Estate Planning For Long-Term Care
Long-term care encompasses medical and support services for people who have a degenerative illness, injury or incapacitation. It is an expensive process that can drain your estate quickly. As an estate planning law firm in Phoenix, Chandler, Mesa and Scottsdale, Phelps LaClair advises all of our clients to include long-term care planning as part of a complete estate plan. After all, you want your wealth to pass on to your beneficiaries, not a long-term care facility.
Who needs it?
Most people (66%) will need long-term care in their old age. Because we are living longer, old age may easily last 20 years or more. With the cost of long-term care increasing every year, it doesn’t take long for a lifetime of savings to disappear. While we hope to not need long-term care, we do need to plan for the possibility.
Long-term care planning
The most effective way to plan for long-term care is to buy long-term care insurance, and the best time to buy is before you need it. Most long-term care insurance professionals say that time to buy is when you reach your 50s. The key factor in qualifying for long-term care insurance is your health. If you are in great health, you will undoubtedly qualify with most insurers. But if there are mitigating factors, such as certain prescription medications, tobacco use or excessive drinking, you may need to speak with a number of insurers before you are accepted.
What does it cost?
The cost of long-term care insurance varies according to your age and the insurer you choose. Average yearly costs from major insurance companies are approximately $3000 – $5000 for a couple who are between 55 and 60 years old. Younger people will pay less, but for a longer time; older folks will pay more. The cost of long-term care insurance also buys peace of mind that your assets will not be consumed by out-of-pocket long-term care expenses.
Mistakes to avoid
- When considering long-term care insurance, you need to be mindful of costly mistakes. The biggest mistake is waiting too long to plan for long-term care. Though you are healthy now, that may not be the case in five years. It is wise to find out what long-term care insurance costs now, and what it is projected to cost as time goes on. You should also ask what health conditions will affect your ability to qualify.
- The second biggest mistake is believing you won’t need long-term care. While no one wishes it on you, illness, disease and accidents do happen. You may hope to live a long life, but you still need to plan for the possible future.
- The third big mistake is counting on the government to pay for your long-term care. Medicare and Medicaid are great programs, but the reality is that they likely will not be able to cover all necessary expenses. A solid plan is better than mere wishful thinking.
We can help
Long-term care is one of the growing industries in the world right now. This trend will continue for the foreseeable future. As part of your estate plan, you need to have long-term care planning in place. Phelps LaClair (serving Mesa, Chandler, Scottsdale, and Phoenix) can help you navigate all aspects of estate planning, as we have helped thousands of others over the past 40 years. Come see us and we will plan for your estate needs and goals. Your first consultation with us is free, so don’t delay. Planning for the future begins now!