Americans are living longer than ever before. And while you may not want to think about it now, the reality is that many elderly people will eventually require long-term or nursing home care. Unfortunately, such care is expensive. When someone in your family needs the services of a nursing facility, the cost now approaches $7,500 a month or more in the San Francisco Bay Area and is rising rapidly. Worse, Medicare will not pay for it beyond a very short time following a hospital discharge. The result? Two out of three families will run out of money within the first year during a prolonged nursing home stay. The good news however, is that running through your savings may not be necessary! We have helped numerous individuals and families design plans to preserve the family home and savings, and that allow for the management of personal and financial affairs in the event of mental or physical incapacity.
While traditional estate planning attorneys have developed documents primarily to serve as a death asset distribution and tax minimization tool, attorneys trained in the area of elder law understand that Long Term Care planning is often the bigger challenge. We estimate that 50 percent of the individuals alive today over the age of 65 will spend some period of their lives needing physical and/or custodial care. For that reason, we believe that it is usually better to design an estate plan which also addresses Long Term Care issues, including the ability to access government benefits. This kind of planning is often significantly different. Unfortunately, most estate plans that we have been asked to review have not been designed with extended long term care needs in mind. The knowledge that you will be looked after should you become incapacitated, and won’t go broke in the process, can give you and your loved ones greater peace of mind and a greater sense of security. Such planning can help preserve the family home, savings and other assets from excessive long term care costs.
Contact The Law Offices of Osofsky & Osofsky –for any questions you may have.
See our following articles on this site for information on “Developing A Long Term Care Plan For An Incapacitated Spouse” and “The Spousal Protection Plan; Creating A Plan For Each Other“.