There are those who question why they need the services of an estate planning attorney. The reality is that there are many different reasons why, and they extend beyond the transfer of assets to your loved ones after you pass away. There are other components to the modern estate plan to consider that comprehensively prepare you for all the eventualities of aging.
People are living longer than they ever have before and the oldest among us represent the fastest growing age group. Preparing for the realities that people typically face when they reach an advanced age is something that you want to consider in addition to simply preparing to pass along your legacy to your loved ones after you die.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services tells us that approximately 7 out of every 10 people who reach the age of 65 will someday need long-term care. According to the 2010 MetLife Mature Market Institute survey the average cost for a year in an assisted-living facility in the United States was just under $40,000; the same period of time residing in a private room in a nursing home cost $83,500 on average. People who reside in a nursing home typically spend around 2 1/2 years in the facility. At any given time, 25% of people age 85 and up are living in a nursing home.
When you do the math, there’s a very real statistical possibility that you will be faced with nursing home costs that exceed $200,000, and this is using the numbers as they stand right now. It should be noted that the above figures are expected to increase steadily over time.
There are strategies that can be implemented that can help you address these costs. Medicaid will pay for long-term care if you qualify. The laws are somewhat complex however, and there is a five-year “look back” period to consider.
Matters such as these underscore why it is so important to retain the services of an estate planning attorney. There is more to think about than how your assets will be distributed after you pass away, and the best way to devise a comprehensive plan is with the assistance of an experienced elder law professional.