When you think about your New Year’s Resolutions, what comes to mind? Is it the tried and true: get healthy, lose weight, and spend more time with family and friends? Do you find yourself focusing more on setting business or personal goals? When it comes to the future, how far out are you planning? This year? Next year? Or five years down the line?
While we find that most of us share similar resolutions for personal improvement and spending more time with loved ones, we often find that most of us are not looking far enough into the future. Our goals address our needs now, not twenty to thirty years from now. Further, most of us do not contemplate the potential need for long-term care of any kind.
Unfortunately, during this time of celebration and planning, we can tell you that there is never a wrong time to plan for potential long-term care needs. This planning, whether in the New Year or not, needs to be undertaken sooner rather than later. After all, where you are thinking about personal goals and planning for loved ones, this must include a look at your potential future in any setting.
Research tells us that less than fifty percent of all Americans today do not have any form of estate planning. We are also told that half of two-thirds of all Americans will need some form of long-term care in the future. Combined, these factors are a recipe for disaster. In the former scenario, you have not made any plans to protect yourself or your loved ones. In the event of incapacity, there will be no legal documents in place to give a trusted loved one the legal authority to make your financial and health care decisions. Your future decision making may then require court involvement, which can be time consuming and costly, to allow anyone to have authority to make your decisions.
The latter planning scenario is perhaps even more concerning, yet we find many people have not started long-term care planning in any form. This is the type of planning in which you and your elder law attorney work together to ensure that in the event of long-term care crisis you, and your loved ones, know how to both find the right care for you and are able to afford it. Unfortunately, many people do not realize that Medicare will not pay for the majority of the high costs associated with an assisted living facility or skilled nursing facility, and they will be forced to pay for it out of hard earned savings.
You do not want to leave yourself, or your loved ones, in a position of not knowing what to do in the event of your incapacity or death. You can plan ahead and make these decisions early to ensure that you are provided for under any possible future scenario. We can help you create an estate plan and a long-term care plan that is able to support you now, and in the future when your needs may change. Do not hesitate to contact our law firm now, or any time throughout the New Year.