Most Florida residents hope to live as long as possible, but they don’t usually plan for the day they will no longer be able to care for themselves. This is what long term care planning is all about, and no estate plan is complete without some way of dealing with a situation where you are no longer able to make decisions on behalf of yourself, and/or you are no longer able to live without assistance.
When completing the long term care planning component of your estate plan, there are several things that you will want to think about. First, consider your home. As you get older, will you want to sell it to finance your retirement, or will you stay in the home? Will your home be senior friendly and accessible as you age?
You also want to think about transportation. If you are no longer able to drive due to physical reasons, who will you rely on? Will it be a taxi driver, a family member or someone else? For elderly persons, transportation is often their second highest expense.
Finally, you want to make sure you have a solid support network of family, friends and attorneys in place. Family members will usually be the most supportive in your network. Friends will also be important. You will want to create powers of attorney — both financial and medical — and give a well-trusted and able family member or friend the ability to make medical and financial decisions for you in the case that you become incapacitated.
An elder law attorney and estate planning attorney may also be helpful to assist you in navigating various issues that become important as you age. The aging process becomes much easier when you have a solid long term plan in place, and a qualified legal practitioner can help you to create one.
Source: US News, “4 Things to Include in Your Long-Term Care Plan,” Geoff Williams, accessed Oct. 30, 2015