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 Perlin Estate Planning & Probate 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.