The Dean Law Firm Blog

Friday, April 10, 2015

Long-Term Care Considerations

High costs.  A little can add up fast.  Do these thoughts come to mind when you think about long-term care?  Proper estate planning can truly ease the minds of your loved ones if you get to a place where you are in need of long-term care. 

The financial concerns of long-term care can be addressed by a variety of methods, including long-term care insurance, saving to self-insure, or by setting up a Trust document that protects your assets.  For most people, it is unsettling if you do not know who will be handling your finances in your incapacity and if this person will have your best interests in mind.  You can proactively plan by choosing who this person is beforehand through designating an alternate Trustee in a Living Trust or through the use of a Financial Power of Attorney.  Your Financial Power of Attorney should be customized to address how you wish to be treated if you are in a long-term care situation and to allow your agent to implement some long-term care planning strategies, including the creation of trusts to qualify for certain governmental benefits, if needed.

When considering long-term care, you must consider both the financial and the medical sides of disability.  At a minimum, you need to designate an agent to make medical decisions for you when you cannot in a Medical Power of Attorney.  It is also important to consider Advance Medical Directives.  One of these documents is a Directive to Physicians, also known as a Living Will, which allows your loved ones to have your guidance when making decisions concerning artificial life support and other medical interventions.  While these issues can be uncomfortable to think about, it can greatly ease the burden for your loved ones by guiding them through these difficult decisions.

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