Livens & Reed, PLLC

Financial experts stress importance of long-term care plans

Many residents in Texas and elsewhere around the county have had to care for their aging parents, whether in-home or at some type of facility. They have seen first-hand the difficulties in securing proper long-term care for loved ones as well as the exorbitant costs associated with it. Yet those same individuals quite often have not made long-term plans for themselves, according to financial experts. However, those experts strongly suggest putting a plan in place for the future should this type of care become needed.

As life expectancies increase, the likelihood that long-term care will be needed one day also rises. It is certainly more advantageous to make decisions about one's future care while still able to do so. Creating a plan will ensure that a person's health care needs and daily routine requirements are met. Unfortunately, some people either ignore the possibility that they may need long-term care or it will be paid for by Medicare or other family members.

The reality is that long-term care is only covered by Medicare if someone is financially unable to pay for it otherwise. Since the average monthly cost of a nursing home averages between $7,000 and $8,000, most people would see their savings accounts deplete quickly. Even those who are able to secure long-term care insurance may see their premiums increase over time.

Therefore, it is important to take a critical look at one's financial situation and begin taking steps to plan for future needs. If possible, include provisions for long-term care in an estate plan so that families are aware of specific decisions. Certainly, family members need to be involved in the discussion since some of them may even be future caregivers.

Long-term care planning can be daunting, given all the unknowns about the future and the skyrocketing costs. It would be beneficial to seek the guidance of a Texas attorney familiar with elder law. A knowledgeable lawyer will help clients develop a plan that will provide them with peace of mind for their financial well-being and standard of care.

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