The Livens Law Firm

Elderly planning includes setting future financial parameters

One of the main goals of estate planning clients is that they not become a burden on their children during their twilight years. Lifestyle independence is a primary objective for many of these clients. If they have to obtain the services of a caregiver at any time in the future, they much prefer that their children not be burdened with that job. Elderly planning in Texas thus involves adopting a financial plan that will prevent depletion of one's resources through long-term care costs and, ideally, still leave an inheritance for one's children.

Of course, a part of the equation depends on the degree and length of long-term care that may be required in the future, and that is an unpredictable factor. However, federal government sources do indicate that a 65-year-old senior today has a 70 percent chance of needing some form of long-term care at some point in the years ahead. The planning process requires analyzing the options and choosing what is within the financial scope of the client's abilities.

If the client can afford to purchase long-term care insurance, that can be a major resolution of the problem. The financial costs must be carefully evaluated, however, because this kind of insurance generally carries a high price tag. Additionally, other considerations include comparing the cost of aging in-home against the cost of moving to a retirement community.

The professional adviser must let the client know how expensive it may be to choose in-home aging. Potential costs include making the home handicap-accessible and installing tech-based monitoring systems. Chair-lifts, in-home supportive care and other outside services must be added to the estimated tab. In some cases, the client will realize that the in-home solution is more expensive than moving to a retirement community. In Texas as well as nationwide, the process of choosing the options requires a detailed, fact-specific evaluation that the individual and family members will participate in with an experienced elderly planning attorney and trusted financial professionals.

Source: wealthmanagement.com, "Help Clients Achieve Lifestyle Independence", Mary Merrell Bailey, Nov. 17, 2015

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