Why You Need an Elder Care AttorneyMarch 8, 2023As we age, we constantly make decisions about our healthcare, finances, and overall well-being. But, all of these decisions have legal considerations. Seniors and their families must have legal support to navigate this complex landscape. Elder care attorneys specialize in addressing the unique legal needs of seniors. This article will explore why elder care attorneys are a valuable resource, how to choose the right one, and the services they can provide to your senior loved one.Why You Need a Florida Elder Care AttorneyElder care attorneys know all the legal needs of seniors. They can provide a wealth of knowledge and resources to help seniors navigate the legal complexities of aging. They are familiar with the legal needs of seniors who want to age in place and those who choose to move to an assisted living community. With an elder care attorney on your side, you have a trusted advisor who can help you make informed decisions about your senior loved one's healthcare, finances, and other vital aspects of their life.Estate PlanningOne of the primary reasons seniors need an elder care attorney is to help with estate planning. Estate planning involves creating a plan for your assets in the event of your death or incapacity. An elder care attorney can help you develop a comprehensive estate plan that considers your wishes, family dynamics, and legal or tax considerations.Long-Term CareAnother key area where an elder care attorney can provide support is developing a long-term care plan. As we age, the likelihood of needing long-term care increases. A Florida elder care attorney can help you evaluate your options, such as self-funding, Medicaid, or long-term care insurance. Your attorney will develop a plan to meet your needs and protect your assets.Protection Against Financial AbuseNationwide, seniors are the target of financial thieves and con artists. One in five seniors over 70 will be exploited for an average of $17,500. If the senior knows the scammer, the cost is $50,000. Having an elder care attorney can help protect you and your family.Florida is serious about protecting its senior citizens and established the Department of Elder Affairs to protect seniors from physical or financial abuse or exploitation. If you suspect any senior abuse or exploitation, call their hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873).An elder care attorney can help establish safeguards to protect your assets and ensure your financial well-being.How Do I Choose an Elder Care Attorney?Choosing the right elder care attorney is an important decision, and there are several factors to consider.Credentials: Only attorneys licensed with the Florida Bar Association can practice law in Florida. Make sure your attorney has a current license. The Florida Bar also allows you to see their disciplinary record for the past 10 years.Specialization: Look for an attorney who is a member of an elder law group like the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). This professional association requires members to meet rigorous education, experience, and continuing education standards.Experience: Look for an attorney with experience in elder law. This area of law is complex and constantly evolving, so it is important to choose someone who deeply understands the issues facing seniors.Communication: Look for an attorney who is a good communicator and takes the time to understand your needs and concerns. You want someone responsive and attentive to your questions and concerns.Fees: Make sure you understand the attorney's fee structure and what services are included. You want to avoid surprises down the road, so knowing what you are paying for is important.What Can an Elder Care Attorney Do for Me?Now that we've explored why seniors need an elder care attorney and how to choose the right one, let's take a closer look at the services they can provide. Here are a few critical areas where an elder care attorney can support you and your senior loved ones.Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, and POAEstate planning is a critical component of preparing for the future. It ensures that your wishes are fulfilled when you are no longer here. An elder care attorney can help you create a comprehensive estate plan that considers your wishes, family dynamics, and legal or tax considerations. This includes creating the proper legal documents, including a will and a trust, and appointing a power of attorney to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. In Florida, a health care power of attorney is an advance directive in which you name a person to make decisions for you when you cannot do so. The document is called a Health Care Advance Directive.Developing a Plan for Long-Term CareThe best time to plan for our later senior years is before we get there. An elder care attorney can help you evaluate your options, such as self-funding, Medicaid, or long-term care insurance, and develop a plan that meets your needs and protects your assets. They can also advise you on structuring your assets and income to qualify for Medicaid benefits if necessary.Helping with Access to MedicaidMedicaid is a federal and state-funded program that provides healthcare coverage to low-income individuals, including seniors who need long-term care. However, qualifying for Medicaid can be a complex process. An elder care attorney can help you navigate the eligibility requirements and apply for benefits.Applying for Veteran's BenefitsFlorida senior veterans and their spouses may be eligible for various benefits, including healthcare, disability compensation, and pension benefits. A Florida elder care attorney can determine if you qualify for any benefits and how to access them.Protecting from Financial ExploitationScammers and other unscrupulous individuals often target seniors to exploit their vulnerability. An elder care attorney can help put safeguards in place to protect your assets and ensure your financial well-being. This may include creating a trust or appointing a guardian to oversee and protect your finances.Setting Up a Living TrustA living trust is a legal arrangement that allows you to transfer assets to a trustee who manages them on your behalf. A living trust can help you avoid probate, minimize estate taxes, and protect your privacy. An elder care attorney can help you create a living trust that meets your needs and provides for your loved ones.Summary: The Importance of a Florida Elder Care AttorneyKeeping our senior loved ones protected as they age is one of the essential loving things we can do. To most people, that means providing their seniors with the best care, living conditions, and quality of life.But it also means ensuring they are protected legally in all aspects of their lives. And this often calls for an elder care attorney who is an expert in all senior legal issues.The time to get all your senior's legal documents in order is before you need them. This is especially true with health care advance directives, powers of attorney, will, and trusts.Let us help.We will work with you to find the best home care help or assisted living community for their needs. We work with hospitals, care facilities, home health care, senior living communities, and elder care attorneys daily. We are a Florida-based company with expert knowledge of the Florida senior market. We know how to help with the move to assisted living while ensuring a smooth transition into the new community.While senior options can seem confusing, this is all we do. Florida Senior Consulting helps seniors decide their next best steps so they can live their best lives safely and securely.We have certified staff, licensed nurse advocates, and decades of experience in the field.Senior living should be on your terms, and the choice should always be yours.Call us, and we will answer all your questions and help you decide what is best for you or your senior loved one.For peace of mind, call us at (941) 661-6196 or visit FloridaSeniorConsulting.com.
Retirement is something everyone dreams of. However, as you near the age of retirement there are a few things you should do to prepare. Here are some ways to ensure you have the best retirement possible! SET GOALSCreating goals can help you get a better vision of your future during retirement. Try to set at least 3-5 realistic goals. What kind of lifestyle you want and who you want to be around? Do you want to spend more time with family and friends? Get involved in the community? Take some time to travel? Then get more specific. For instance, if you want to travel, think about where you want to go and how long you want to stay there. Do you want to travel internationally? Go somewhere warm?EVALUATE YOUR FINANCESAn essential part of having a successful retirement is having enough money saved up for when you arent working. At the start of your career, you probably enrolled in your companys 401(k) program or opened a similar account to prepare for retirement. While these will probably have you covered, its smart to evaluate your current financial situation to ensure you have enough money saved.Once you know what your income will be during retirement, create a budget to live off of. If you have debt, make a plan to pay it off before you retire. Remember, itll be much harder to tackle debt payments without your normal income from work; its best to be proactive!FOCUS ON YOUR HEALTHBeing healthy will make retirement much more enjoyable and will allow you the freedom to do whatever you want! Be proactive and schedule preventative checkups with your doctor so you can make a plan to improve your health or get treatment for any serious conditions. You should also continue to stay active and exercise regularly to maintain your muscle and bone strength. Eat a healthy diet, get enough sleep, and focus on your mental health so youre ready for this lifestyle change!CONSIDER YOUR OPTIONSThink about your retirement goals and where you envision yourself later in life. Moving into an independent living community might be the right choice for you! In these communities, you can meet new people, participate in social events, and have access to luxurious amenities (like room service, fitness centers, gourmet chefs, and more!). Editors Note: This article has been submitted South Hills Square Retirement Resort. Contact them today to discover the benefits of all-inclusive retirement living at 412-253-6100.
For more information on the author Safe Harbor Law Firm, CLICK HERE.This is the question asked by many snowbirds: Why should I establish Florida residency? Well, there are many reasons people make this choice every year, but it does depend on each individuals situation. Apart from the beautiful Florida weather, Florida has many benefits.Florida has no personal state income tax and no estate tax! Each year, you could be saving thousands of dollars. In addition, Florida has a great deal of creditor protection available. Florida homestead is just one of the many tax and creditor benefits in Florida. Additionally, property such as cash value life insurance and assets held by a business entity can be protected against creditors.If you decide to take the leap and become a Florida resident, you should ensure you take significant steps to establish your new domicile. Those may include filing a declaration of domicile, getting a Florida Drivers License, registering your vehicle in Florida, registering to vote in Florida, notifying tax authorities that you have moved to Florida, applying for the Homestead Exemption in Florida, and updating your estate planning documents to reflect Florida residency.