Livens & Reed, PLLC

Long-term care planning is a critically important family benefit

Everyone faces the issue of aging and dying at one time or another. When one reaches that age in life where the retirement and post-retirement cycles are coming into focus, it is time to take some serious action to prepare under Texas law for future eventualities. One of the recommended procedures is for the elderly parents to join their grown adult children in discussing how their later years will be handled, including charting out a framework for their long\-term care.

For the children, having a meeting with elderly parents may be virtually impossible to organize due to the state of withdrawal in which parents sometimes place themselves. The hesitancy to have a family meeting to discuss the future is not a rare thing. However, those who have taken the steps to get it done are generally in a superior position going forward.

In addition to simply breaking the ice, there are some major things that it may be helpful to discuss and address appropriately. One of those is the creation of a living trust. Placing assets in a living trust is an excellent way to assure privacy from the public scrutiny and often burdensome procedures of the probate process. It may also serve the purpose of supporting certain long-term care asset transfers. The proper way to set up matters for Medicaid and similar planning, if it is needed, will require working closely with one's elder law attorney.

Completing the contours of a long-term care plan under Texas and federal law can be a precious advantage that will avoid future confusion and regret. Planning ahead will prevent the dreaded alternative of being placed in sudden crisis mode without knowing what to do. Planning may focus on help from one or more children, with the goal of remaining in the home or moving in with a welcoming child.  In other instances, the choices may require residence in some form of a long-term care facility. Planning for these options is an important dynamic that increases the joys of family life by removing many potential conflicts and uncertainties.

Source:, "Long-term care and wealth planning for aging parents", Winnie Sun, Aug. 11, 2016

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