When is the last time you had your estate and lifetime planning reviewed by a Florida Board Certified Elder Law Attorney as well as a Certified Financial Planner? Has it been more than a couple of years? Have you ever had your planning rigorously put to the test in such a way?
Do not be discouraged if your answer is No as most Floridians have not done so either. However, just like high performing machines, such as our bodies or an automobile, one’s lifetime planning needs to have periodic check-ups and tune ups where obsolete planning components are replaced with those that are new, innovative, and demonstrably more effective and enduring.
And just like vehicles, we need to keep our planning sufficiently lubricated and hydrated to prevent our foundational planning principles from becoming stale and dry. We certainly cannot have our planning’s engine cease on us in the middle of life’s highways when circumstances run hot.
From time to time, world events, legal changes, and financial market changes (especially collapses) can drastically affect your future well-being, independence, and financial stability. Have you checked your 401K lately? If you have, you may have already overheated. However, you also clearly understand my point.
When it comes to our lifetime planning, we cannot afford to be uncertain if our planning will perform under duress. If a retired individual or couple is wondering now whether they have sufficient income and assets to sustain their financial needs, potential long-term care needs, provide for one another, etc.; Are they as truly prepared as they were accustomed to believing?
Avoidance and denial are not the comfort blankets they pretend to be. There simply is no time for delay in ensuring that your planning is as comprehensive, secure, agile, with a protective coating that is dent proof as we take on the challenges of aging.
Be confident and alleviate worry for you and your loved ones; assess your lifetime planning now and regularly by having an ongoing relationship with a Lifetime Planning Attorney or Elder Law Attorney (preferably one that is board certified). To win the race, oil changes and frequent pit stops will be imperative to cross life’s finish line with the style and velocity you desired.
Jason A. Penrod is only the 20th attorney to be Board Certified as an Elder Law Expert by the Florida Bar and the National Elder Law Foundation. He is an active member of the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association and is the founder of Family Elder Law (www.familyelderlaw.com) which has offices in Lakeland, Lake Wales, and Sebring, Florida.