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Estate planning for seniors, also known as elder law, is an important part of planning for the future. Elder law includes preparing important documents such as Wills, Healthcare and Financial Powers of Attorney, Guardianships, and documents to plan for long-term care.  Elder law can be complex and should be discussed with an experienced estate planning attorney. Florida has specific laws that affect a senior citizen’s estate plan. If you or a loved one need to prepare an estate plan, an experienced Melbourne estate planning attorney at Lacey Lyons Rezanka can help.  Below are three essential tips to keep in mind when considering estate planning for seniors. 

Tip #1: A Will is Important to Carry Out Your Wishes

In Florida, a person’s assets will pass under Florida’s intestate statute if he or she dies without a Will. Unfortunately, relying on the intestate statute may not allow the decedent’s wishes to be carried out as desired. To avoid the unintended consequences of administering your estate according to state law, you are encouraged to work with an experienced Melbourne estate planning lawyer to help you write a Will that carries out your last wishes.  Some common provisions found in most Wills include, but are not limited to: an introductory paragraph, naming a personal representative who will administer the Will, a statement of how estate expenses will be paid, and the identification of heirs and distribution of assets, among other essential provisions. An experienced estate planning lawyer can help draft a Will for you that is narrowly tailored to meet your estate planning goals and fulfill your last wishes.

Tip #2: Prepare in Advance for Long-Term Care

Long-term care expenses can be financially burdensome on families and expose assets to Medicaid estate recovery when a Medicaid recipient passes away after needing long-term care.  However, planning in advance with the help of an experienced Melbourne estate planning lawyer can help you or your loved one protect assets through the use of various estate planning tools.

Tip #3: The Durable Power of Attorney Can Help With Healthcare and Financial Needs During Your Lifetime

In some situations, a senior citizen may develop health issues that require them to need the help of a trusted loved one to take care of their healthcare and financial needs. Through the use of a Durable Power of Attorney, a senior can designate representatives while they are of sound mind to make healthcare and financial decisions for them if they are unable to do so.  If executed early enough, a Durable Power of Attorney can save the time and hassle of pursuing guardianship with the court at a later time. Family members must often seek guardianship of an elder because the individual did not execute a Durable Power of Attorney before becoming incapacitated. 

Have Questions About Estate Planning for Seniors? Contact a Melbourne Elder Law Attorney Today 

Do you have questions about estate planning for seniors? If so, contact a Melbourne estate planning attorney at Lacey Lyons Rezanka today for assistance with your case. Complying with Florida law when putting together an estate plan can be complicated.  An experienced estate planning lawyer is standing by to answer any questions you may have about planning your estate.