As our older loved ones age, the truth is that they eventually may require long-term care assistance, such as living in a nursing home or assisted living facility. But how does this get paid for, let alone arranged? Estate planning is part of a successful long-term care plan in that it helps senior citizens get the care that they need, as well as create a plan to put in place when the time comes for that and other major life events.
Creating a Will and Organizing Documents
Gathering documents and creating or updating a last will and testament now, rather than later, will help the elder’s surviving family members after their older loved one passes away. Not only does having all necessary documents organized and easy to access make the probate process go more smoothly, but having an updated will can help ease tensions between family members and ensure that the testator’s property is distributed properly amongst their beneficiaries. It is best to start on these tasks early, before it is too late due to a medical complication, failing memory, or other health issue.
Power of Attorney, Advance Health Directive, and Guardianship
One of the most crucial steps to take for estate planning is the sound of mind that a power of attorney can create. A power of attorney has the authority to make financial decisions on behalf of the elder person if they become incapacitated or pass away. A guardian may be a good choice for elderly people who have dementia, and an advance health care directive lets family members know what their loved one wants to have happen in the event of being incapacitated.
Medicaid Trust for Assisted Living or Nursing Home Care
A recent study found that over half of Americans will eventually need nursing home care, according to Health Day. While most of these stays will be relatively short, five percent will stay over 1,500 days in a nursing home, and five percent will spend over $50,000 on nursing home care. Quite often, long term care is out of budget for many people, meaning that they either have to go without it, rely on the finances of their children, or find a financial workaround. One of these workarounds that many people use is a Medicaid trust, which will allow for the elder’s finances to be set aside and saved while at the same time provide them with the opportunity to get the treatment and assistance that they need.
Creating Other Trusts, Tax Savings, and More
A Medicaid trust is only part of the financial planning required for long-term care. An estate planner can also help with the following:
- Tax planning;
- Avoiding estate tax;
- Gift planning;
- Set up a charity for gifting; and
Call Maryland Elder Law Attorney Tara K. Frame Today
There are many reasons why estate planning should be part of everyone’s long-term care plan, and a Maryland elder law attorney can help you get started at once. Call the Pasadena or Stevensville law offices of Frame & Frame today to get started.