the oil in your car or hang up your own wallpaper? If the answer is yes, good for you! However, does this do-it-yourself mindset also include estate planning? It may seem like a fine idea because after all it is better to DIY an estate plan than to not have an estate plan at all, right? Unfortunately, the answer is often no. We would like to share with you what might happen if you decide to write your own estate plan without seeking counsel from a qualified Florida estate planning attorney.

If the DIY estate plan you write is unclear or against legal statutes your heirs could end up in probate court with a judge making decisions on what happens to your estate. In addition, your heirs could be stuck with what you wrote even if the end result is unfair and not what you intended. One area that is a particularly serious issue is in beneficiary designations.

Here are three reasons why a DIY estate plan can backfire because of your beneficiary designations.

1. Not Understanding the Rules About Beneficiary Designations. First of all, the biggest reason why DIY estate planning may not stand up in probate court is because the rules on beneficiary designations always govern what happens to your estate. Do you know what those rules are? If you do not, you risk your estate plan not holding up in probate court. To explain, when you open a bank account, a brokerage account, or a retirement plan, you will be asked to designate one or more beneficiaries. Whoever you write down in that beneficiary box is the person or people who will receive the remainder of the account when you pass away. Now, if you decide to write a different name or names in your will or estate plan, it does not matter. This is important! Whatever is written on the beneficiary designation form for any account is what will stand. Unfortunately, with your DIY estate plan, you may not know or understand this and think you have taken care of beneficiaries properly when you really have not.

2. Keeping Beneficiary Designations Updated. As of now, you have gone over and understand the beneficiary designation rules and you know that your estate plan has to match what you put on the forms for your accounts. However, if you are not regularly updating your will and accounts in your DIY your estate plan, your estate plan could be invalid. Every single time you decide you want to change a beneficiary designation you have to do it both on your accounts and in your estate plan. This may be avoided if you discuss your estate planning needs with a qualified estate planning attorney.

3. You Decide to Make Your Estate a Beneficiary. In your DIY estate plan you make your estate the beneficiary of all your accounts. By doing this you could run into unintended tax consequences. We highly recommend that you consult an estate planning attorney for more information.

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.

Should You Use Different Trust Types in Your Florida Estate Planning?

Are you aware that one of the estate planning tools created for the management of assets, both during your life and after your death, are trusts? There is not just one type of trust, but several used in estate planning. In our blog we will divide trusts into two categories in order to make them easier to understand. Therefore, simply put, trusts are either revocable or irrevocable. This means they can either be changed or canceled after they are created or they cannot. Be mindful that there may be important legal implications in choosing between revocable or irrevocable.

A revocable trust:
• created by a trustor
• trustor remains as the beneficiary until death
• upon death of trustor passes on to the successor trustee and beneficiaries
• married couples often create and are both co-trustees and co-beneficiaries until death
• upon death of married couple, adult child becomes successor trustee
• other children and even grandchildren, become successor beneficiaries
• NO tax benefits because this trust can be revoked or changed before original
trustor’s death
• often created to distribute assets to beneficiaries to avoid probate

An irrevocable trust:
• once created it cannot be changed, except under limited circumstances
• when the assets are put into the trust, they are no longer considered the property of the trustor, instead, they are the property of the trust
• limits or eliminates both income and estate tax and usually cannot be reached by trustor’s creditors
• often used as a long-term planning tool
• because the assets are not owned by the trustor, they ARE NOT considered when determining whether the trustor is eligible for government programs, such as Medicaid
• often used as a special needs trust for an adult disabled child
• when the parents of a disabled adult child pass away the special needs trust, which is irrevocable, will enable the disabled child to remain eligible for government programs

Now that you have an understanding of the fundamentals of trusts, it is a great time to meet with a Florida estate planning attorney to discuss how best to meet your estate planning goals. 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.

What Happens If You Do Not Have a Last Will and Testament or Other Estate Plan?

As an older adult, have you created a Florida last will and testament? Are you aware that your estate is everything you own? Unfortunately, research continues to tell us that only around 45% of all Americans have taken the step to protect themselves, their families, and their legacies with a last will and testament. You need to know that if you die without a will (intestate) or without an estate plan there may be consequences for your family. Your family may face difficulties after you pass away in sorting out your assets, taking care of any debts you may have and knowing who you want to be in charge.

What should you consider assets? The assets in your estate include your home and any other real property you own, your vehicles, bank accounts, investment and retirement accounts, cash value life insurance, and personal property. These may all be assets that can and will be inherited by someone else upon your passing. Whether your estate is big or small it does not matter, everyone has an estate and everyone needs to have an estate plan.

However, you may still ask, what happens if you die without a will? If you die without a will, the state of Florida will step in with a plan to follow under its intestacy laws. We would like to share and review three questions with you. These questions will clarify for you exactly why you need a Florida will and estate plan in order to ensure your estate and the legacy you have created is passed on to your beneficiaries.

1. Who would you choose now to make all the decisions that need to be made when you pass away? Think of your will as a set of instructions for the personal representative you name to carry out your wishes. Again, if you die intestate, without a will, the probate court in your county will choose someone to be your personal representative. The probate court will probably appoint the closest relative found who is willing to take on the task of personal representative of your estate. However, this may not be the person you would have chosen, and he or she may not proceed with the care and deference you would have wanted for your wishes.

2. If you die without a will, who decides how your assets will be divided? The state of Florida. Without a will, the state of Florida will distribute your assets according to the intestacy laws of Florida. Sadly, this distribution may or may not be how you would have wished your assets to be distributed. The Intestacy laws of the state of Florida usually list the order of the beneficiaries who will inherit from your estate. Usually the ones to inherit first are your closest relatives, but it may depend on which family members survive you. In fact, the list may go down to your next closest relatives and even beyond. Another very important fact, if you pass away without any surviving family members, your property may pass to the state of Florida.

3. Have you given thought to your children or even to how you want to be buried? Provisions for your children and your burial may all be included in your last will and testament. Your will may provide for your children and their care. You may also put in your will that you want to be buried in a specific manner. A last will and testament is the legal way you can make sure things go as you wish after you pass away.

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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(305) 443-3104
201 Alhambra Circle,
Suite 503 Coral Gables,
FL 33134

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