How Can Our Family Be Proactive in Planning Ahead For a Family Member’s Long-Term Care?

Long Term Care Planning

With the population growing older, many family members are starting to deal with the real possibility of them needing long-term care. Long-term care in a nursing home or similar facility is expensive and can quickly deplete a family’s finances. Many families panic at the thought of their loved one needing long-term care. However, it is essential to know there are legal options available.

It is vital that when families realize their loved one may require more care than they can provide in the home, they seek qualified legal advice to learn how to plan ahead for the future.

The average monthly cost for a private room in a nursing home is $9,855, an expense that most individuals and their families cannot sustain. However, by being proactive and taking legal steps ahead of time, families and their loved ones may be able to structure their hard-earned assets so that the care facility does not take them.

If you want more information about what legal steps you can take to plan for a family member’s care, contact our law office to learn more.

What Should Family Members Know About Long-Term Care Planning?

Before a family can take appropriate legal steps for long-term planning, there are several key facts they must take into consideration.

Some of the most important factors to keep in mind before determining what legal steps may be appropriate include:

  • Learn about your loved one’s condition and what their care will entail. Understanding your family member’s medical needs is critical for understanding what your next steps should be moving forward.
  • Determine how much money may be available for long-term care. For example, some couples decide to sell their home and move to a smaller, more manageable apartment. In turn, couples often use some of their financial resources to pay for care.
  • Educate yourself on what government resources may be available such as Medicare, Medicaid, or veterans benefits. However, family members should also take time to research the eligibility requirements and potential downsides of receiving government benefits. For example, individuals are limited in the resources they can have if they need to receive Medicaid to pay for nursing home care.

Family members may need to be made aware of the many aspects involved in long-term care planning, so it is always best to consult with an experienced elder care attorney who can provide sound legal advice.

What is Long-Term Care Insurance?

Long-term care insurance is designed to help individuals pay for the care they may need in the future. One of the most significant benefits of long-term care insurance is that it protects retirement assets and helps prevent family members from having to be caregivers. Another advantage of long-term care insurance is that it enables policyholders to decide where they would like to receive care.

Individuals who are growing older should keep in mind that Medicare does not pay for long-term services. Additionally, the time to purchase long-term care insurance is before the individual needs to use it. In many instances, once a person reaches middle age, they may have medical conditions that prevent them from obtaining coverage.

Of course, there are negative aspects associated with long-term care insurance, such as needing to be able to use the benefits when policyholders need them or knowing how much coverage to purchase.
However, a knowledgeable lawyer can help you and your family understand the pros and cons of purchasing long-term care insurance when considering options for future care.

How Can We Protect the Family Home Through Advance Planning?

One of the most common questions families ask is how they can protect the family home if their loved one has to enter a nursing home. Fortunately, there are a variety of legal strategies that can be used to protect hard-earned assets, such as the family home.

The first step is to take advantage of estate planning services, such as creating a revocable or irrevocable trust to protect assets from Michigan Estate Recovery. Some other useful estate planning tools include a durable power of attorney (DPOA) and a Health Care Power of Attorney.

Placing assets such as the family home in a revocable or irrevocable trust can help individuals protect their assets. However, even though assets placed in an irrevocable trust are exempt under Medicaid eligibility rules, there is a 5-year look-back period. Any assets must have been placed in the trust before the five-year period to be considered exempt from Medicaid rules.

Therefore, individuals should consider long-term planning legal options before the time comes when it may be too late to protect their assets.

Why Does Our Family Need to Hire a Lawyer to Help With Planning a Family Member’s Long-Term Care?

Planning long-term care is often the last thing on anyone’s mind. However, as the population grows older, it is estimated that 70% of adults over the age of 65 will require some form of long-term care which typically lasts an average of 3.2 years.

For this reason, seniors and their families must take time to make decisions about long-term care options and what legal steps must be completed. Sadly, in many cases, people wait too long and have very few, if any, options available.

However, an elder care lawyer can assist individuals, and their family members understand the legal aspects of long-term planning and how they can structure their assets.

If you want to discuss the benefits of long-term planning and what options may be available, contact Estate Planning & Elder Law Services, P.C. by calling 888-663-7407 and ask to schedule a free no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal needs. A qualified legal team member will gladly provide you with a free case review to determine your needs.

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