The specter of long-term care looms large for many people. Whether or not you’re facing an immediate need for nursing home care or assisted living, it’s likely that some form of long-term care will be a reality for you or a loved one at some point during your lifetime.
Like so many other topics that are related to elder law and estate planning, long-term care is tough to think about. For one thing, no one looks forward to losing their health, not to mention losing some degree of control over their day-to-day lives. And then there’s the question of how to pay for long-term care. A private room in a nursing home can cost thousands of dollars a month, a figure that can make a significant dent in even the healthiest nest egg. When you’re faced with all the possibilities, and the sometimes-unpleasant realities, it can be easy to become frozen, and not plan at all for the possibility of long-term care. This is a mistake, especially since the earlier you plan, the more options are available to you.
For example, if you plan early enough and if your income allows it, a long-term care insurance policy might be the way to go. Generally speaking, the younger and healthier you are when you purchase the policy, the lower your premiums will be. Long-term care insurance can go a long way toward defraying the costs of care, and the right policy can offer you a variety of options when it comes to the types of care available to you.
If long-term care insurance is not the right choice for you, your elder law attorney may be able to assist you in qualifying for Medicaid benefits so that you can afford nursing home while still preserving a portion of your assets to pass on to your spouse, children, or grandchildren.
One of the keys to Medicaid planning, as with long-term care planning in general, is to start early so that you have expanded options available to you. However, if you’re faced with an urgent situation or you have not been able to plan in advance, a qualified elder law attorney can likely help you uncover options for balancing long-term care bills with the preservation of your hard-earned savings.
In fact, no matter where you are on the long-term care planning timeline, an experienced elder law attorney can help you explore all the possibilities available to you, and assist you in putting together an effective plan.