Elder law attorneys in Florida can provide legal guidance for seniors to ensure their finances and estate plans are optimized. This article will cover the key benefits of hiring a lawyer.
What is Elder Law?
Elder law is an area of estate planning that focuses on helping people adapt and prepare for senior life.
With age, the burdens of estate planning grow. Areas such as long-term care, advance directives and inheritance wishes suddenly zoom into view. These areas involve complex legal matters. A Florida elder law attorney can help you manage these areas, optimizing your finances and assets to bring you the smoothest experience.
When Do I Need an Elder Law Attorney in Florida?
It’s advised that anyone aged 65 or over considers an elder law attorney to manage the changes your family is set to face. However, those considering nursing homes, retirement or end-of-life care should also contact a lawyer regardless of age.
Common examples include planning for incapacy, transferring assets before moving into a nursing home, or planning how your estate will be shared after your death.
If you say yes to any of these questions, you should contact a Florida elder law lawyer.
- Do you need to create or edit a will?
- Is your estate complex?
- Would you like to receive expert advice on whether you should use a trust?
- Do you need support with qualifying for Medicaid?
- Have you been told by someone that you do not qualify for Medicaid?
- Would you like to plan for incapacity?
- Would you like to protect your assets?
Determining Medicaid Support
Medicaid is a federal program helping low-income Americans to receive healthcare benefits. Around 63 million Americans currently receive coverage from it. It can help cover nursing home and senior care costs.
However, determining Medicaid care eligibility is complicated and stressful. A Florida elder law attorney can provide assistance to help you through the process and ensure you don’t miss out.
Medicaid planning may require extensive asset structuring, so you can retain enough of your income and assets and still qualify for Medicaid benefits.
Florida has its own strict Medicaid long-term care assistance requirements and there are many ways to qualify an individual even if they do not qualify for Medicaid currently. Working with a local Florida elder law attorney ensures that you have the best plan possible and qualify for Medicaid sooner rather than later.
Planning for Long-Term Care
Long-term care is sadly expensive but critical to the well-being of many seniors. Whether you or your loved one need to move to an assisted living facility or nursing home, planning can make the process much easier.
Long-term care insurance can help you cover the costs. The earlier you start, the better. By using an experienced Florida elder law attorney, you can arrange your finances as best possible to help you afford long-term care.
If you become incapacitated via illness or injury, you will no longer be able to make important financial or health-related decisions. That’s where incapacity planning comes in.
A Florida elder law attorney can help you understand and consider your options, such as by making advance directives that can cover your medical wishes, life-support beliefs and medication or surgical preferences.
You can also name a specific Health Care Surrogate (a person selected to make healthcare decisions on your behalf).
Similarly, a ‘Power of Attorney’ can be appointed to manage your finances and related legal matters should you no longer have the ability yourself.
A living will can also list instructions regarding health care and end-of-life support.
Our lawyers can help you sign the required documents for this, preventing them from being invalid or at risk of misinterpretation.
To Assist with Estate Planning
Basic estate planning, such as creating a will, should start at any age. But as a senior, it becomes even more important. Years of collected wealth, assets and debts need handling. This task can be long, overwhelming and rife with potential mistakes that make documents invalid.
An elder law attorney can help you navigate tough decisions, tax implications and asset structuring to protect your family’s wealth.
This can include:
- Creating a will
- Creating a trust
- Creating trusts for life insurance policies
- Filing out and executing advance directives
- Guardianship decisions
- Management of 401ks and IRAs
- Minimizing tax implications
- Health care directives
- Power of attorney directives
- Pet trusts
Wills and Trusts
A will is a critical part of any estate plan, but it can be complicated to write if you have a complex estate with many children and grandchildren.
Our Florida elder law attorneys can help you through the process, ensuring that you do hit problems due to ex-spouses, children from other marriages, debts, life insurance policies and other assets.
Similarly, you can utilize dozens of different types of trusts to benefit your family. From asset protection to generational wealth protection, you can use trusts to direct your assets in the way you desire.
Our attorneys can analyze your estate to determine what’s best for your family and take care of the complex legal matters required to complete the job.
Hire an Elder Law Attorney in St Petersburg, FL
If you or a loved one needs support with estate planning or long-term care planning, then our Florida estate planning attorneys can help. From structuring your assets to qualify for Medicaid to creating a trust, we’ll make the process smooth and optimized.
Battaglia, Ross, Dicus & McQuaid, P.A. is U.S. News and World Reports Tier 1 law firm in Florida, specializing in Estate Planning & Probate since 1958. With award-winning, experienced estate planning attorneys, they can help you plan for the future today.