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5 Things to Understand About Long-Term Care Planning

March 30, 2017

long-term care

Americans are living longer than ever, and are living more vibrantly into retirement age than ever before. But with longer lives also comes increased cost and questions about how things will be taken care of when your need for care (and the ensuing expenses) increases.

Enter long-term care. You may have encountered long-term care planning for a relative (or even yourself), but this area of estate planning is evolving, much as life for retirement-age adults is evolving. Following, I’ll examine five important elements of long-term care planning everyone should understand.

  1. Just because your parents or grandparents didn’t have LTC planning doesn’t mean you don’t need it. As mentioned above, people today are living longer, fuller lives than ever before. Advances in medicine, along with improved quality of life for many, means that we are getting older before we need the types of essentials provided by long-term care. So while you may think you don’t need to plan because your parents never did, think again.
  2. When it comes to your home, your health and your finances, LTC planning is the best way to ensure you are in charge. Investing in long-term planning now can help you feel less overwhelmed in the future, when your resources, health or mental faculties may be impaired.
  3. Long-term care includes more than nursing home care or medical treatment. Besides the more obvious costs that can arise later in life, long-term care planning also includes changes to your home to make it safer, more comfortable and easier to get around, technology that helps you stay independent, help with everyday tasks like housekeeping, meals, etc, and medical care like skilled nursing, etc.
  4. Not everyone will need long-term care. While you may not feel like you’ll need long-term care right now, your odds of needing it increase as you get older. More than 2/3 of people over the age of 65 will require some type of LTC during their lifetime.
  5. Choosing the right attorney is important. The right attorney will listen to your input and needs, and will ask the right questions to help determine the best decisions and steps to take to plan for your long-term care need. Your attorney will help you with critical documentation like Power of Attorney, Living Will, DNRs and more. To get a bit more technical, your elder law attorney will also address the following critical areas:
    • An elder law attorney will also speak with clients about irrevocable income only trusts and quitclaim deeds with reservations of life estate which can shelter assets and/or real property from long term care costs in the future.
    • Furthermore, an elder law attorney should always be able to provide you with a worksheet showing “if you needed long term care tomorrow, this is what your situation would look like and this is how we’d combat any issues.”
    • Each state has plenty of Medicaid exemptions for certain assets and accounts, all attorneys should be able to advise their clients as to what these exemptions are and how best to take advantage of them.

What type of long-term planning is right for you? Give us a call at 235-5885 or contact us through our website to set up a free consultation. We work with you as a person, not just a client, to ensure that your plan truly meets your needs.

Related Topics: Estate Planning

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