Many people hear the term “elder law” and think about estate planning, and planning for the end of life, but elder law is far more than that. Yes, an elder law attorney can help you organize your estate plan, and can even probate your estate at your passing. But elder law attorneys can protect you well before the end of your life.
- Capacity Planning: An experienced elder law attorney will begin by making sure you are prepared in the event you become incapacitated. Durable powers of attorney, health care surrogate designations, preneed guardian forms and living wills are examples of basic planning documents that can make sure decisions can be made if you are very ill. Through these documents, you can protect your assets in the event you can’t protect them yourself, and make sure crucial healthcare decision are made consistently with your wishes.
- Long-Term Care Planning: In Northwest Florida, nursing home care can easily cost more than $7,000 per month, and the average cost statewide far exceeds that figure. If you have sufficient wealth, or enough long-term care insurance to cover these costs, you do not need to worry about qualifying for Medicaid coverage. For everyone else, Medicaid is the only option. To qualify for Medicaid, you must meet certain income and asset qualifications. An elder law attorney can help you isolate income and position assets in a way that will prevent you from losing your estate while still qualifying for Medicaid benefits.
- Probate Avoidance: Attorneys can claim over 3% of the value of the estate if you dispose of your estate through a Florida Last Will and Testament. Also, executors are entitled to receive up to 3% of your estate for collecting your assets and disposing of them consistently with a Will. Elder law attorneys can also help you avoid costly and time consuming probate litigation at your passing by positioning your assets to bypass the probate process at your passing.
We help people accomplish all of these goals on a daily basis. If you need a plan to protect you and your family as you age, contact us at (850) 613-6923 for a consultation. We have offices in Okaloosa and Walton County, Florida.