Last month, we posted about the reality that most folks do not have life plans in place – and this is a bad decision for them and their loved ones. No one wants to think about a health crisis, or death, or being incapacitated for a time, but the truth is that these things happen and it’s wise and smart and caring to deal with these things now, proactively, while everything is rosy and you’re healthy and fit.
In Florida and elsewhere, the chances are 7 to 1 that you don’t have things in order in case something happens to you, where you need someone else to make medical or health care decisions for you or worse. Seventy percent. That’s just scary!
For details, read our post entitled, “Year End Planning: It’s Important for Florida Baby Boomers to Have End of Life Documents That Are Valid Under Florida Law (New Poll Shows 70% Americans Do Not Have This Done).” What documents are involved (Wills, Living Wills, Powers of Attorney, etc.) are discussed there.
Florida Baby Boomers Are An Active Bunch – All The More Reason To Get This Planning Done Now
US News and World Report recently reported on how many Americans over the age of 50 – the Baby Boomer generation – are returning to school. Particularly community college and Boomers in Florida. For example, the article specifically includes opinion from Jerone Gamble, completion coordinator at the College of Central Florida, speaking for CCF which is one of the first “Plus 50 schools” in the country.
Baby Boomers are also traditionally drawn to South Florida as a retirement spot. The website Florida for Boomers, covers all sorts of issues, from how to deal with Florida mosquitoes to Chinese drywall. Retirees have lots to think about as they consider relocating to Florida – and it’s fun stuff. Who wants to think about Florida law and end of life decisions where there are things like fishing and scuba and decorating a new condo to think about? It’s understandable. And it’s risky.
Baby Boomer Planning for Advancing Years – Questions to Ask Yourself Now
For some, planning for your advancing years isn’t a pleasant task, but as the old joke goes, it’s better than the alternative. Working with a Florida probate and estate planning professional, it doesn’t have to be that burdensome and it doesn’t have to take that much time.
You just need to stop and do it.
There may be more to consider than you think. For example, Florida insurance laws govern the sale of long term care insurance policies to Floridians and there are many different companies that offer long term care policy packages. These insurance policies can be a viable part of End of Life Planning, working right along side Powers of Attorney, Trusts, Life Insurance, and the like.
Many Floridians may benefit from including these long term care insurance policies in their end of life planning. What are they? These are insurance policies that cover the necessary expense of having health care professionals helping with normal activities of daily living like bathing, feeding, and incontinence issues. Paying for these policies can help to protect the Baby Boomer’s retirement portfolio as well as providing invaluable personal support to family caregivers. Good things.
If you are among the 70% of Floridians Who Have No End of Life Plan in Place, Ask Yourself These Questions.
Right now, as you read this, you know that death will happen and ignoring that fact or procrastinating about handling the legal planning for it does not good for you or your loved ones. As this new year begins, ask yourself:
1. Who is going to be responsible for taking care of you day to day when you cannot do it physically?
2. Where are your financial records and other important documents? Are they safe? Who has this information in case you aren’t able to get to it?
3. Are your records valid under Florida law? Are they up to date? Is your Will current? Read here about recent changes in Florida law that might impact your Will.
4. Have you named responsible and caring individuals that you trust to be Executor with an Alternate? Are you still happy with that choice? Will Florida law respect your wishes?
5. If you are temporarily incapacitated due to an accident or injury or health event like heart attack or stroke, do you have a plan in place with currently valid legal documents that provide for who is take on the job of paying your bills and making decisions about your medical care?
Then consider scheduling an appointment with a Florida estate planning attorney and getting a valid end of life plan in place. It is smart to do, and it’s a real gift to yourself and your loved ones. Just do it, Boomer!