When it comes to New York estate planning, timing matters. While it is always better to conduct some long-term financial and well-being preparation than none, there is a large benefit to handling the planning while one is still capable. This means before a medical emergency strikes. Of course, it is also necessary to regularly update the plan so that it accounts for changes in life circumstances. On Wednesday, Forbes published an article that emphasizes the importance of planning before a serious medical or financial setback makes things more complicated. The article was part of a week-long series shared to promote National Estate Planning Awareness Week.
Our New York elder law estate planning attorneys help seniors every day who want to ensure that their long-term financial affairs are in order and to bring peace of mind by planning for end of life care. However, we are aware that a large segment of the population still has not taken the time to make necessary preparations. According to the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils, more than 120 million Americans have not created or properly updated their estate plans. While it remains tough for many residents to discuss these topics, there is far too much to gain to put off having conversations about long-term needs.
If you have an elder relative who has not yet crafted an estate plan or made preparations for long-term healthcare, it is often helpful to gently mention the benefit of the planning effort to them. Many residents wait too long to take action and fail to have any plan in place when they fall into poor health and need special care services. Having plans in place ahead of time, before a major illness, often means that the senior can preserve a much larger portion of their savings and can receive the best available long-term care that maximizes their quality of life.
Those who have not taken steps to prepare for long-term care often face significant challenges that could have been avoided. For one thing, many are forced to use their life savings to pay for the services they need to get by each day. Many other simply do not have the resources necessary. As a result, many of them are forced to go without. A new study from the American Society of Clinical Oncology revealed some stark statistics. Nearly 50% of senior survey respondents indicated that they had to borrow money to pay for needed services like prescriptions. Roughly 30% admitted to not filling prescriptions, and another 20% took less medication than advised so that the pills would last longer. While these statistics paint a grim picture of some aspects of our healthcare system, they also reflect a lack of proper awareness about the resources available to community members who are facing these needs.
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