“Many Americans confess that they are confused when faced with the myriad Medicare choices available to them. Others are simply not planning, nor saving enough to meet the challenge of health care costs in old age. In response, a whole new industry has sprung up nationwide.”
A recent iberkshires.com post, entitled “The Independent Investor: Elder Care in an Age of Confusion,” explains that it's called "life care planning." This is a corollary discipline for those attorneys who are practicing elder law. Elder law attorneys are, in effect, advocates for the elderly and their families. They handle a wide range of legal issues commonly experienced by seniors. Some of the issues deal with Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, retirement, long-term care insurance and nursing home care costs. These lawyers can also draft wills and trusts, help families with special needs children, handle probate proceedings and issues, along with a host of other estate planning matters.
The concept of life care planning focuses on the level of care that’s required when someone becomes disabled or reaches a certain age. Life care planners identify the level of care the person needs, finds the appropriate care givers and then maps out the necessary private and public resources necessary to help pay for these expenses.
Realistically, when an individual reaches a certain age—or his or her health issues become more severe—someone has to monitor his or her well-being and anticipate the next level of care required. In many cases, those responsibilities are thrust upon a family member, most of whom are not equipped to make the proper, necessary medical and financial decisions. As a result, our loved ones don't get the care they need or, if they do, they pay an excessive amount from the family savings for it.
Life care planners are involved throughout the process. They help make those decisions for you and anticipate what will be needed in the future. These professionals will adjust your life care plan accordingly and find the best methods to pay for it.
Some elder law attorneys work with registered nurses and public benefits coordinators either “on staff” or on call. These attorneys also provide life care planning, such as sorting through benefits for those who are veterans and might qualify for aid.
Elder care can impact an entire family and future generations. If just one member of a family develops a debilitating illness, has a lengthy hospital stay, enters a nursing home or requires 24-hour nursing care, then life savings can evaporate in just a few years.
Speak with a qualified elder law attorney and address what could be one of the biggest risks to your retirement and well-being: a lack of planning in elder care and estate planning.
Reference: iberkshires.com (June 1, 2017) “The Independent Investor: Elder Care in an Age of Confusion”