How Estate Planning Can Help You Afford Assisted Living
While many folks think estate planning is for the rich or the dying, it’s actually benefits everyone of all asset and income levels, whether you have one child or many, and it’s best done well before you actually need it Estate planning can be especially beneficial if you think you may want or need services from a senior community in the future.
It turns out that a well thought-out estate plan, executed well before you move to a community, can prepare your assets in a way that leaves more money to your family and gives less money to the government, while providing enough resources for you to enjoy a full and carefree life in a senior community. By executing an estate plan intelligently and early, a huge set of future problems can be dealt with covering all your future needs and inheritance issues, and preventing much of the mess people leave for their families to settle when they pass.
How Does Estate Planning Work?
The first step is most definitely to contact a competent estate planning attorney. They will begin any good conversation by discussing your current major assets, your family situation, and your desires for your estate. Your estate plan should take the following into consideration: who will receive your assets when you pass on, who will make financial and medical decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated, and how should funds be allocated to help cover expenses for different senior care options, like assisted living or long-term care. There are a few different routes to take to create an estate plan that encompasses all of the above. And, of course, you can include options that ensure your estate plan has explicit instructions to include assisted living should you want or need it.
One practical tool to incorporate into an estate plan is a Revocable Living Trust, which calls for an Incapacity Trustee to step up and take control of the assets within the trust when the client is incapacitated. A revocable living trust can also protect a senior client’s financial assets by the appointment of a younger trustee, usually the client’s adult child. This arrangement protects vulnerable seniors from scam artists who steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from the elderly. Under such an arrangement, the elderly client would need the approval and consent of the trustee to make large expenditures of money, thereby thwarting the scammers’ efforts. Online and phone scams are on the rise, and the people behind them are becoming even more clever. That being said, incorporating a Revocable Living Trust can help you save money that can be allocated towards your assisted living plan.
An experienced estate attorney will often recommend that his clients obtain long-term-care (LTC) insurance which can be used to pay for their stay in a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). Many clients are reluctant to purchase an expensive long-term-care policy that they may never use. In such a case, an elder law attorney might recommend the purchase of a whole life insurance policy with a long-term-care rider. “People become fatigued by paying the LTC insurance premiums which can only be used for Long Term Care, but a Whole Life policy has both a death benefit and can contain a rider which will enable the client to convert a portion of the policy’s death benefit to pay for long-term care in a CCRC if needed.”
Start Your NJ Estate Plan Today to Plan for Senior Care
Unfortunately, when people receive an unexpected medical diagnosis or experience a major fall, it can be tough to cover expenses for long-term care without a valid estate plan in place. On top of this, the financial strain can result in family arguments during what is already a stressful and emotional time. We cannot stress this enough, don’t wait until it’s too late to make your wishes clear. Speak with a New Jersey estate planning attorney today and get to work on your estate plan. Being proactive now will help enhance the quality of your life in your golden years – no matter what obstacles you come across down the road.
If you are searching for a NJ continuing care retirement community that offers scaled senior care like independent living, assisted living, and long-term care, please visit United Methodist Communities at Bristol Glen: https://umcommunities.org/bristolglen/