Seniors and their families face unique issues and complicated laws and regulations. The fear of losing control and running out of money can turn retirement into a time of anxiety and worry. We strive to help our aging clients maintain control and dignity as they grow older.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 70% of people over the age of 65 will need some type of long-term care. One in three seniors will develop some type of dementia.
This means that estate planning is not just about planning for death or a short-term period of incapacity. Seniors must consider issues such as asset protection, long-term care, taxes, special needs planning, and planning for a substitute decision-maker during periods of incapacity.
Unfortunately, many seniors’ estate plans are not tailored for their actual needs. Even if you just signed a new will and power of attorney, it is possible that your current plan won’t work if long-term care becomes a factor.
Many of our clients are shocked to find that neither Medicare nor private health insurance will pay for assisted living or long-term stays in nursing homes. Others have serious misunderstandings about eligibility rules for government programs, such as Medicaid, Special Assistance, or VA Aid and Attendance. It is difficult to qualify for these programs, and each program has different rules. With the number of seniors in N.C. projected to double between 2010 and 2030, qualifying for these programs could become even more difficult.
If you are in the proactive planning stage, we can help you create an estate plan that considers the cost of long-term care. There are a number of tools that we can use to protect you and your family. We can also help you if you or a loved one is faced with an immediate need to pay for a nursing home or assisted living facility. We can determine which assets can be protected and how to best use your remaining assets. We can also assist you with applying for benefits.
The links below have more information about specific concerns and planning strategies.