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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.

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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 You Know the Important Estate Planning Questions to Ask After the Loss of a Parent?

Have you always enjoyed your relationship with your parents, both as a child and as an adult? If you have, you know that the loss of a parent is distressing. In fact, as adults many of us still turn to our parents for their wise guidance and experience. But now that your last remaining parent has just passed away, what do you need to do and what questions should you ask?

With the recent passing of your remaining parent, have you been named and assigned a role in the final affairs of your deceased parent? Have you been named the personal representative of the last will and testament or as the successor trustee of a trust agreement? These roles come with significant responsibilities and we know it may raise important questions that you need answered before moving forward in this capacity. We would like to answer a few of the most frequent estate planning questions we hear from our clients after the loss of a parent.

1.Should you make a list of all of the assets you know that were owned by your deceased parent? Yes. A house and a car may be normal to expect but what about stocks, investment accounts, insurance policies or digital currency?

2. How can you identify what income your parent was receiving on a monthly or annual basis? You need to check the mail, look for statements, and look at digital accounts if you have access. Be aware that when a person is deceased the money that is received after death may need to be returned.

3. Do you need to keep track of any and all bills that are being received? Yes, in fact, watch the mail, look at digital accounts if you have access to them, and also keep track of your expenses if you have paid for anything. Expenses may include, but not be limited to, utilities, cable, phone, health care expenses and premiums, and expenses for final arrangements. You will need to bring these expenses to the probate attorney you choose to work with so they can be correctly managed.

4. Do you know if your parent completed any estate planning? If the answer is yes, do you have his or her estate plan? Is it the original? Are you named as the personal representative of the last will and testament or trustee of the trust agreement? If you do not know the answer to these questions or have concerns about them, do not feel alone. Your estate planning and probate attorney can help you determine what to do next.

5. Have you consulted with an attorney experienced in this area? We highly recommend that you research, locate and retain an experienced Florida estate planning and probate attorney. There are specific statutes and rules governing the matters of probate or estate administration, for a last will and testament, and trust administration, for trust agreements. There is no replacement for experience in this area.

6. Have you neglected your own estate planning? Seeing how prepared your parent was for his or her passing and knowing you have not completed your estate plan, now is the time to begin. Do not wait to meet with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney, perhaps even the attorney you worked with during the handling of the estate of your deceased parent who you know can be trusted to help you with your estate plan.

Finally, you may be facing the opposite scenario and are not named in the estate plan of your parent. This could mean that you have not been assigned a role of responsibility, are only meant to be a beneficiary of the overall estate, or are not included at all for some reason. It also may mean that your parent did not take the time to create an estate plan and he or she has passed away intestate, or without a will. In this latter instance, the distribution of the estate of your parent will be governed by the state of Florida law. You should still consult with an experienced Florida estate planning and probate attorney to learn more about what both of these scenarios could mean for you.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. 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.

3 Steps to Take with an Aging Florida Parent Facing Alzheimer’s Disease

Do you have an aging parent living in Florida facing Alzheimer’s Disease? Was your aging parent recently diagnosed? Do you know what Alzheimer’s Disease is and what it may mean for your aging parent? Alzheimer’s Disease is a type of dementia that can potentially cause problems with the memory, thinking, cognition, and behavior of your aging parent. Often symptoms, but not always, develop slowly and worsen over time. The end-stages of the disease can become life-threatening.

Although there is not yet a cure, early detection of Alzheimer’s Disease offers the best chance for effective treatment and improved quality of life. Memory loss is the most widely recognized early warning sign, and knowing what to do about it could make all the difference in the treatment options. Because this month is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month we want to focus on Alzheimer’s Disease, as well as, share resources and ideas for you and your aging parent.

There are three important steps we would like to share with you that you may take when working with your aging parent who may have Alzheimer’s. Keep them in mind when you are with your aging parent who may have potential Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia-related memory issues.

1. You should assess your aging parent’s situation early. Have you observed any changes in memory, thinking, or behavior? Have you been concerned that your aging parent is doing or not doing something? Has anyone else noticed these same changes that you are seeing?

You should begin to write down your concerns now because over time it can help establish the difference between what could be Alzheimer’s Disease and what may be just the normal aging process. Remember, as a person ages a certain amount of memory loss and confusion is to be expected. In addition, there may be other factors that may affect older adults as well, for example: prescription medications, stress, and other health conditions.

Do not hesitate to be proactive and speak with a medical professional or qualified health care provider in regard to your aging parent. Researching memory loss, especially as it relates to Alzheimer’s Disease, is an excellent idea.

2. You should talk to your aging parent about memory concerns. You need to let your aging parent know your concerns. However, this is easier said than done. You might begin by talking with other family members and raising your concerns. Then have your aging parent, yourself and your family meet together to discuss concerns and how to best move forward. All actions and conversations should be carried on with compassion, understanding and support.

3. You and your aging parent should reach out for help. A crucial first step is to schedule a doctor’s evaluation. Then your next step should be to reach out to the many support organizations for Alzheimer’s Disease, memory loss assistance programs, and caring professionals. These groups and professionals can help you and your aging parent with daily challenges, getting to medical appointments, and important legal and financial planning items. In addition, we highly recommend you see a Florida elder law attorney who can help you and your aging parent plan for the future to determine what type of long-term care may be needed in the future and how you may be able to afford it.

We know how difficult this conversation can be and want to 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.

7 Tips Every Florida Family Caregiver Needs for Themselves During National Family Caregivers Month

Are you the caregiver for a family member living in Florida? Were you aware that November is National Family Caregivers Awareness Month? During the month of November family caregivers are celebrated because these incredible people provide a tremendous amount of both paid and unpaid care to aging loved ones both in the state of Florida and in the nation. In fact, across the nation there are over 53 million family caregivers working hard for family, friends, and neighbors.

In honor of National Family Caregivers Awareness Month, we want to take time to recognize family caregivers and what they accomplish. Of course the goal of the caregiver is to care for his or her loved one, however, we also need to make sure our caregivers are taking care of themselves. Often, they do not want to focus on themselves but their health is critical. It is important for everyone to look for ways to care for our caregivers. We would like to share seven important tips all family caregivers should know and consider implementing in their own lives.

1. As a caregiver, be sure to take care of your own health. One of the biggest challenges facing family caregivers is taking care of themselves. As a caregiver you know how demanding it is to care for a dependent loved one. Often, it can be so overwhelming that caregivers end up putting the needs of the loved one first. Unfortunately, this may result in the caregiver suffering from burnout, exhaustion, and poor mental and physical health. The result is that both the caregiver and the dependent loved one are hurt.

2. As a caregiver, be sure to seek and find support. We all need help at one time or another. For caregivers it is very important to have support. Suggestions for finding support might include moving closer to family that can help or keeping a balance of a healthy life with caregiving duties by having planned respite breaks or looking for guidance from an online care community. When you take the initiative to ask for help it will lead to better outcomes.

3. As a caregiver, be sure to organize medical information. It would definitely be advantageous to everyone if you, as the family caregiver, created and maintained a comprehensive medical file pertaining to the dependent loved one. It should always be up-to-date and include important documents regarding medical history, medications and insurance.

4. As a caregiver, you need to be able to effectively communicate with all physicians, specialists and medical staff. Before a medical appointment of any kind you should be prepared. Make a list of questions and/or concerns you may have. During the doctor visit be sure to listen, speak up, listen again and ask any follow-up questions you may have. Taking notes daily will also help you remember important information for any medical appointments.

5. As a caregiver, you should use technology where appropriate. As a caregiver did you know that technology could help you manage your care? For example, a GPS app on your smartphone could help keep track of your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. Other applications could help organize medications, medical appointments and daily tasks.

6. As a caregiver, enjoy the outdoors. Did you know that just a few minutes outside everyday can do wonders for your mental health? Not only is there a small break from the person you are caring for but the Vitamin D is good for you as well. Even if you are just stepping outside the door, get outside. If possible, include it in the daily routine for your loved one.

7. As a caregiver, be sure all legal documents are in order. As the caregiver in your family, in addition to your responsibilities with bathing, meal preparation and doctor’s appointments, do you also manage your loved one’s finances and legal affairs? You need to be sure to have up-to-date legal documents, like a power of attorney, because it is the foundation for handling these critical areas. Other important legal documents might relate to wills and trusts, or the ability to pay bills, navigate insurance policies and secure government benefits. If you or your loved one are in need of legal documents (or updating them), you should contact an experienced Florida estate planning attorney.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. 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 Ways You Can Successfully Plan Forward for Florida Long-Term Care

Do you like to plan forward? Do you like to be prepared for the future? For example, are you currently saving for your children’s college education, your retirement, and traveling whenever and wherever you want? How about your long-term care? Were you aware that less than half of all Americans today having an estate plan, and even fewer have planned for their long-term care needs. By planning forward now with long-term care planning, or elder law planning, you can take care of any future need for a possible situation where you may need to rely on someone each day due to physical or mental cognitive issues.

In our office we often meet with Florida seniors and their loved ones to discuss a possible future in which long-term care is needed and ways to plan successfully to meet those needs. Below we want to share four ways you may successfully plan forward and learn more about Florida long-term care.

1. Begin planning now. As you review all of the planning you have done for the future, you now need to include the possible need for long-term care. Long-term care is probably the best gift you can give yourself and your family because now you have a plan in place should the time ever come when you need to have full time healthcare assistance or nursing care. In fact, you can educate yourself right now on the cost of care. Long-term care in any setting is expensive. You can learn the cost for the type of care in our state by using this link from the Genworth Cost of Care Survey.

2. Research the different types of long-term care. There are now more options than just going into a nursing home. In fact, there are many steps in between nursing home care and home care. From homebase care to independent care to assisted-living care and skilled nursing home care, there are many options. You can use this link from the AARP website for more information. In addition, research whether long-term care insurance is an option for you. Long-term care insurance is a type of insurance that can provide financial assistance should you need long-term care. Do not put off speaking with a long-term care insurance agent to learn more about what your options are.

3. Meet with an experienced Florida elder law attorney. An experienced Florida elder law attorney will be able to thoroughly inform you on long-term care and what your options are in numerous circumstances and he can come up with a plan to make sure you, your family, and what you care about most, is protected. He can also be sure your estate plan is up-to-date and reflects what you want. With your estate plan you can give legal authority for healthcare and financial decisions to another person or persons that you trust. You can also designate authority to this person or persons to make decisions when you are not able to do so independently.

4. At your next appointments with your doctors and specialists be sure to talk with them. When it comes to long-term care, every person is impacted differently. If you have a new diagnosis or a chronic condition, be sure to speak honestly with your doctor about what you should expect in the future. While your long-term care needs are unique to you, your doctor knows you and will be able to give you advice on what to understand and potentially plan for.

We know the information above may seem daunting. We also know you may have more questions now that you have read it. 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.

Tips and Advice on How to Best Avoid Probate in Florida

Have you decided to create your Florida estate plan? When you pass away are you wanting to have your estate avoid a Florida probate? Is your plan to have only a last will and testament in order to avoid probate? Are you searching for tips and advice on how to avoid probate in Florida? We encourage you to keep reading our blog for tips and advice on how to avoid probate in Florida.

The first tip: Creating a Florida last will and testament is extremely important. However, your Florida last will and testament cannot be used to avoid probate. It cannot be used because your will is a set of written instructions for how your assets are to be distributed once you have passed away. Your personal representative will follow the written instructions in your will to distribute your assets. You selected your personal representative when you created your will. Your assets may include a house, a vehicle, bank or brokerage accounts or personal items. The important thing you need to know is that upon your passing your personal representative will be required to probate your will. Unfortunately probate takes time and, possibly, money from your estate. If you want to keep your assets out of probate you need to learn about and consider other estate planning tools.

The second tip: With the assistance of your Florida estate planning attorney you can add a trust to your estate plan to avoid probate. He may advise creating a revocable trust as a way to avoid putting your estate through probate. In addition to creating your trust, your Florida estate planning attorney will, most importantly, help you put all your current assets into your trust. Now that you have worked with your Florida estate planning attorney and created and funded your trust you may think you are done. That is definitely not correct. As time goes by, there may be many changes in your assets, you may sell some assets and acquire other assets. A good tip is that in order to avoid probate all changes in your assets must be reflected in your trust. Do not forget to put your new assets into your trust! The best advice we have for you is that only the assets in your trust will avoid probate. It is critical for you to remember that any other assets you may acquire, but forget or err to put into the trust, will have to go through probate.

The third tip: Be sure to have a plan in place to meet annually or biannually with your Florida estate planning attorney. We all know that our lives change, it almost seems daily. Because of all the changes, you and your attorney should review all your estate planning tools to make sure they are up-to-date. In addition, by keeping your estate plan up-to-date you will still accomplish your goal of having your estate avoid probate.

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.

You May Be Headed for Florida Probate If You Do Not Have an Estate Plan

Did you know that if you have not created a Florida estate plan and you suddenly pass away your estate will probably end up in probate court with a probate judge making the decisions about your assets? Estate planning is important for all adults, no matter the worth of their assets, their age or their perceived cost of an attorney. The importance of estate planning cannot be emphasized enough. Because without an estate plan, upon your death your estate may be headed for probate court. Probate is often a lengthy and expensive process. We would like to discuss three reasons for why you need a last will and testament.

1. When anyone dies without a will in place, it is called dying intestate. That means family members will probably need to go through the probate process to distribute all the assets of the deceased. These assets may include real estate, cars, bank accounts, jewelry, art, and other family heirlooms. The court decides who gets any of the assets based upon the state’s intestacy law and unfortunately it may not be what the decedent would have wanted. By creating a last will and testament you may designate who is to receive any of your assets. Even though the estate of a person who dies with a last will and testament must still go through the probate process, it can be less time consuming and costly. Another tool to consider if you wish to keep your estate completely out of probate would be a trust. Be sure to talk with your Florida estate planning attorney about a trust.

2. If you have minor children and you die intestate, be aware that it may be up to a judge to designate their legal guardian. However, and this is very important, when you create your last will and testament you can name the person or persons you wish to become the legal guardian of your children in the event of your death.

3. Often people will cite that one of the primary reasons they have for not creating a last will and testament is the cost of an attorney. However, what most people do not realize or take into consideration is the cost of the probate process. The probate process can include court fees, appraisal and evaluation fees, executor fees, and attorney fees. By having a valid last will and testament in place, the probate process can be more streamlined and may not be as costly as probating the estate of a person who has died intestate.

Our office can assist you in putting a Last Will and Testament in place and helping you learn about other valuable estate planning options. 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.

Is a Last Will and Testament Enough to Avoid Florida Probate?

Are you a private person? Do you hope to keep your Florida estate private when you pass away? You may have a goal for your estate to avoid probate, but you have to have the right documents in your estate plan. That being said, have you recently created your last will and testament, but are you still unsure whether your estate may have to be probated? First, and most important, having a Florida last will and testament in place is excellent. But the fact that you have a will does not, by itself, allow your estate to avoid probate. Therefore, in order to avoid Florida probate, here are a few other things you need to be aware of:

1. Is a last will and testament enough to avoid Florida probate? Probably not and here is why. First, you need to know what a last will and testament is. Your Florida last will and testament is a set of instructions for your personal representative, a trusted person you selected, to be sure your wishes for your estate are followed. Your personal representative will follow your instructions in how to distribute all of your assets, which may include a house, a truck, bank or brokerage accounts or personal items. Even though you have written down instructions in your will your assets may still be subject to probate. Therefore, your personal representative may be required to probate your will, and this could possibly take time and money from your estate. Take time right now to meet with your Florida estate planning attorney to find out what other tools you should prepare to avoid probate.

2. Can a trust protect my estate from probate? Possibly. If you want to have your estate avoid probate, we recommend you meet with your Florida estate planning attorney to create a trust. He may recommend a good tool called a revocable trust to avoid putting your estate through probate. However, now that you have created your revocable trust and put your assets into the trust, your work may not be done if you want your estate to avoid probate. This is why. You must update your trust if you add or delete any assets. For example, you may sell some assets, acquire some assets but forget to put your new assets into your trust. Remember, only the assets in your trust will avoid probate. Any other assets you may have acquired but forgot to put into the trust may have to go through probate.

3. Does the information in your will have to match the information in my trust? Yes, it is a mistake if you do not keep the information in your will and trust the same. You must be careful to not have any information in your will and in your trust that does not match. If the information in your will does not match the terms of your trust document, then your trust document may prevail. If there are any inconsistencies they may have to be reviewed by a probate court.

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.

2022 Medicare Open Enrollment Tips for Florida Seniors

Are you a Florida senior currently on Medicare? Did you know that Medicare’s Annual Open Enrollment Period begins on October 15th? Remember, every year Medicare health and drug plans make changes. These changes range from out of pocket costs and network coverage to providers and pharmacies within their networks, so there is much for a Florida senior to review.

It is wise for all Florida seniors to revisit their health plans at least annually and then make the changes they need during the open enrollment period. As you will see below we have a few open enrollment tips you can use to ensure you have the Medicare coverage that best meets your needs.

1. The Annual Notice of Change letter. Have you received your Annual Notice of Change letter? As of September, because you are a Medicare beneficiary, you should have received an “annual notice of change” from your Medicare plan. In this benefits letter, Medicare explains all the changes coming in the new year. You should now have an overview, including coverage and costs, premiums, deductibles, and copays.

2. Not on Medicare. Sign up now. First time beneficiaries do not need to wait for the annual enrollment period but need to review the benefits available to them. Need more information? Visit the Medicare website.

3. Want to switch plans? Are you aware that you can look for additional plans in your area by reviewing The Medicare Plan Finder on the Medicare website. This is an online tool from the government to help you select and compare plans. First, enter your zip code and details about your medications and whether you receive them by mail. Then you can compare plans available in your area.

4. As a Florida senior have your care needs changed? Should you switch to a new plan? First, look at your medical expenses for the last six months to get an accurate picture of whether your Medicare plan is the best fit for you. By reviewing your medical care for the last six months, you can see and account for changes in your health as well as changes in your plan.

5. Is it possible that there is a less expensive option for you? Premiums for some parts of Medicare are based on your modified adjusted gross income (or MAGI) from two years ago. MAGI also adds in capital gains, Social Security, and required minimum distributions from individual retirement accounts and 401(k) plans. While you cannot change your income, you can plan for 2022’s premiums.

For more information, we encourage you to call 1-800-MEDICARE or visit Medicare.gov.

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 Pay For Long Term Care When You Need It

As an active senior living in your own home have you ever thought about how you would pay for long term care when and if you needed it? If you are like many Americans you probably have not thought about how you would pay for a future that might include the need for long term care. Not being able to live independently in your own home, free of mobility and cognitive challenges is not a reality that you may want to face or even to plan for. The truth is, though, when you consider that less than half of all Americans today have completed their estate planning, it is no surprise that there is not much planning for short or long term disability accomplished, including the potential need to live in a nursing home.

However, you need to be aware that right now senior adults are living longer, health care costs are increasing, and there is a lack of government resources to pay for these costs. You need to be actively planning for a possible future when you may need long term care and you will also need to pay for it.

When discussing paying for any healthcare needs, including long term care, most seniors over 65 mistakenly believe that the Medicare system will pay for the cost of this care. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Medicare is an acute payor system. That means, it will help cover part of the cost of your care on a short term basis. For example, if you have surgery your hospital stay will be covered, part of your doctor’s bill will be covered, and even a brief rehabilitative stay in a rehabilitation center or nursing home will be covered. If, sadly, you are not able to improve over time or need round the clock care based on your physical or cognitive needs, it will not pay for long term or custodial care.

So how do you pay for long-term care if you need it? We would like to share some suggestions with you to help you determine how you would pay for any long term care you may need.

1. You need to take stock of your health, understand any unique needs you may have and determine how to plan for long term care. Look at your overall health to understand where you are right now. Are there any preexisting conditions that could affect your health now or in the future? Has there been a new diagnosis that could lead to future disability? Are you aware of physical or cognitive problems you know of but have not wanted to plan for yet? Having a baseline in place for your needs is critical to understanding how to plan for your long term care.

2. Are you able to pay for your own care? Did you know that the average cost of care in the home begins, in most states, at $4,500 per month while the average cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home is $9,000? These costs are dependent on where you live and you can learn more about the options in your specific zip code using the Genworth Cost of Care Study by clicking this link. Right now, do you have the money to pay for this care while still maintaining your home and your existing expenses? For many the answer is no and so there is a need for long term care planning as soon as possible.

3. Do you have a family you can talk to? If you do not have a family or anyone to turn to it is critical to now begin the process of planning for long term care. Talking to an experienced Florida estate planning attorney would be a good place to start when planning for long term care.

4. Are you aware of any public benefits you could be eligible for? There are a number of state and federal programs that could help you pay for long-term care. The condition, however, is that you need to qualify based on both your healthcare needs and your financial resources. One such program is the Medicaid program. This program, should you qualify, may be able to take much of the monthly burden of paying for long-term care off your shoulders.

5. We highly recommend that you meet with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney. Your estate planning attorney will be able to guide you through the complex maze of long term care planning. Your attorney will understand your unique situation and be able to provide a plan to not only find the right care for you but identify ways to pay for it. By starting early there are often more planning options available to you and your attorney. However, there are steps that can be taken in a crisis, but the earlier you can make a plan and implement it, the better.

We know this topic may raise more questions than it answers. The long-term care conversation is a serious one and one that you should have sooner, rather than later, so you are able to take advantage of the planning opportunities available to you.

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.

3 Questions You Should Ask When You Are Named In a Florida Estate Plan

Have you recently learned you have been named in a Florida estate plan? It is always good news to know that people have prepared with an estate plan for any crisis that might occur now and in their future and have protected the future of their legacy. Were you surprised to learn that you were the person chosen to make decisions in the estate plan if there was an incapacity or death? With this responsibility you may have questions now about what your duties and responsibilities actually are as a part of the estate plan process. We would like to share a few questions you should ask the creator of the estate plan as you prepare for your role as the decision maker.

1. Have you been named the decision maker in the health care documents? In Florida a medical power of attorney is called the designation of health care surrogate and you have been named the surrogate. What does all this mean? Start with the basics: What does the person want for his or her general care? What about long-term care? What would he or she want if life support was needed? These can certainly be tough questions but you need to know what he or she would want so you can act accordingly in all health care situations. A key bit of advice would be to get, keep, and maintain a current list of the person’s diagnoses, doctors, specialists, and medicines.

2. Have you also been put in charge of the finances? Now you may have never discussed the finances of the person who has chosen you to be in charge. However, if you have been named as the agent in a durable power of attorney or a trustee in the trust, it is now the time to learn. You should ask questions about where the investments are, who does he or she work with, and what type of management fees are paid? Are there any life insurance or other policies with beneficiaries that might pass outside the estate plan? Are those planning tools up-to-date? All these discussions should begin as soon as possible so you know what to expect should you need to step in.

3. Who is the Florida estate planning attorney? All successful estate plans have an experienced estate planning attorney behind them. You need to ask questions like: Who is the attorney or attorneys who assisted with this estate plan? What should your relationship be with them? Where are the original documents located? With permission of the creator of the estate plan is it possible to meet the attorney in advance to make sure you understand your roles and responsibilities?

Being named within the estate plan of someone you know brings serious questions that you need answered. 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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If you have a a question, a comment, or simply want to have a conversation and explore how we can help, we’d love to hear from you.

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

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