Estate Planning

Many people tend to get a glazed look in their eyes when they hear Estate Planning. A number of individuals feel that Estate Planning does not apply to them because they have close family or they are not “wealthy.” The truth is everyone needs a plan for when they may no longer be able to manage their own matters and for when they are no longer here. A Comprehensive Estate Plan serves as a blue print for you and your family.

 

Today, people are living longer than ever before. However, they are not always able to care for themselves, so it is imperative that your family knows how you want to be cared for. Your Designation of Health Care Surrogate and Living Will include your wishes, so that your family or friends will know what you want when you are no longer able to convey your decisions, especially at a time when emotions are running high.

 

Your Durable Power of Attorney authorizes the individuals that you name to handle your financial affairs. This is crucial should the time come when you are no longer able to handle your affairs yourself. Florida has very specific rules about the substance of this document.

 

Trusts and Wills are tools to outline your directions as to who is to receive your assets upon your death, with the individuals that you choose following your directions. It is important to also remember that your personal possessions can carry much more sentimental value. Your Estate Planning documents help make sure that your personal items end up in the hands of those you choose.

 
Long Term Care

& Medicaid Planning

Long Term Care is one of the greatest financial risks that seniors face. What options are available to defray the cost of home health care, assisted living facilities or nursing homes?

 

Medicare’s coverage is limited to short time periods, generally up to 100 days (if medical requirements are met) with deductibles.

 

Family members may not be able to provide care. If they do, sustaining the care for a long period can be a significant challenge.

 

Long Term Care insurance provides a solution, but few own a policy. Limited resources or spousal impoverishment prevents private pay. Medicaid does defray the cost of long term care, for those who qualify. These benefits are for those who meet specific eligibility requirements. 

 

Medicaid eligibility is far more complicated than what most anticipate. The rules vary significantly from state to state. Advance planning is crucial to maximizing the savings of assets.

 
Probate

Probate administration is the court process of transferring your assets to your beneficiaries post-death. The procedures involved can be very frustrating and confusing. We strive to make this as simple and hassle-free process as much as possible.

 

Having the full understanding of the emotional stress a personal representative (also known as executor) goes through when the death of a loved one occurs, enables us to guide our clients through this process with great sensitivity.

 

It is critical that close and timely communication is carried out between the court in the county of the decedent and the personal representative. All court orders and probate code time frames must be handled in a timely manner. Our firm is here to guide your Personal Representative, enabling efficient distribution of the estate.

Trust Administration

Many individuals value their privacy. They do not want their Estate Plan, including the value of their estate and their beneficiaries, to become public knowledge. Therefore, their goal is to avoid the probate process, which involves court oversight. They trust their family to follow the instructions included in their Revocable Trust, and distribute their estate accordingly. Though the use of a Revocable Trust may avoid court involvement in the administration of your estate, there are still laws and rules that must be followed. Our firm guides your Trustee and helps them follow the laws and rules and distribute your estate as you directed.