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The Basics of Elder Law in Florida

Understanding Florida Elder Law

man and woman working discussing elder law

The term “Elder Law” actually refers to a variety of legal services people may need at various points in their lives. Working with a Florida elder law attorney can help you and your loved ones with the following types of services:

Planning for Incapacity

Planning ahead can help you and your loved ones be prepared in the event a serious illness or incapacity strikes. In an elder law context, planning for incapacity generally involves preparing both financial powers of attorney and medical directives.

  • Powers of Attorney. These legal documents authorize one or more named agents to handle financial and legal matters during lifetime periods of incapacity.
  • Health Care Surrogate. Naming a health care surrogate in a legal document authorizes someone else to be your voice for medical decisions, if you are unable to speak for yourself.
  • Living Will. A living will states your wishes about end-of-life care.

Planning for the Orderly Administration and Distribution of Assets at Death

An important part of elder law is ensuring that estate plans, including wills and/or trusts and beneficiary designations, are current and accurately reflect your wishes. Your estate planning documents should identify how assets should pass at your death, and who should be in charge of that process.

Asset Protection and Planning for Future Care Needs

Another aspect of elder law involves legally protecting assets from the reach of creditors, as well as planning ahead to implement Medicaid planning strategies in case you need nursing home care later in life. Nobody should live in fear of impoverishment because they, or their spouse, needs long-term care.

Understanding how eligibility for government programs works can be a challenge; your elder law attorney should be able to help you understand various options. These may include¬†financing long-term care through insurance, self-funding, or using government programs including Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or veterans’ benefits.

Find Out How an Elder Law Attorney Can Help

The time to begin elder law planning for yourself or for your aging loved ones is now, before an illness or incapacitating crisis occurs. The Judy-Ann Smith Law Firm in Jacksonville helps clients put thoughtful, deliberate plans into motion, helping ensure their wishes will be honored if and when the time comes.

To learn more about the services the firm provides, contact a skilled attorney today online or call 904-562-1369.