In recent years, we have witnessed an alarming trend in elder care: the dramatic surge in the cost of long-term care. With monthly expenses for such services now crossing the $17,000 mark – a staggering leap from the earlier range of $3,000-$5,000 – it’s a concern that we, at McIntyre Elder Law, believe merits urgent attention.
The statistics don’t paint a comforting picture either. Approximately 70% of seniors will require some form of long-term care during their lifetime. With costs expected to keep rising, the question that looms large is, how do we protect our assets and plan for such a substantial financial commitment?
Protective Measures and Pre-emptive Planning
One of the foundational aspects of planning for the future is to ensure the protection of your assets not just for yourself, but also for your spouse, children, and grandchildren. This requires careful strategizing, diligent paperwork, and a nuanced understanding of the law.
The key tools that come into play include general durable powers of attorney and healthcare powers of attorney. These legal documents, though complex, are invaluable in such scenarios. A general durable power of attorney enables you to proactively appoint a trusted person to manage your financial and legal affairs in the event of incapacitation. This ensures that you stay ahead of the game, rather than falling prey to the potential risk of guardianship claims and legal disputes.
A healthcare power of attorney, on the other hand, plays a critical role in medical decision-making. If you find yourself in a challenging situation where you’re unable to make your own healthcare decisions, having a designated individual to do so is crucial.
Wills, Trusts, and Other Legal Instruments
Beyond powers of attorney, the use of wills and trusts can provide additional layers of asset protection. Such instruments help direct your assets both during your lifetime and post-death, allowing you to enjoy the benefits without putting them at risk of being spent down to qualify for long-term care benefits.
An effective strategy often employed in elder law is the use of “Lady Bird” deeds. This legal tool allows you to retain control of your home throughout your lifetime and pass it on to your loved ones after your demise without the risk of recovery claims from benefit programs.
Planning Ahead: The Golden Rule
In the face of the dramatic inflation in long-term care costs, planning ahead is more important than ever. To assist you in navigating this complex landscape, McIntyre Elder Law is offering a free consultation. During this session, we can discuss strategies to position your assets, maximize your ability to defray long-term care costs, and help you stay in control.
To schedule your free consultation, you can call us at 1-888-999-6600, or book online at mclaw.com.
Remember, knowledge is your most powerful tool in these times. Stay informed, plan ahead, and protect your future. At McIntyre Elder Law, we’re here to help every step of the way. Stay tuned for more insights and information on navigating the complexities of elder care and long-term care planning.