What Are The Long-Term Care Costs in Estate Planning?

Long-Term Care Payment Options Continue to be Limited

The Wall Street Journal continues to report on the struggles of the long-term care insurance market. Why is this important? Long-term care insurance was viewed as the middle-class solution to affording long-term care.

  • More than half of individuals over 65 will need long term care
  • For those requiring care, the costs could exceed $200,000
  • 25% of households have no retirement savings; the median retirement savings is $75,000

What steps can individuals take to plan for long-term care?

Meet with your Financial Advisor

Do an assessment of your financial situation. 

  • List your assets and liabilities. 
  • Identify your sources of income. 
  • Map out expenses you anticipate to cover your basic needs. 

How much more does it cost to live a comfortable lifestyle? To find out, run a scenario in which you are forced to sell certain assets to cover the cost of nursing home care.

  • How does your cash flow situation change?
  • Are you still able to afford basic necessities?
  • Does your lifestyle change significantly?

If you don’t feel your financial situation can weather the cost of long-term care, your estate planning attorney can help.

Discuss Estate Planning Options with An Attorney

An estate plan can be drafted to accomplish your retirement goals and protect against the risk of long term care costs.  For example, assets can be protected from creditors to ensure they will be available to pay for long term care costs.  If your assets are not sufficient to cover long term care costs, consider Medicaid as an option. A quality estate plan can ensure that you will qualify for Medicaid and long term care benefits without unnecessarily forcing you to spend down all your assets.  Additionally, an estate plan can protect assets from state recovery laws.  This ensures more assets are left to your spouse and children.

It’s a good idea to plan for long term care well in advance of the need arising.  For example, Medicaid rules contain a five year look-back period that can impact estate planning strategies.  Planning in advance will also give you the peace of mind to be able to live the life you always envisioned.

Steven C. Holman

Holman Law, Estate Planning Attorney

I love to spend time with my wife and four children and serving the Dallas Fort Worth community. I provide clients with a wealth of knowledge and experience navigating each individual’s Estate Planning needs including Trusts, Probate, Elder Care Law, and Long Term Care Planning. My law firm specializes in assisting clients with complicated legal forms and qualifying for the maximum Medicaid and Veteran (VA) benefits in Texas.

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