Planning for nursing home care is a critical part of any estate plan. Whether you are planning well in advance or the potential need for long-term care is more imminent, here are three mistakes you would be better off avoiding.
Hastily transferring assets
Dispensing of assets may be a large part of your long-term care plan, but you only want to do so after careful consideration. For instance, you may decide to place your family home in your children’s names, but if they get sued, divorced or encounter some financial catastrophe, that property may end up in someone else’s hands. The safer move might be placing the property in a trust, but you can only determine that after a careful review of your overall financial situation.
Another risk you don’t want to take on is the chance you might miss a reporting requirement by transferring property in the wrong way. Such a mistake could not only upend your financial planning but also draw unwanted scrutiny from Medicaid or MassHealth officials.
Choosing the wrong people to represent you
Part of long-term care planning is choosing trusted agents to make important decisions for you in the event you are no longer able to make sound decisions for yourself. These decisions can range from managing investments to health and medical-related issues. Some of the qualities you should look for in such a person include:
- Ability to stand their ground in the face of disagreement
- Access and proximity (living in the local area is an important practical consideration)
By choosing the right person to represent your interests, you can rest assured that the decisions he or she makes on your behalf will be the right ones.
Doing it on your own
Long-term care planning is a complex endeavor. A mistake in paperwork, timing or execution could derail your plans and end up costing you and your loved ones dearly. By placing these issues in trusted hands, you can move forward with the confidence that you are doing everything in your power to protect the assets you have worked a lifetime for.