Most people think that long-term care planning is something that only older people need to worry about — but that’s not true.
Long-term care planning is something that’s best to contemplate while you’re still young (or relatively so). There’s no guarantee that you won’t need long-term care planning after a sudden illness or accident, for example. The earlier you start planning, the better.
Why is long-term care planning necessary?
To start with, around 90% of people who need long-term care stay at home or live in a community setting. This may include staying in an assisted-living community or having health care providers come to your home to assist with your daily activities like showering or doing laundry.
Since long-term care has the potential to be costly, this is something to build into your estate plan. The cost of a nursing home per year could be over $80,000 in places like Atlanta or Macon. The vast majority of people rely on some form of assistance, like Medicaid or Medicare, to cover the costs — and part of your estate planning process can involve arranging your finances to make sure that you’re eligible for those kinds of programs.
How can an attorney help with long-term care planning?
Other aspects of long-term care planning involve things like selecting who you want to hold your powers of attorney for medical issues and financial matters. You may also want to create a trust, look into ways to minimize the taxes on your estate and make sure that you have your advance medical directives in place.
An attorney can help you determine what sort of planning needs are most applicable to your situation and guide you through the process.