Long-term care is an issue that many people have to face as they or their family members age. The issue of long-term care is also one for which few people are adequately prepared, as well as one that can impose serious financial burdens far beyond what most people expect. Being prepared for long-term care needs can be an essential part of estate planning for anyone in Florida, regardless of your age or circumstances. Today in our series on basic questions about estate planning in Florida, we are going to look at long-term care and what you can do about it.
What is Long-Term Care?
Long-term care is a term that describes ongoing assistance that people often need as the result of natural declines in ability from the aging process. It also applies to any care required by people who are suffering from significant illnesses or injuries, care required by people with disabilities, and care required by those recovering from significant health issues.
Long-term care includes anything from occasional assistance around the home provided by neighbors, friends, or family members, to permanent, full-time assistance provided by in-home caregivers or through residential care facilities. Nursing homes, assisted living, and other such environments are the facilities that most people commonly associate with long-term care.
What is a Long-Term Care Plan?
A long-term care plan is something you typically create as a part of a broader estate plan. When you craft an estate plan, you make choices about what you want to happen to your property, as well as yourself, in the future.
As part of the estate planning process, you will have to look at what is likely to happen to you in the future. Will you have enough to retire? How much money will you leave behind? What health care or personal issues might cause a significant change in your life?
Planning for the possibility of needing long-term care is a natural part of this process. Depending on your circumstances, desires, and abilities, there are a variety of options available to you when you craft a long-term care plan.
For example, if you are still working and in good health, the chances that you might need long-term care are very low. A good long-term care insurance policy with a low premium is probably best for those in this type of situation.
On the other hand, if you have a lot of property, are retired, and are worried about the potential costs of long-term care should you or your spouse need it, you might look to crafting a Medicaid plan. Medicaid plans are effective in that they allow you to use Medicaid to pay for long-term care while preserving as many of your assets as possible.