It’s often the case that the most critical conversations are some of the most challenging ones to have. If you plan on discussing long term care with your parent or family member this year, it can help to be prepared. After all, this conversation will need to resolve many questions including how the care will be funded, who will be granted decision making responsibilities, and how your loved one will fund the associated costs.
# 1 – Do Not Hesitate to Have this Conversation
There are some vital statistics to understand about the care of an elderly loved one, First, no matter how many children a person has, one child is often tasked with providing the majority of care. Additionally, the challenges faced by adult caregivers has been long recorded. After all, caregivers commonly work long hours. Due to these challenges, it is in your best interest to have an estate planning conversation with your elderly loved one as soon as is reasonable.
# 2 – Have the Conversation in the Appropriate Setting
When it comes time to discuss long term care goals with your loved one, you should have the conversation in a private and comfortable location. This is because elderly individuals often have strong emotions about the care they will receive. Being no longer able to care for one’s self can be a frightening prospect. If you do not have this conversation in the best possible venue, your loved one may feel attacked.
# 3 – Understand the Vitals about Long Term Care Planning
Long term care is complex. One good way to navigate the associated nuances to approach a conversation with your loved one with an understanding of the basics. Some of the details you should appreciate include:
- There is a substantial change that most people will need long term care
- On average, both men and women spend several years in nursing homes
- Long term care costs vary dramatically based on where a person lives
# 4 – Appreciate the Associated Costs
You should begin long term carte conversations with how you will fund the care. These preparations should include deciding what assets are available to fund care. For example, Medicare fully covers up to 20 days of care in a skilled nursing facility after a hospital day, while Medicaid does not provide any type of coverage until a person’s other assets are exhausted to low levels.
There are, however, many other options to pay for long term care options. These options include long term care insurance policies, coverage that combines life insurance with long term care insurance, the Federal long term care insurance plan 3.0, and pensions. The exact option that a parent ends up utilizing depends on various personal factors and there is not simply a one size fits all approach.
Contact a Skilled Estate Planning Attorney
An estate planning attorney can help during any part of the journey. If you or your loved need the assistance of an estate planning lawyer during this difficult time, contact Ettinger Estate Planning today.