Article 107-Estate Planning Series: How Can I Pay for Long Term Care?

Written by Wright Law on . Posted in Estate Planning, Long Term Care

The statistics are intimidating.  Seventy percent (70%) of seniors will need some form of long term care.  Neither Medicare nor the typical health insurance policy provide coverage for this need.  Yet the costs can reach, or even exceed, ten thousand dollars a month.

So many people, even professional advisors, misunderstand how to properly address this risk.  A few years ago, I received a phone call from an attorney.  He told me about a senior couple he represented.  They had approximately $200,000 in assets when the husband suddenly fell chronically ill.  He would need long term care.  They were obviously worried about how they would pay for his care.

His next words startled me.  He asked, “Should I tell them to get divorced?”  It was a sincere, earnest question.  He was trying to help the husband qualify for Medicaid assistance while helping the healthy spouse maintain sufficient assets on which she could live. 

Divorce is most definitely not the answer to qualify for Medicaid.  However, the maze to long term care assistance, and its effect on estate planning, is a complicated one.  I continue to hear so much incorrect information, often passed on by well-meaning neighbors, friends and relatives. 

Given the daunting statistics, and the misinformation about paying for long term care, it is not surprising that many seniors do nothing.  They simply don’t know what to do, and therefore, are left with “planning paralysis.”

Learning about your long term care options is critically important.   There are options, but many of them will disappear if there has been no preparation before the crisis arises.  

However, there are ways to prepare, even if it is to simply know your options.  Indeed, there are ways to prepare that need not have a dramatic impact on your current circumstances.  Come to a free presentation to find out what options may be available to you.    

© 2017 Steven J Wright  

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