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AL Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

5 Things to Consider When Talking to Your Loved Ones About Long-Term Care Planning Over the Holidays

Are the holidays synonymous with family time for you? For many, the answer is yes. This focus on family can mean it is an excellent time to consider talking to your elderly parents and aunts and uncles, who do not have their own adult children, about long-term care planning. As the topic of long-term care planning can encompass a lot, here are five things to consider: 

1. What long-term care planning have they already done? This broad question will elicit information about whether your relatives have taken any steps to plan for long-term care. Perhaps they have a complete plan already in place. Perhaps they have done zero planning. In the alternative, maybe they started long-term care planning years ago and the plan may need to be updated.

2. Who do they want to make medical decisions for them? If your loved one becomes suddenly incapacitated, is there a family member or close friend, who understands his or her wishes regarding medical care and would trust him or her to make medical decisions in line with his or her wishes.

3. Who do they want to handle their finances? Along the same lines, if they become mentally incapacitated, who would they want to pay their bills or hire a caregiver? 

4. Would they prefer to stay in their home or are they interested in assisted living? Some people want to remain in their home at all costs, while others may become afraid and prefer to live in an environment where assistance is available. If a person wants to remain in his or her home, it may be necessary to make safety modifications or arrange for a caregiver. If he or she prefers assisted living, facilities should be visited and a plan for covering the cost discussed.

5. If a nursing home becomes necessary, how will they pay for it? This last consideration is often one of the most difficult to discuss, but statistics alone indicate more than half of Americans will eventually require nursing home care and the cost can be devastating. Assisting your loved ones with the purchase of long-term care insurance or creating a trust for asset protection, which will allow them to qualify for Medicaid can prevent them from losing their life savings to the cost of nursing home care. 

Having conversations surrounding these questions will provide a great starting point to assist your loved ones in creating a solid estate plan to meet their future needs. Our office can assist with the planning necessary to achieve their goals. While it may feel like an uncomfortable topic to broach, in the long run, helping loved ones plan for the future may be the best give you can give this holiday season. Please contact our office to set up a time to discuss these important matters.



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