Estate planning involves making preparations for the things that will happen after you pass away, but you should also consider the period of time that will precede your passing. These years are sometimes called the twilight years.
First off, you should consider the possibility of long-term care expenses. According to a government agency, seven out of every 10 seniors will someday need help with their activities of daily living. Long-term care is something that most people will need; it is a likelihood, not a remote possibility.
Medicare will help with your medical expenses when you’re a senior citizen if you have paid into the program sufficiently throughout your life, but Medicare does not pay for long-term care. Paying out-of-pocket is not easy for most people, because nursing homes and assisted living communities are very expensive. We practice law in the state of Connecticut. In our state, the average charge for a year in a nursing home is over $100,000, and seniors often require multiple years of care.
This is a very significant elder law issue, and it is something that everyone should take seriously. The solution for many people when it comes to long-term care is Medicaid. You are probably aware of the fact that Medicaid is a government health insurance program for people with very limited resources.
People who were never poor often aim toward Medicaid eligibility late in their lives. You could do this by giving gifts to your loved ones before you apply for Medicaid, but you have to act in advance if you want to obtain eligibility at the right time.
There is a five-year look back, so you have to complete your gift giving at least five years before you apply for Medicaid coverage. If you violate this rule, you will be penalized, and your eligibility will be delayed.
In addition to long-term care costs, there are other end-of-life issues to take into consideration. Many people become unable to communicate sound decisions late in their lives. Who would make decisions on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation?
You can answer this question yourself if you execute legally binding documents called durable powers of attorney. With a durable power of attorney for health care, you can name a medical decision-maker. Your incapacity plan could also include a durable financial power of attorney.
When you take the appropriate steps in advance, you can enter your elder years with a certain sense of peace of mind.
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We have provided some food for thought in this brief blog post. If you would like to obtain more detailed information about end-of-life planning, our firm can help. We offer free consultations, and you can contact us through this page to set up an appointment: Hartford CT Elder Law Attorneys.