Living Wills and POLSTs — Defining your End of Life Care Decisions

For many people, thinking about one’s end of life care decisions is a painful and difficult process. The traditional approach to addressing these issues has been to execute a Living Will. Unfortunately, the standard Living Will may not provide sufficient instruction in all situations. A Living Will, sometimes also known as an Advance Directive, essentially allows you to specify whether or not measures should be taken to extend your life artificially. For example, you can designate whether you would like to placed on a ventilator or feeding tube. You can also appoint an enforcer to carry out your wishes.

Unfortunately, the standard Living Will may not provide sufficiently detailed instructions for care givers in all situations. To assist you and health care professionals tasked with carrying out your last wishes, most states have created and implemented a new planning document known as Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (“Polst”). Filled out and executed by your physician, the Polst form contains specific care instructions to be followed by health care providers. To quote the below-linked to New York Times article, “[t]he form summarizes a doctor’s specifications for the use of specific treatments like breathing machines, chest compressions and electric shocks to the heart. It is not open to negotiation or pondering.” As the below-linked to article points out, Polst forms are not for everyone but rather for those individuals who are frail and elderly or terminally ill.

Executing a Living Will and/or a Polst form is an important step in formulating an effective estate plan. If you have questions about either form, where to obtain them, or what other steps you might take, read the below article or contact the Roark Law Firm.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/04/29/the-right-paperwork-for-your-end-of-life-wishes/?emc=eta1&_r=0

Estate Planning and Retirement Planning Go Hand In Hand Together

USA Today recently ran a great article highlighting a big problem facing many Baby Boomers (and really people of all ages). The basic gist of the article is fairly straightforward. Namely, planning for your future should not be restricted to simply funding your retirement but must also include creating a plan for death or incapacity. While everyone recognizes the importance of setting aside money for retirement, many people choose to ignore the issue of creating a will and other aspects of proper estate planning.

With that in mind, there are a couple of major points from the article worth repeating. First, retirement planning and estate planning both come down to the act of preparing for the future. Make a plan (to save more money, to protect against a second marriage going wrong, etc.) and put it into effect. Don’t forget, once you have a plan in place you can always revisit it and refine it as you move forward.

Second, remember to plan for potential incapacity in addition to death. The value of having a Durable Power of Attorney, Designation of Health Care Surrogate, and Living Will cannot be overstated. These documents will allow you to appoint the person(s) you trust most to make important legal, financial, and medical decisions on your behalf.

Finally, bite the bullet and talk to your loved ones about your plans for the future. No one enjoys talking about dying but being upfront with loved ones about your wishes can save a tremendous amount of heartache and money down the line.

Below is a link to the article. If you have any questions or concerns, please leave a message or contact the office.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/columnist/brooks/2015/04/07/baby-boomers-retirement-estate-plan/70717076/

Life Planning 101

Do you ever wonder what would happen to your loved ones or pets if you were to suddenly pass away or become incapacitated? Have you thought about who will inherit your property, raise your children, and/or manage your affairs when you are no longer able to do so? Have you prepared for retirement or your child’s education? If, like most people, the answer is no, don’t worry. Help and answers are just around the corner.

To help start you down the right path,the Roark Law Firm will be hosting a free Life Planning Seminar on Tuesday, October 8th about Wills, Trusts, Living Wills, Pet Planning, and the other easy steps you can take to prepare for your future. We will be talking about what happens if you pass away or become incapacitated in Florida and how to ease the burdens created by guardianships or probate. Drinks and snacks will be provided and a question and answer session will follow the talk.

Do you have questions but can’t make the talk? Leave a comment, give us a call (352.226.8005), or shoot us an email (adam@adamroarklaw.com) and we will get you sorted out.

The Millhopper Library is located at 3145 NW 43rd Street, Gainesville, FL. The talk will start at 6:00. Hope to see you there.

After DOMA: What a new era of marriage equality means for you

Please join Adam Roark of the Roark Law Firm, P.A., Randi Dincher of Randi E. Dincher, P.A., and the Pride Community Center of North Central Florida for an open and wide ranging discussion about the state of marriage equality in the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent decision to strike down part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). We will break down what the Supreme Court decided, how it effects people in Florida versus other states, and what impact it may have in areas ranging from marriage, taxes, adoptions, and immigration to Medicaid and social security benefits. Audience members are encouraged to come with questions. The forum will take place this Thursday, August 22nd at 6:00pm at the Pride Community Center of North Central Florida. The Pride Center is located at 1107 NW 6th St # C Gainesville, FL 32601. If you have questions about the event or would like more information, please call (352) 226-8005 or email Adam Roark at adam@adamroarklaw.com.

Give your loved ones something better than roses this year.

Did Valentine’s Day leave you wondering about the state of your love life as well as your personal and financial life? Have you thought about who will inherit your property, raise your children, and/or manage your affairs when you are no longer able to do so? Have you prepared for retirement or your child’s education? If, like most people, the answer is no, don’t worry. Help and answers are just around the corner.

To help start you down the right path,the Roark Law Firm and the Davis Group of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management will be hosting a free Life Planning Seminar on Tuesday, December 11th about Wills, Trusts, Living Wills, Financial Planning, and the other easy steps you can take to prepare for your future. We will be talking about what happens if you pass away or become incapacitated in Florida and several important aspects of financial planning, saving, and planning for retirement. Drinks and snacks will be provided and a question and answer session will follow the talk. Audience members will also receive a complimentary Life Planning binder to help them organize their assets and estate planning goals.

Do you have questions but can’t make the talk? Leave a comment, give us a call (352.226.8005), or shoot us an email (adam@adamroarklaw.com) and we will get you sorted out.

The Millhopper Library is located at 3145 NW 43rd Street, Gainesville, FL. The talk will start at 6:00. Hope to see you there.

New Year’s Resolution #1: Start Planning

If surviving the Mayan apocalypse, the holidays, and the fiscal cliff has left you a little confused about the state of your your personal and financial life now is the perfect time to get back on track.  Do you know who will inherit your property, raise your children, and/or manage your affairs when you are no longer able to do so?  Have you prepared for retirement or your child’s education? 

The good news is that with a little bit of forethought and initiative you can take control of your future.  To help start you down the path,the Roark Law Firm and the Davis Group of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management will be hosting a free Life Planning Seminar on Tuesday, December 11th about Wills, Trusts, Living Wills, Financial Planning, and the other easy steps you can take to prepare for your future. We will be talking about what happens if you pass away or become incapacitated in Florida and several important aspects of financial planning, saving, and planning for retirement. Drinks and snacks will be provided and a question and answer session will follow the talk.  Audience members will also receive a complimentary Life Planning binder to help them organize their assets and estate planning goals.

Do you have questions but can’t make the talk? Leave a comment, give us a call (352.226.8005), or shoot us an email (adam@adamroarklaw.com) and we will get you sorted out.

The Millhopper Library is located at 3145 NW 43rd Street, Gainesville, FL.  The talk will start at 6:00.  Hope to see you there.

Stuffing Stockings and Planning for the Future

With the holidays and fiscal cliff rapidly approaching now is the perfect time to take stock of your personal and financial life.  Did you know that if you do not take the time to execute a Will, Durable Power of Attorney, or Living Will, then you are giving up the power to specify who will inherit your property, raise your children, and/or manage your affairs when you are no longer able to do so.  Kind of a scary thought, huh?

The good news is that with a little bit of forethought and initiative you can take control of your future.  To help start you down the path,the Roark Law Firm and the Davis Group of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management will be hosting a free Life Planning Seminar on Tuesday, December 11th about Wills, Trusts, Living Wills, Financial Planning, and the other easy steps you can take to prepare for your future. We will be talking about what happens if you pass away or become incapacitated in Florida and several important aspects of financial planning, saving, and planning for retirement. Drinks and snacks will be provided and a question and answer session will follow the talk.  Audience members will also receive a complimentary Life Planning binder to help them organize their assets and estate planning goals.

Do you have questions but can’t make the talk? Leave a comment, give us a call (352.226.8005), or shoot us an email (adam@adamroarklaw.com) and we will get you sorted out.

The Millhopper Library is located at 3145 NW 43rd Street, Gainesville, FL.  The talk will start at 6:00.  Hope to see you there.

Start planning for yourself (or the government will do it for you)

Has the election season left you worrying about the direction our goverment is headed?  If so, then why would you risk letting the government (i.e., state laws) be the one who will decide what happens in the event of your death or incapacity?  If you do not take the time to execute a Will, Durable Power of Attorney, or Living Will, then you are leaving it up to the state to determine who will inherit your property, raise your children, and/or manage your affairs when you are no longer able to do so.  Kind of a scary thought, huh?

The good news is that with a little bit of forethought and initiative you can take control of your future.  To help start you down the path,the Roark Law Firm and the Davis Group of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management will be hosting a free Life Planning Seminar on Wednesday, November 7th about Wills, Trusts, Living Wills, Financial Planning, and the other easy steps you can take to prepare for your future. We will be talking about what happens if you pass away or become incapacitated in Florida and several important aspects of financial planning, saving, and planning for retirement. Drinks and snacks will be provided and a question and answer session will follow the talk.  Audience members will also receive a complimentary Life Planning binder to help them organize their assets and estate planning goals.

Do you have questions but can’t make the talk? Leave a comment, give us a call (352.226.8005), or shoot us an email (adam@adamroarklaw.com) and we will get you sorted out.

The Millhopper Library is located at 3145 NW 43rd Street, Gainesville, FL.  The talk will start at 6:00.  Hope to see you there.

Life Planning Seminar

Do you have a Durable Power of Attorney or an IRA?  How about an estate plan or a plan for how you can pay off student loans?  Whether you answered yes, no, or “I have no idea”, the Roark Law Firm wants to help.

With that in mind, the Roark Law Firm will be hosting a freeLife Planning Seminar on Wednesday about Wills, Trusts, Living Wills, Financial Planning, and the other easy steps you can take to prepare for your future. We will be talking about what happens if you pass away or become incapacitated in Florida and several important aspects of financial planning, saving, and planning for retirement. Drinks and snacks will be provided and a question and answer session will follow the talk.  Audience members will also receive a complimentary Life Planning binder. 

Do you have questions but can’t make the talk? Leave a comment, give us a call (352.226.8005), or shoot us an email (adam@adamroarklaw.com) and we will get you sorted out.

The Millhopper Library is located at 3145 NW 43rd Street, Gainesville, FL.  The talk will start at 6:00.  Hope to see you there.

You’ve sent your kids back to school for the fall. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to keep them there all the way through college?

Did you know the average cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 is $226,920 and rising?  Even scarier, that number does not include the cost of a college education (which is projected to cost upwards of $250,000 for a four year degree in 2030).  Have you thought about how you are going to cover these expenses?

The Roark Law Firm and Matthew Barker of Cornerstone Financial Group are here to help.  Come out for an open discussion on how to prepare and pay for your children and their education without going broke.

Topics to be discussed include: How can you identify and prioritize the financial and estate planning needs of yourself and your family? What is a 529 Plan? How much will it cost to send your child to college and how can you start saving for that expense today?  How can you send your kids to college without jeopardizing your own long-term financial health? What is a guardianship and why do you want to avoid it? Who will raise your children if you pass away? How do you protect your children from themselves and their potential creditors?

We will be speaking Thursday, September 27th at the offices of Cornerstone Financial Group in Gainesville at 6:00 PM.  If you are interested in attending, please email (adam@adamroarklaw.com) or call Jen Geer at 352.378.7456 to reserve your spot.

Do you have questions but can’t make the talk? Leave a comment, give us a call (352.226.8005), or shoot us an email (adam@adamroarklaw.com) and we will get you sorted out.

The talk will start at 6:00 at the offices of Cornerstone Financial Group (5200 W. Newberry Road, Bldg. C, Gainesville, FL). Refreshments will be served. Hope to see you there.