Do you look forward to giving your family special cards or gifts on Valentine’s Day? Is it important to you to let your family know  how much you love them? As you and your family get older are you wondering what is most important for your children and you now, and in the long-term?

So, what are some of the ways that you can show your love to your family during this month of February? Let us share some ways that you can show your love to your family by planning and creating a loving legacy that will provide for them in the future.

1. Planning now will protect your legacy from being wiped out by long-term care costs. Unfortunately, the cost of long-term care for older Americans is rising. Therefore, it is important to be prepared by creating a plan to afford the long-term care that you may need in the future. This is critical so that your family members are not left struggling to pay those costs. Many Floridians do not realize that failure to create a long-term care plan may cost them their goals for the legacy they create for their children.

2. Start now to develop the long-term care plan you need. Your planning for your long-term care should begin before you even need it, while you still have the capacity to plan.  Begin by making an appointment and meeting with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney who is also experienced and knowledgeable in elder law. Your attorney will understand your goals and needs for yourself, your family and your legacy and will help you in the preparation of the appropriate planning documents.

3. You can begin your plan to leave a legacy to your family even before you retire. Have you even thought about your retirement plan lately? If not, as you consider the legacy you want to leave behind, now is the time to do so because you will want to use your retirement savings and include them in your estate plan. This is how you will begin to create your legacy, which is how you will both protect yourself and your family’s future. By creating a legacy for your children now, they are protected in the event something happens to you.

4. Did you know that by defining your legacy now and creating your planning documents that will define your legacy early, you can then discuss them with your loved ones? Creating an estate plan will ensure your loved ones are taken care of in the event of your sudden incapacity or passing away. In addition, you can prepare for your own care as you get older.

5. The importance of early estate planning. Unfortunately, many of us put off this type of planning, and then when a crisis of health occurs, we are unable to make decisions and create our own legal planning documents. This lack of planning has the potential of leaving our family vulnerable in a crisis. In addition, your estate planning needs to be discussed with your loved ones so that they know you have an estate plan and they know what you have planned and want for the future.

These are just some of the ways you can work now to protect your family and accomplish the planning you need to provide for them when you are gone. On Valentine’s Day give your family the best gift you can give them by preparing your legacy now with a good Florida estate plan. Remember  preparation is key to successful planning and to help you accomplish your goals.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. At David H. Jacoby Elder Law Advocate, P. A., we are focused on providing thorough, ethical, and timely solutions for our clients and their loved ones. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with us.