When it comes to estate planning, most people focus on what is going to happen to their assets after they die. Well, there’s more to that and one significant consideration would be the need to plan for long-term care.
You don’t want to be in a position when a health issue shows up later in life. The consequences are having to plan the last minute, which then forces to rush things, having limited solutions that will have to be created in your estate planning, just to cover an overwhelming amount of medical bills. Plan now, avoid this with careful planning and the help of trusted experts that can consist of an estate planning attorney, financial advisor, and insurance professional.
Why long-term care planning is important
Over a period of three years, about 19 percent of U.S. residents will have to reside under long-term care. That percentage will tremendously increase through nursing home stays of a shorter duration and will highly affect your estate through medical costs.
The cost of having this type of medical care can accumulate fast and that is scary for a lot of people because their assets can get used up at an alarming rate. This care can take place in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or an in-home provider. Depending where you are, for example in Claremont, CA and La Verne, CA, the monthly cost of assisted living can hover around $5,000 to $10,000! As you can imagine, these costs can add up and eat up your assets fast. Luckily, estate planning attorneys can help in a few ways.
Things to talk about with your estate attorney
To be realistic and have an accurate representation of your assets, long term care should be factored in your estate plan. To be on the right track, please talk to your estate planning attorney about these factors:
- Set measured and reasonable expectations for long-term care
People rely on their intuition and make educated guesses to have a feel for their future and it is impossible to know what life may bring. For example, does your family have any major diseases that you think you may have inherited? There is a good chance that you may stay healthy well into your golden years with proper planning and be caring for your mind and body. The same goes with estate planning, it is an aspect of your financial life where you protect yourself against worst-case scenarios.
As we age, we will require such care and at what age could you reasonably predict it? Do you have any current health concerns or occurrences to consider? This is not an easy thing to do but if you explore it and face the reality of it, it is far better than facing the reality of long term care with no plans in place.
- Consider getting a long-term care insurance policy
Medicare or standard health insurance will not cover all costs. Having a long-term care insurance policy would be the smart way to protect your assets from being drained quickly. The younger you are and the sooner you qualify for this type of insurance policy, the more affordable the premiums are and it will not likely increase over time.
Another potential oversight is assuming your long-term care will be covered by Medi-Cal. Discuss it as an option to determine your qualifications and get authoritative insights about the specificities of your unique financial situation in terms of Medi-Cal benefits. MMZ LAW can help you with Medi-Cal Asset Protection Planning.
- Be smart about living wills and trusts
Make sure to go over advance directives, this will best prepare your loved ones for complex medical decisions. In addition, with having a long term care planning in your estate planning, also discuss options for creating a revocable living trust, and possibly one or more irrevocable trusts such as a life insurance trust or a charitable remainder trust.
When you create a plan, it’s very important to pick someone you trust that will have access and utilize your financial resources for your benefit if some unforeseen medical circumstances occur. Don’t put all eggs in one basket, make sure some of your assets are liquid or can easily be accessed. A common mistake is tying up assets in investments that are not liquid when you need them most. For example, your money can get locked into an annuity for certain amount of time and can get penalized for early withdrawal. Be sure to work with a team that will provide you and your family the best solution which includes an estate planning attorney, insurance professional and a financial advisor.
MMZ LAW invites you to consider talking to an estate planning attorney to make sure your assets are protected with the demands of long-term care. Hopefully no one will end up needing long-term care in their lifetime, at least you will have a peace of mind knowing you have protected yourself and your loved ones.
The process of completing a long-term care plan may sound overwhelming and scary, but we’re here to help you – simply get in touch with us today and let us put you in secure position for the future. Do you want your peace of mind? Call (909) 256-6702 for your FREE consultation. We are in the Claremont Village near La Verne, Upland, Rancho Cucamonga and Pomona.
*We service Elder Law through Medi-Cal Asset Protection Planning
BROUGHT TO YOU BY:
MMZ LAW, A PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION
341 W. 1st St. Suite 100
Claremont, CA 91711
MARIVEL M. ZIALCITA is the founder of MMZ LAW, A Professional Corporation, where she practices in the areas of Elder Law – Medi-Cal Planning Asset Protection, Trust & Estate, Special Needs, Conservatorship, Trust Administration, & Probate. Ms. Zialcita is a frequent speaker on trust and estate matters and holds memberships in the State Bar of California, Trust and Estate Section, The San Bernardino County Bar Association, Wealth Counsel and Elder Counsel. She currently assists in the pro bono legal services program at the James L. Brulte Senior Center in Rancho Cucamonga, California. She is based in Claremont but assists clients throughout Southern California.
This information is educational information only and not legal advice.