Readers of this blog know that it is important to plan for the future. They also know that there are many aspects to estate planning. While much of the focus is on figuring out how to distribute assets upon one’s death, there are also healthcare decisions that must be made. We have previously discussed powers of attorney, which can allow a trusted individual to be named to become responsible for your healthcare decisions in the event that you become incapacitated and can’t make these decisions on your own. Yet, this is not the only consideration you may need to make when thinking about your healthcare in the context of estate planning.
Another issue you need to think about is long-term care planning. Studies show that there’s about a 50 percent chance that you’ll need some form of long-term care by the time you reach 65. Considering that this care can cost as much as $150,000 a year, it’s your and your estate’s best interests to figure out how you will pay for this care in the event that you have to do so.
One option is to obtain long-term care insurance. The market for these policies is notoriously shaky, though, meaning that premiums can spike, thereby making too costly for many individuals. If you can afford it, then it may be worth looking into a hybrid life insurance and long-term care insurance policy. Here, you can lock in your premiums and draw from it for your long-term care needs. These policies are expensive , so you may need to consider other options, such as whether you have enough money saved for your care, if you can tap into you home equity or have family members will be willing to help with your care should the need to arise.
Long-term care is an issue that is often overlooked during the estate planning process. However, without properly planning for this potential need, your estate can quickly be drained if you wind up needing this type of care. To develop a strategy that protects your future healthcare and your estate, don’t forget to address this issue with your estate planning attorney.