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

Do Not Avoid Creating Your Florida Estate Plan

Have you been avoiding creating your Florida estate plan? Do any of these reasons resonate with you? You think you are too young? You believe that you do not have enough assets? You do not want to even think about dying? You are single? You just keep putting it off? You are not alone in this decision to not create your estate plan. In fact, a 2021 Gallup poll reveals that only 46% of Americans have a last will and testament.

Are you aware that the reasons to not create an estate plan are all based on common misconceptions about estate planning.? Estate planning is important for all individuals over the age of 18. We would like to present three compelling reasons to stop putting off your estate planning.

Did you realize that your estate plan is a tool for unexpected occurrences? What would happen if you were seriously injured, or diagnosed with a serious illness and did not have the capacity to speak for yourself? This potential of catastrophic illness or injury is remote, but it could happen to anyone at any age. In the comprehensive estate plan you create with the guidance of your Florida estate planning attorney, you will create powers of attorney. In these documents you can choose an individual(s) you trust to make financial and/or medical decisions for you. Another important tool in your estate plan is a living will. The living will informs everyone, including your physicians and family, how much and which medical interventions you would want at the end of your life.

Your estate plan prepares and protects your family. In your estate plan, your Florida estate planning attorney can advise you of the importance of your last will and testament and one or more trusts for the care of your family. These legal tools will allow you to make certain provisions for your family. If you pass away, what will happen to your minor children? Your estate plan can take care of that situation. In your will you can designate someone you trust as a guardian to care for your young children after you die. In addition, your will and any trusts you create will also allow you to allocate money for the immediate and future needs of your children. Be aware that without an estate plan in place, the court will intervene when necessary. The court may intervene to appoint a guardian for your minor children or determine the best use of your assets for them.

Your estate plan lets you determine how your assets are distributed. When working with your Florida estate planning attorney in creating your estate plan, you make the decisions in regard to what happens to your assets after you die. This is because your will and your trusts allow you to specify who receives your assets. These tools also allow you to name a personal representative in your will or a trustee in your trust, to ensure your instructions for the distribution of your assets are carried out. Again, if you do not any estate planning documents, your property will be distributed as per applicable state laws.

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.

Top Reasons Why Most Trusts Will Fail

Do you have a Florida estate plan? In addition to your estate plan are you thinking about creating a trust? What can a trust do? As a legal document, a trust will give the purpose of the trust, the trustee of the trust and his or her powers, the beneficiaries of the trust, and the requirements for distributing the trust assets to the beneficiaries. However, once the trusts have been created, the trustor must fund or place into the trust his or her assets, such as money or property.

With your knowledge of what a trust is and that it must be funded, why do trusts often fail? The main reason, not funding the trust. Most of the time it is not the failure to properly establish the trust in the legal document, but most trusts actually fail because of inadequate funding. Often, people go through the process of hiring an attorney and have their trust set up and ready to go. However, and this is a huge error and will cause the trust to fail, they do not follow through with the next crucial step. They neglect or forget or put off funding the trust after the trust is created.

One of the first reasons that a trust may fail is not placing the assets in the trust. To explain, people will decide to create a trust in their estate planning to avoid probate and simplify the administration of their estate. However, and this is important, the grantor (person creating the trust) has to be sure all of his or her assets are put into the trust. For example, retitling current assets in the name of the trust and, this is vital, remembering to add any assets acquired later to the trust in the future. Be mindful, if any assets are left outside the trust, then a person’s estate will probably need to be probated and the first goal of avoiding probate through the use of the trust will not be achieved.

The second reason that a trust may not be successful is that many Floridians do not really know or have a clear vision of what they actually want out of their trust. When you meet with your Florida estate planning attorney and begin the process of creating your trust you need to tell your attorney what goals you have for your trust. Your attorney can work with you to accomplish and reach the goals you have and protect your legacy. You will need to share information with your attorney about your child with special needs, or that you are divorced or that you have a charity that you care about and want to support.

The third and final reason that a trust may fail is that the grantor does not keep the trust updated. You must remember, once your trust is created, it does not mean it is done and over. In fact, the opposite is true. Your trust is a living document that you need to frequently update to ensure that it reflects your wishes. Meeting with your Florida estate planning attorney, at least every other year, is critical to ensure your plan stays effective and represents what you want. Without this step, it may fail to reach your goals.

To help ensure that the trust you are creating meets your estate planning goals and will actually satisfy those goals and will not fail, you should work with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney. Your attorney will not only help you establish your trust, but will help you understand how to properly fund your trust so that your trust is successful in reaching your 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.

Have You Recently Prioritized Creating Your Estate Plan?

Thinking about creating an estate plan? In fact, are you making the creation of an estate plan a priority? According to a 2022 survey, less than one-third of Americans have an estate plan in place, however, almost two-thirds of Americans recognize that having an estate plan is important. From the same survey, the primary reason why people do not have an estate plan in place, despite believing it to be important, is because they just have not yet gotten around to it. We would like to discuss reasons for why you should make it a priority to work with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney to create an estate plan to protect your assets and your wishes.

1. Tax planning is a priority. By planning ahead and creating your estate plan you may be able to minimize the amount of taxes your estate may have to pay. Depending on the location of your property and the size of your estate, the tax burden on your estate may be very significant if you do not have an estate plan to put into place.

2. Planning for your children is a priority. Do you have children? If yes, then you will find that there are many reasons why estate planning is important. For example, with an estate plan you can identify in your will who you would like to raise your children in the event of your death because, otherwise, a court will probably make that decision for you. Also, with your estate plan you will be able to decide how your assets are distributed to your children in the event of your death. If you die without an estate plan, the distribution of your assets will likely be governed by the laws of the state of Florida.

3. Privacy is a priority for you. Are you concerned about the public nature of probate? Do you want to keep your estate private when you pass away? Start working with a Florida estate planning attorney to look into a variety of estate planning tools, other than a last will and testament, that can help you accomplish this goal.

4. Planning for incapacity should be a priority. Have you given thought to what would happen if you became incapacitated due to an accident or illness? Who would make healthcare decisions for you, pay your bills or take care of your business. In addition to handling your assets when you pass away, estate planning also involves planning for the possibility that you could become incapacitated and, therefore, unable to make your own decisions or communicate them for yourself.

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.

Are You Making The Top Three Mistakes That Lead To Probate In Florida?

Have you heard that probate in Florida may be lengthy and even expensive? Are you concerned about that ? Do you want your family to avoid the experience of probate when you pass away? There are several tools you can put in place to avoid probate, but there may be mistakes made which could make these tools ineffective. We would like to share three common mistakes we see in our office when someone tries to avoid probate.

1. First mistake. You create only a last will and testament. Mistakenly, people think that by having only a last will and testament they will be able to avoid probate. Having a last will and testament is very important and you should have one! That being said, your will is not a tool that alone can accomplish your goal of avoiding probate. With only a last will and testament your estate will go through the probate process.

2. Second mistake. You forget to update your trust. A good estate planning tool that many individuals use to avoid probate is a revocable trust. By having a properly structured trust, all your assets will probably pass outside of the probate process. Unfortunately, however, and this is where the mistake is made, people commonly forget to update their trust. When you first create your trust, you put all your assets in your trust. Now as life goes on, you sell your assets and acquire new assets and either forget or delay putting your newly acquired assets into your trust. This is very critical for you to remember, the assets that are not placed in your trust will likely be subject to probate proceedings.

3. Third mistake. Only relying on your trust. You may have assets at the end of your life that do not get placed in your trust. Not making provision for these assets is a mistake many make. By creating a pour-over will, your remaining assets that can be probated at the time of your death will pour over into your trust.

As you can see, there is a great deal of value in establishing a last will and testament and a properly structured trust. If one of your goals is to avoid Florida probate, we highly recommend that you make an appointment with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney to help ensure that an effective plan is put in place to accomplish your goal.

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.

Impacted By A Loved One With Dementia? Here Is How You Can Help

As the caregiver for your loved one, stay supportive and encouraging. Do not correct your loved one because he or she forgot something that you or someone else said, it may cause more harm than good. Also, guard against your loved one feeling judged or embarrassed and, therefore, shut down. You should take steps to remain cheerful and invigorated in the care of your loved one. It can be very sad and frustrating to watch your loved one suffer from dementia, so be sure to keep a motivating and understanding attitude. Most important, always remember to make your loved one feel safe. Keep in mind that your loved one cannot help his or her condition, and your loved one needs to know you are there for him or her.

To minimize the impact of dementia on your loved one try to develop some strategies. For example, begin to establish routines so that some tasks can become a habit and, therefore, be less easy to forget. Get a notebook for your loved one that can be carried around so that he or she can write down important events and details and have key information should a memory lapse occur.

Another key idea is to take the time to meet with your Florida estate planning attorney. We know that as the caregiver you are dealing with a lot, but it can be important to enlist the help of an estate planning attorney. Your attorney will discuss elder care concerns and estate planning issues with your loved one while he or she is still able to do so. Unfortunately, if an estate plan is not put in place and your loved one’s suffering from memory loss becomes so impaired that he or she is unable to make sound decisions, estate planning and long-term care may be much more difficult to establish.

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.

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.

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201 Alhambra Circle,
Suite 503 Coral Gables,
FL 33134

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