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A Legal Guide to Long-Term Care Planning

Mass Media

long-term care planningAccording to the Longtermcare.gov the average cost of a nursing home is

  • $6,844 per month for a semi-private room
  • $7,698 per month for a private room.

Many elderly individuals are not thinking about how to pay for long-term care. However, the cost of long-term care requires proactive planning to ensure that you have the resources you need to care for yourself, while still leaving something for future generations.

Read on to learn more about long-term care planning.

What is Long-Term Care Planning

Long-term care planning determines how you will live if you have require in-home or residential care as you age. Its goal is to make your assets last as long as possible and to ensure that you are provided for in the way you want if you are unable to advocate for yourself due to illness or injury.

What is Estate Planning?

Everyone needs some sort of estate planning. Estate planning is simply protecting the resources you have accumulated over your lifetime while at the same time providing for your family after you pass.

If done correctly, and Estate Plan ensures that your assets are divided and used the way you want them to be versus the way the courts decide. It also removes the emotional burden of making those decisions from your loved ones.

Estate planning covers a variety of matters:

  • Living Will
  • Long-term care planning
  • Trusts
  • Business succession planning
  • Asset protection
  • Charitable support

The other reason to estate and long-term care plan is to help prevent arguments over your final wishes. If you make them clear, family members are less likely to argue over them.

Want to learn more about Estate Planning attend one of our face to face or online workshops.

Components of A Long Term Care Plan

You should begin planning for long-term care in the early part of your life so that you can be ready as you age. It is, however, never too late to start planning.

If you are diagnosed with Alzheimer or Dementia you should begin planning as soon as possible.

A long-term care plan can be as simple or as complex as you need. Below are common components of a long-term care plan.

Housing Decisions

As you age, do you want to stay in your home? Most people prefer to stay in their home as long as possible. It is important to consider how that will look if you can no longer care for yourself.

Do you have a family member that is able to help you or will you hire help? This can be as simple as who will manage the maintenance and lawn care of your home, to who will take you to doctor’s appointments and manage medications.

One other thing to consider here is can you modify your home to allow you to stay in it longer. This could include plans to remodel the first floor to allow for a 1st-floor bedroom or remodeling a bathroom with a walk-in shower.

You should also plan for the scenario that you cannot stay in your home. Ideally, you can identify the nursing or assisted living facility you would like to move to.

Health Decisions

Below is a discussion of advanced directives that will help your family members make decisions for you if you can’t. These are important.

An equally important part of long-term planning is taking care of your health and health issues, now.

If you keep yourself healthy it helps to prolong the time you are able to live independently. Explore options to improve your health today.

Activities to improve your health can be as simple as getting regular exercise, improving eating habits, stopping smoking, and limiting alcohol.

Advanced Directive and Living Wills

An advance directive allows you to decide how much intervention you receive at the end of your life.

A living will is one type of advanced directive. It determines if you want to be kept on life support if you become terminally ill or injured.

The goal of both is to ensure that your medical wishes are followed. when you can no longer speak for yourself.

Decisions About Finances

The cost of long term care is high. The amount of money you will need for long-term care is unknown. it is important to consider how to pay for the different services you might need ahead of time.

Some individuals use personal funds to pay for long-term care needs. This can be retirement accounts, savings, and investments.

Long-term care insurance is also a popular method to pay for your care needs.

Veterans and individuals covered by the Older American Act have benefits they can use for long-term care.

Note: Medicaid covers long-term care, but Medicare does not.

Talk to Your Family about Long-Term Care

It is important to talk to your family about your long-term care wishes. It will help you, and them, understand why you are making the plans that you are.

In addition, it may help to reduce conflicts after you need them to make decisions for you. Finally, consider the potential situations objectively.

You may want to stay in your home forever, but is it realistic for a family member to care for you during that time? Do you have the funds for 24/7 in-house nursing care? These are all questions to consider as you develop your plan.

Long-term care planning helps you to protect your current assets, ensure that your wishes are implemented, and provide for your family after your death.

Begin your long-term care planning now, you will appreciate the peace of mind it provides.


Are You Ready to Plan for Your and Your Family’s Financial Future?

We want to help you protect your assets while you are alive and after you pass. Estate planning and long-term care planning are both important pieces of insuring that you take care of yourself and provide for your family’s future.

Contact us, our talented team is here to help.

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