Unfortunately, a need for long-term care is rarely anticipated by most Florida seniors and their loved ones. It is also very rarely discussed in the estate planning process. Most people who enjoy good health throughout their lives do not think too much about it. This can, sadly, leave us in an unprotected position for the future.

When estate planning is combined with long-term care planning, much more can be accomplished to protect you and your loved ones. Research tells us the reality today is that seven out of ten Americans will require long-term care at some point in their lives. Further, Medicare is not designed to cover many of these costs. Whether it is for a month, a year, or for a period that extends well beyond that, the financial consequences of a continuous need for long-term care can be devastating. This can hold true for any of us who do not plan forward for these elder care concerns, even if you have a substantial nest egg.

Have you considered how you will pay for long-term care should the need arise? There are several ways you can plan for long-term care which we want to provide you with here on our blog. 

First, you may self fund your care needs. This is an option for very few families as it can be expensive and there is no certainty on how long you will need to fund this care. We advise you speak to an experienced elder care attorney first to create a plan for what you need. He or she may recommend long-term care insurance as another option. The premiums can be high and you will need to ensure that your policy is adequate to cover your needs and the costs.

While the cost of long-term care varies depending on where you live and what level of medical care you require, it can be anywhere in the range of $4,000 to $7,000 per month. Further, these expectations may be low as there might also be additional costs for housekeeping or medical aides or medications. Even if you feel you are wealthy enough to afford the best care possible, an extended stay in a nursing home could well decimate your savings, leaving you little to pass on to your loved ones.

Public benefits programs such as Medicaid are available, if you qualify. In the case of Florida Medicaid, the guidelines are very specific in terms of what assets you can retain and your net worth. Though many people think that Medicaid is only for the needy, this is not true. We encourage you to speak with us to plan forward for this need.

There are ways to structure your estate so that you will be eligible for this type of coverage. With careful long-term care planning, combined with estate planning, it is possible to plan for your future needs, live a comfortable life, and leave a meaningful legacy for your loved ones after you are gone. If you have not yet completed your estate plan, or if you have not updated your plan recently, we encourage you to contact us to discuss your concerns on this issue today.