When many people think about their estate plans they think that once they have made out a will or established a trust, they are done. Consequently, many people do not address the issue of long-term care in their estate plans. However, this is an important issue that every modern estate plan should include.
Today, with the many medical breakthroughs, people are living significantly longer than they did in the past. Injuries and illnesses that were a death sentence in the past no longer pose an immediate threat to life. However, this does not mean that they allow the sufferer to escape unscathed. Many people need extra help with their daily activities as a result. It is no wonder than 70 percent of people will need some sort of long-term care during their lifetimes, according a study by Georgetown University Public Policy Institute.
For past generations, anybody needing extra assistance meant that they had to be admitted to a nursing home. As this type of care or environment is not desirable for everyone, it is fortunate that today's seniors have several other long-term care options.
One alternative to nursing homes is in-home care. In this type of care, a worker comes to the home and helps the senior with daily tasks such as bathing, cleaning and cooking. If the senior is terminally ill, this type of care can also include hospice services.
Aside from in-home care, assisted living is an option for those that need extra help with their daily activities without the clinical environment of the nursing home. Instead of being in a nursing home, seniors opting for this type of care live in apartment-like surroundings, often with their spouses. At the facility, residents are provided with 24-hour supervision and help with daily tasks, as well as a variety of social activities with other seniors.
Estate planning can help you pay
The one downside to these alternatives is they are more expensive than traditional nursing homes. Unfortunately, health insurance and Medicare will not pay for this type of care. As a result, it is important to address the issue of long-term finance in the estate plan.
Estate planning can help facilitate the financing of this type of care in several ways. In some cases, the purchase of long-term care insurance from a reputable provider is an appropriate option. In others, the cost of long-term care can be picked up by Medicaid. However, it is necessary to first engage in Medicaid planning several years before it is needed in order to qualify for this type of financial assistance.
To learn more about these and other financing options for long-term care, speak with an experienced estate planning attorney. An attorney can consider your situation and recommend the option that would allow you to receive the kind of care you desire.