Are you busy finalizing your list of resolutions? As you celebrated and enjoyed the holidays with your family, were you reminded that you need to plan ahead for yourself and your family? Are you concerned that you have not created your Florida estate plan and so it is on the top of your list of resolutions? So what do you do now? What should go into your estate plan? Or, do you have a plan but it has been gathering dust on a shelf in your office? Let us help you get started.

First, we meet often with clients and their loved ones to discuss just what is needed to be sure that they are personally protected, as well as their businesses, their family, and the legacy they want to leave behind. These meetings have allowed us to develop an estate planning checklist with tips we would like to share with you. We recommend you use it now to make sure that your estate plan reflects your goals for you and your family now and in the future.

First tip: If you have already created your estate plan be sure it is up-to-date. If you have not created your estate plan, then do so as soon as possible. If you have created your estate plan, be aware that simple things, like name changes and address changes, can cause problems when they are not updated. If you have not updated your estate plan recently, make plans now to meet with your experienced Florida estate planning attorney. Be sure to have your estate plan checked so that you are assured that it reflects what you actually want for yourself, your family and your legacy. In fact, we encourage you to make sure that your health care decision-making documents reflect who you want to make decisions for your healthcare if you suddenly became incapacitated. Make an appointment and check in with your Florida estate planning attorney to make sure you have the person you want to have legal authority to make decisions for you in a crisis set up properly.

Second tip: You need to have retirement goals and retirement planning in place. Did you know that a critical part of estate planning is retirement planning? Do you have goals for your retirement? Does your estate plan follow your goals for retirement? Do you need guidance on how to get where you want to go, not just financially, but with an eye on the legacy that you want to create?

Third tip: Be sure to begin long-term care planning soon. Do you know what would happen if, in the future, you might need significant long-term care? Are you aware that Medicare will not pay for most types of long-term care? This means it is essential for you to consider your long-term care needs and how the financial drain on your resources could impact your estate-planning. It is important for you to think about your estate plan jointly with your long-term care plan. As you look this new year at your resolution of completing or updating your estate plan it is now time to schedule a meeting with your Florida estate planning attorney to discuss how potential long-term care complications could inhibit how you reach your estate planning goals.

We know you may have questions about this, and many other, estate planning 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.