“Is there any reason to put off long term care planning?”
“Is there any reason to put off planning for long term care?”
There’s really no reason to put it off, at least in the sense of sitting down with an elder law attorney and say, “Here’s my situation. What do you think?”
Sometimes we see people and say, “With your situation, you don’t need to do any planning. You’re good to go. There’s nothing further that needs to happen.”
But oftentimes there are options, and just like anything in life, there are pros and cons – advantages and disadvantages – to any option.
Part of our job as a lawyer is to say, “Here’s option one and here’s the good and the bad of that option. Here’s option two and the good and the bad of it.” That allows our client to weigh those options.
So if you’re in that position sitting down with the lawyer and the lawyer says, “We can do some planning. You’re 67 years old. You’re in relatively good health. You have a $200,000 house paid for and $150,000 in investments. Here’s what we can do.”
You may ultimately decide “I’m not going to do it.”
But at least you know and you have choices, just like having choices with getting insurance. Do you want life insurance? Do you want disability insurance? Long-term care insurance? You have choices.
Back to the questions.
Is there a reason to put it off?
Is there any disadvantage to starting it early?
In my judgment, there is no disadvantage to at least exploring your options for planning long term care.
When families get hit with long-term care in the nursing home, it’s not only an emotional crisis. Even if it’s expected, it’s still very difficult.
A friend of mine who’s a lawyer, her client booked – it wasn’t an around-the-world trip, but I think it was a major cruise.
The calendar has been circled years in advance, it’s been paid for.
It was a month before the cruise – boom!
There’s a stroke, completely unexpected.
We have a person who’s very active, very healthy, and now they’re sitting in the nursing home.
Emotionally, that tears a family up.
On top of that, somebody is going to say “By the way, you need to pay $6,000 up front; and then beginning of every month, you’ll need to pay $6,000 to cover that upcoming month. If you want an extra sitter, if you want a private room, if you want this, you want that, that’s extra.”
Now we’re in just a complete crisis mode because this is unexpected and now the family has to get together. How are we going to do this?
This is why at least looking at planning for this and actually making a plan and putting things into place, having the power of attorney, having advanced healthcare directives, figuring out if we want to move assets, is so important.
Whatever the plan may be, that is so important, not that the stress goes away, but to make it less stressful.
So now we’re just dealing with the emotional aspect of mom has had a stroke and is in a nursing home, but we’re not so worried about the money.
The last thing in the world you need is be worried about money.
Think about it if you have ever had a loved one that’s passed away.
If it’s expected, it’s upsetting.
If it’s unexpected, it’s very upsetting.
On top of that, you’re trying to figure out, “How in the world am I going to pay for this?”
If things are already prepared ahead of time, whether it’s through insurance or through a prepaid policy – whatever it may be – then it at least takes one thing off of you.
I do recommend sitting down, talking with somebody, and making sure you’re getting good advice.
Then really weigh options.
If you have an accountant, the accountant should be involved in the conversation.
If you have a financial advisor, they should be involved.
This is not where your advisors to you should be going in opposite directions.
They all come from different perspectives, but there needs to be ultimately a unified plan.
If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with us.
We will be glad to help you figure out your best course of action.
You can reach us by phone at 1-205-879-2447.
You can also fill out a contact form and we will get in touch with you.
Thanks for reading, and have a great day!