Grant & Barrow, A Professional Law Corporation
Grant & Barrow, A Professional Law Corporation

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How to include long-term care in an estate plan

by | Apr 26, 2021 | Succession planning |

The Baby Boomer generation is finally reaching retirement age. These workforce leaders will want to protect their legacy of hard work and accomplishment so their families can continue to enjoy all that they’ve built. Alongside a will, deeds to property, and retirement accounts, Louisiana families will want to plan for long-term health care as well.

What is long-term care?

Most Americans dream of travel and leisure in their retirement years, but health presents a daunting obstacle. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 70% of people over the age of 65 will require long-term health care at some point during their retirement. This type of care can often be the most intensive and expensive care in a person’s life, with monthly costs of retirement homes averaging nearly $8,000. Thankfully, including these costs in succession planning is relatively easy, especially alongside a lawyer experienced in this area.

Retirees can pay for long-term care in the following ways:

  • Medicaid: Every U.S. citizen over age 65 qualifies for Medicaid. A federal program, Medicaid pays for nearly every medical need but from limited providers. Planning for coverage will require meeting its low-income thresholds, often demanding liquidating the estate.
  • Medicare: Medicaid serves those with medical emergencies, offering broad coverage for a short amount of time. Medicare works well for in-patient care or a temporary in-home nurse.
  • Long-term health insurance: These plans are few and far between since the steady increase in insurance premiums prices out most families. If the plan goes unused, policyholders lose the money.
  • Living benefits: This newer policy combines long-term health coverage and life insurance. Retirees will enjoy a low monthly premium and have their unused costs paid out as a death benefit.
  • Asset-based: Many families are turning toward asset-based policies that leverage the equity of an asset or lump-sum of cash. The interest pays for medical bills, and policyholders can choose to recover the asset if needed.

Planning for health needs protects the family

Those that don’t plan for their potential health needs may leave their family to pick up the bill. A failure to plan may also force retirees to liquidate valuables or heirlooms they would rather their family keep. Those who need a comprehensive succession plan can reach out to a local attorney familiar with Louisiana estates