When many people start thinking seriously about retirement planning in Tampa FL, they often think they need to talk to a financial advisor — for good reason. The average lifespan is increasing, which means retirements are getting longer and harder to finance. Additionally, health care costs in retirement are high and require saving and careful planning to manage.

But funding your retirement is only part of a complete retirement picture. You will want to make sure you take a holistic approach to retirement planning. Getting organized and understanding the big picture are critical to planning for a successful retirement. 

That’s where an estate planning attorney focused on Elder Law comes in. Establishing a professional relationship with an estate planning attorney is one of the best things you can do to plan for retirement.

What Do Elder Law Attorneys Do?

Elder law attorneys provide counsel for the unique requirements of retirement and beyond. They have well-established networks of trusted advisors from their professional network, such as financial planners, long-term care insurance agents, elderly housing placement consultants, and more. 

The primary purpose of an elder law attorney is to help you navigate the issues of life that arise as you age. They can offer legal guidance and counseling on preparing for long-term care, choosing retirement plans, settling your estate, and other decisions you may face as you grow older. 

Elder law attorneys often assist with tax planning, disability planning, probate and administration of an estate, nursing home placement, and many other legal issues. Most elder law attorneys also have professional relationships with social workers, geriatric care managers, and other professionals who can assist with additional needs associated with aging.

What’s Involved in Estate Planning and Retirement Planning?

When planning for retirement, it’s wise to consider adding common estate planning documents such as a will or trust, a Florida living will, a durable power of attorney, a health care surrogate. An Elder Law attorney can walk you through each and help decide how best to protect yourself, your assets, and your loved one. 

A will is a legal document that takes effect upon your death. It is a legal document that identifies your heirs and how you want to distribute your assets among them. However, a living will goes into effect when you are living but cannot make your own medical decisions. A living will is a form of Advance Directive recognized by the State of Florida that lets you express your choices about health care if you are in a persistent vegetative state, have an end-stage condition, or develop a terminal illness. Both can be powerful tools in planning for your post-retirement years. 

Like a will, a trust can be a valuable estate planning tool for many families who want to protect their assets, minimize the tax burdens of their loved ones, and ensure their secure future. In some cases, when you create a trust, you can act as the trustee during your lifetime to maintain control over your assets. This is called a living trust. Upon your death, a successor trustee assumes control to distribute the assets to your beneficiaries according to your trust’s terms. 

A Florida durable power of attorney is a document that allows you to appoint an individual to make critical decisions on your behalf. It outlines how you want this person to handle your financial, medical, and legal affairs. It is a legally binding document that lists specifically what that person can do and what they cannot do. It is a form of advance directive that lets you express your decisions about health care if you are in a persistent vegetative state, have an end-stage condition, or develop a terminal illness. It can also give directives for handling your affairs after your death. 

Another form of Advance Directive, a health care surrogate, is someone appointed to make medical decisions for you if you cannot make them yourself. You can establish a health care surrogate through a legal document that names another person as your representative and includes medical care or treatment instructions. 

The right estate planning attorney can help deal with all aspects of retirement planning beyond the financial. An attorney specializing in the challenges of aging is a wise investment. 

Tap into the estate planning expertise of the attorneys at Mortellaro Law in Tampa, Florida. Call us at 813-367-1500 to learn more about our expertise our reputation and find out how we can help with your retirement.