By Linda Leatherbury
Developing a comprehensive plan for financial preservation is essential to help seniors avoid costly mistakes and prevent financial devastation.
Senior Information Centers, an umbrella network of licensed Florida professionals, provides comprehensive estate planning services that help seniors preserve and protect their assets. The company, with offices in Boca Raton, Sarasota and Ocala, serves seniors and their families throughout Florida.
“It’s never too late or too early for seniors to plan for protecting their assets,” said Stephen D. Wolfe, Elder Planning Specialist and Certified Senior Advisor, who founded Senior Information Centers in 2001 along with his business partner Bryan Plonsky. “They should educate themselves so they can understand their options. Many seniors may mistakenly believe that planning is very expensive, but Senior Information Centers provides an affordable way for them to preserve their valuable assets.”
The company brings together a team of experts including elder care attorneys, Medicaid and Veteran’s Administration (VA) specialists, paralegals, certified financial planners and accountants who provide a wealth of information and help seniors and their families develop comprehensive plans for asset preservation. They provide services in four major areas of concern to seniors: legal, illness, taxes and investments.
Legal services include the development of tools such as a Living Will, Durable Power of Attorney, Healthcare Surrogate Designation or HealthCare Power of Attorney (which are only $33 each) and Deeds and Trusts.
Services related to illness help seniors reposition their estates properly to preserve assets and help them qualify for government benefits, whether for home care, assisted living facilities or
Tax advisors review portfolios to eliminate unnecessary taxes on investments and IRAs. While Senior Information Centers professionals are not stockbrokers with securities licenses, they deal with no-risk, tax-deferred secure investments that keep seniors’ assets fixed, guaranteed and insured.
The firm’s target clients are primarily seniors in their 70s, spouses, adult children and other family
members. Senior Information Centers markets its services throughout the community to assisted
living facilities, nursing homes, caseworkers and hospital discharge managers.
“Sometimes after a medical crisis involving a hospital stay, seniors end up in rehabilitation centers with no plan of attack,” said Wolfe. “Senior Information Centers can show them all their options, rough out a plan and give them hope that assets can be preserved and benefits attained.”
Wolfe noted that the company’s professional’s turn over every rock from “today until death” to make
sure an action taken today will not negatively
impact their financial future.
“For example, achieving Medicaid qualifications can be a daunting task,” he said. “Giving away assets to children may trigger the five-year look back, which means the senior will not qualify for Medicaid
benefits. Veterans also make mistakes with improper planning that makes them ineligible for Medicaid.”
Veterans, their spouses and their widows may be entitled to VA benefits to help offset their out of pocket medical expense. Senior Information Centers helps clients regardless of their level assets or income. The attorney offers reasonable fees for development of legal documents or planning services. There is no cost or obligation for consultations. Telephone consultations are available for clients’ families who live out of state.
Currently, Senior Information Centers serves 8,000 clients in Florida. Frequently, business comes from word-of-mouth referrals.
“Your involvement with us through the various challenges we faced, which extended even beyond our father’s ultimate passing, was most exemplary and supportive,” wrote a client’s adult children. “We are truly thankful that someone who has a caring attitude, knowledge and resources to help manage elder-care issues is available for families struggling with these emotionally charged issues.”
Stephen and Bryan stress the importance for seniors to have a full, comprehensive plan to preserve and protect their assets – not just piecemeal documents here or there. “In every area, there’s a way seniors can be robbed of their dollars.” “We show them how to protect their assets in every aspect of their life.”
For additional information about
Senior Information Centers,
or call 800-731-8784.