Although most people will eventually need long-term care, many neglect to plan for it in their estate plans.
These days, when people are living longer than ever, one of the important aspects of estate planning is addressing the issue of long-term care. This is something that just about everybody will need someday. According to a recent Georgetown University Public Policy Institute study, approximately 70 percent of adults will likely need some form of long-term care after they reach 65.
In the past, long-term care primarily meant a stay in a nursing home. However, today there are many more options. In addition, fewer people need the level of care that a nursing home provides. It is estimated that only five percent of people suffer from medical conditions that would require them to seek the more intensive treatment a nursing home offers.
Thankfully, other options exist, as many people do not desire to be in the institutional setting that is a nursing home. Other popular nursing home alternatives include:
• Home care: This includes healthcare and assistance with daily tasks (cooking, bathing, cleaning, etc.) that is given in the home. For individuals that are terminally ill, this type of care is comprised of hospice services.
• Assisted living: This type of long-term care includes 24-hour supervision and assistance with meals and healthcare needs in apartment-like surroundings. In addition, assisted living often includes senior entertainment options on and off-site.
• Community services: This type of care is ideal for independent seniors. Seniors typically visit a care center, where a variety of services are provided, such as basic healthcare and social activities.
Estate planning is crucial
Although for many, long-term care is preferable to the staid and clinical nursing home setting, it can be very expensive. Because of this fact, it is important to consider how you will pay for it when you are putting together your estate plan.
Unfortunately, you will not be able to rely on Medicare to pay for long-term care, as it will only pay for 100 days of this type of care in most circumstances. However, there are estate planning tactics, such as Medicaid planning and long-term care insurance, that will provide a source of funds to provide you with the type of care that you desire when you need it.
To find learn more about how you can plan for your long-term care, consult with an experienced estate planning attorney. An attorney can listen to your goals and give you the best means of achieving them.