Today, more Americans are leading longer lives - a wonderful trend for individuals and family, giving us all more time to celebrate each other’s lives! With the Baby Boomers currently entering retirement age, statistics suggest that the population of older Americans will increase from around 30 million to 70 million over the next decade. With longer lives before us, it’s ever more important to make long-term care planning a priority - in fact, we should involve our families and plan under an attorney’s guidance. Even when we’re in excellent health, old age means more challenges to health and independence; some people prefer to age in place, continuing to live in their home as long as possible. They may require more daily support than their working children can give them. Other elders may need an assisted living facility. It’s important to meet these challenges with a plan in place to provide for your care and protect your estate.

Make Decisions Beforehand

Important decisions should never be left to the last minute. While you’re still healthy and capable, plan for your preferred level and type of long-term care as you age or develop persistent medical conditions. Discuss with your family and advisers where you prefer to live, whether it’s feasible, how to provide for any home care you may require, and how to create legal documents to keep you or your chosen representative in charge of making these decisions. A lawyer is a critical part of this process to ensure your instructions are legally binding.

Have the Right Paperwork

Do you know what types of paperwork you need to outline your instructions for long-term care and ensure that they are carried out according to your wishes? Your attorney does. You’ll need to ensure that you and your chosen representatives (in case you’re incapacitated) have your living will, healthcare power of attorney, HIPAA medical authorization (so your representative has access to your medical information), and a general power of attorney. You may need to have access to additional paperwork as well, such as private insurance or Medicare policies. 


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Provide a Financial Plan

Another important step in long-term care planning is to outline a financial plan to support your instructions. Should you require hospitalization or home care, how will you pay for it? If your care will be paid from your personal funds, consider setting up an account for it separate from your estate’s. If you have a health insurance plan, ensure you select one with robust care options for the elderly. An attorney can also help you with Medicare planning: once you reach age 65, you may be eligible to receive health insurance through this government program. If you served in the military, you may also have access to Veterans Benefits. An attorney can help you coordinate these various services into a healthy financial package fine-tuned to support your long-term care plan.  

As you enter your Golden Years, you don’t want to spend significant portions of your time worrying about how to provide and coordinate later care. When you bring an attorney into your long-term care planning, you can be sure you’re developing the best plan for you in the most efficient way possible. So stop wasting time, and give me a call at 216-600-0124 - I can’t wait to help you!