Planning For The Second Half Of Life

Nursing homes cost $93,600 per year. Are you protected?

W hat happens if you don’t die? Like most estate planning attorneys, we help clients prepare plans that determine how to effectuate their wishes when they pass away and how to make the process as expedient as possible. However, if you or a loved one is facing elder care issues, traditional estate planning may not work. Traditional estate plans are designed to help you pass your assets on to your heirs when you pass away. And while that is an important consideration, they often don’t adequately address the question of how your affairs will be handled if you don’t die but get sick along the way.

What is involved with this type of planning?
1. Review of your goals, family situation and assets;
2. Immediate implementation of an incapacity plan;
3. Review of your existing estate planning documents and consider how they would
work if you had a long term care need
4. Education about the strategies available; and
5. Development of your plan to protect your estate from a care need as well as all
necessary estate planning documents, trusts or related documents.

Who should consider care strategy planning? Anyone who is concerned
about protecting their future and learning how to pay for a care need now or in
the future. If you’ve had any of the following concerns, then this planning is for

Uncertain about buying long term care insurance;
Worries about the cost of assisted living, adult family home or nursing
home costs;
Worried about how you’ll make decisions for your spouse if he or she
Wanting to protect your spouse or make things easy for your children;
Concerned about a loved one who really needs help at home now;
Confusion about the difference between Medicaid and Medicare;
Heard rumors about some Veteran’s benefits that might pay for assisted
living; or
Not sure about how a reverse mortgage will affect you if you need to pay
for care.

What strategies will be considered?

Medicare benefits
Veteran’s benefits
Usefulness and timing of annuities for a care need
Care insurance policy design
Incapacity planning that lets you decide who will make your decisions if you can’t
How a reverse mortgage impacts care
Documentation so that your health care wishes are implemented
Trusts including 60 month trusts, family purposes trusts, living trusts and more
Medicaid benefits including COPES, medically needy programs and Medicaid skilled
nursing care
How care can impact your estate plan
Whether probate is a blessing or a curse if your spouse needs care

How we can help you and your loved ones:
We start with a comprehensive estate and long-term care planning evaluation. Sometimes clients are in crisis and steps need to be taken immediately. Other times families
recognize the need for planning that may evolve over period of years. No matter the time frame, we can help you understand and determine the best planning strategies to pursue in order to meet the planning needs of you and your loved ones.

How long does this take?
Depending on our calendars, most plans take three to four months from the date of the initial consultation to completion.

How do I get started?
Call our offices and a trained legal assistant will provide you with a no charge, no obligation phone conference to assess whether or not this type of planning seems appropriate for you. Then we’ll set an initial consultation to start our discussions. At that meeting we’ll provide a quote for our fee and you can then decide whether or not to proceed.

What can I do to keep fees as low as possible?
Be sure to provide us with complete information and make sure you bring all the necessary documents. Remember, you want the strategies that will work for you; without your details we can’t adequately plan the best strategies for you!

This seems like more than I need. I just have a few questions I’d like to have answered. Can’t I simply come in for a half hour meeting to get answers? 
There is no one simple answer or one simple strategy that works for everyone. In order to give you complete advice, we must know your complete picture. To do piecemeal work would be a grave disservice in that we might not advise you on your best strategy.

Education is invaluable. 
No question is insignificant. We will give you candid answers to legal and financial questions and answers to delicate questions that may be troubling you: questions about memory loss, driving, loved ones who wander, end of life issues, and more to regain your peace of mind.