With the exorbitant costs associated with assisted living facilities, many aging clients are worried about funding their long-term care, and rightfully so. Regardless of what stage of life you are in, our attorneys are here to work through some of the issues you may encounter in the future or are currently experiencing.
Planning for Long Term Care
When we talk about planning for long term care, we are generally addressing your legal, personal, and financial needs. An effective long-term care plan almost always includes having the proper documents drafted. These documents would include a durable power of attorney and patient advocate designation, and possibly a will or living trust. Beyond that, we talk with each of our clients to get an understanding of what their wishes are should certain events occur in the future. Finally, and generally what is the highest priority of our clients, we discuss their financial situation and determine how they will pay for long term care.
Paying for Long Term Care
There are generally five different ways in which an individual can pay for his or her long-term care:
- Out-of-Pocket. With some assisted living facilities charging upwards of $10,000 per month, for many clients this option is simply not an option at all. Unfortunately, without some pre-planning done prior to a long-term care need, many clients find themselves using their owns funds exclusively for a period of time.
- Long-Term Care Insurance. This type of insurance is a great tool to utilize if you are the proper age (i.e., still insurable) and you can afford the premiums associated with the plan. With the high potential out-of-pocket costs mentioned above, our firm strongly believes an insurance policy is something our clients should investigate.
- Medicare. Medicare is the primary health insurance plan in place for people who are 65 years and older. Medicare can provide some short-term assistance with nursing home costs, but will not cover extensive long-term care costs or assisted living facility expenses.
- Medicaid. Medicaid is a federal and state funded benefit program. It is available to people who meet tests relating to health, asset-level, and income. To learn more about Medicaid planning, please click here.
- Veteran’s Benefits. Certain benefits may be available to wartime veterans or spouses of wartime veterans. These benefits are also subject to asset and income tests.
While the task of planning for your long-term care needs may seem daunting, it will be far more strenuous of a task for you and your loved ones if no pre-planning is done. For this reason, we encourage you to set up a free consultation with our office to discuss your concerns and to determine whether we can assist you in any way.
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