Are you amazed that it will soon be 2022? Most of us are busy finalizing our end of the year plans, purchasing last minute holiday gifts, and making plans to spend time with family, even with the persisting pandemic. This is the perfect time to take stock of what has happened this year, as well as reflect on your goals for the coming year. Think about what went well or what could be improved on?

What are your goals for yourself, your loved ones, and your legacy as you reflect on the past and look to the future? Are you aware that completing or updating your estate plan may be the best gift you can give your loved ones? The gift of a completed and updated estate plan can give your loved ones peace of mind as they celebrate the holidays with you. As a senior, these are the questions you should ask yourself.

1. Who will make my decisions if I am not able to make them for myself?
2. If I am in a car accident, who will have the legal authority to pay my bills?
3. Who could handle my business affairs if I could not?
4. What would happen to my pets if I was hospitalized?
5. Should both of my adult children be in charge of my finances?
6. Do I need additional insurance policies?
7. Will my retirement plans be able to support me as I age?
8. If I have out of state estate planning documents, will they work in Florida?
9. Have the laws changed in the past few years that now make my planning irrelevant?
10. Have there been any changes in my family structure that necessitate the need to update my planning?

All of the above are important questions. Remember that old adage: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It holds true when it comes to Florida estate planning, you need to know your plan will work when you need it to. We cannot say it enough, this holiday season, a completed and/or updated Florida estate plan is quite possibly the best gift you can give to your loved ones.

In addition, there is a second planning component that needs to be addressed and completed as well. This is your elder law planning. Did you know that the majority of Americans will need some form of long-term care after they reach the age of 70? Unfortunately, Medicare will not be able to help much and instead the financial responsibility will fall on the Florida senior to pay for out of pocket. With good prior planning it does not have to be this way! We can work with you to not only create an estate plan but also a long-term care plan that can protect the estate plan you are putting in place and allow you to be able to leave a legacy for your family, no matter what the future holds.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. We encourage you to contact our office so that we may help you to make sureyou have the Florida legal planning you need to accomplish your goals.